Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Proud, stubborn and independent! Male or female, young and old, if this is you, we welcome you. If this was you, we salute you. Psalm 131 is a great exposition on developing character and integrity, a song of Humility.
For many of us, when we consciously walk with God the journey exposes many attributes we did not realise have become so inherent that they may hinder our ability to fulfil God’s purpose in us.
These 3 verses amazingly summarise a lifetime’s battle to subdue his/herself in their walk with God. Initially, it seems like the psalmist has already achieved a submissive and obedient nature but when you consider verse 2 you realise the struggle to transform and be what God desires
1. The affirmation Ps 131:1
What the heart desires the eyes will search for?
Know what God has called you into and be diligent, we need to acknowledge our limitations and don’t seek to be more than what God has called us to be. We often castrate our potential because of some ideal of what success or richness looks like based upon the world’s perception, and unfortunately this has seeped into the church too. Don’t wait for exceptional conditions ie I can’t serve unless I have ‘this’ or minister until ‘that happens’. How many prophets knew beforehand until they obeyed the call and God filled their mouths.
We must also be very mindful of spiritual arrogance, believing that we have the authority to expound on the mind of God. No matter how knowledgeable you are of the word, there will be a time when we simply must not concern ourselves explaining the profound.
2. The process Ps 131:2
Our spiritual growth develops from seeking God to alleviate our needs, as a baby’s initial dependency on his/her mother will be for milk, to one of seeking God just because. Our relationship with God no longer focuses on what can be gained but yearns for a deeper understanding of who God is and who God is in us. But it takes discipline and trust, just as it does for a mother not to cave in when her baby wails and determines for things to remain the same. The child is now concerned that it won’t be fed but will soon learn that it is not the case and food of a different kind is available.
We are the child. It can be very easy to misinterpret God’s silence negatively. We struggle to understand and perhaps like a child being weaned engage in trying to manipulate situations to our favour.
It is a process so worthy of much more than our initial understanding of God. Don’t give up because God has not come to feed you as before or appears to have left you. It is a process that teaches trust, obedience and independence within a structure.
3. The goal Ps 131:3
All who you are is not for your benefit but your people / community / nation. It’s about unity. If every person removed self and focussed on God as verse 3 describes much of the calamity and selfishness that exists would be minimal. It is possible. Undoubtedly there is so much to cause our resolve and hope in the Lord to weaken. It can also be hard to encourage those around us who cannot understand the whys. How can we say hope in the Lord when God seems to allow so many innocents to die?
The answer simply takes us back to verse 1, and will keep working in us until we have calmed and quieted our souls.
The LA Family