Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer 2017

I came across a verse from Psalms recently and it instantly spoke straight to my heart.

I don't remember the context of how or why this verse caught my attention, but it was like the Holy Spirit said, "Pay attention. You need this."

As a result, this verse has become my theme for the summer of 2017:

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

The verse was convicting and encouraging all at the same time. It transcended my circumstances, whether at home, church or work -yet, was so personal. 

God showed me that my tongue was quickly getting out of control and that I was allowing my thoughts to slip my emotional state into a dark place. 

I needed both my words and my meditations to be acceptable in His sight. They both needed to be redeemed. They needed to be made right. 

Part of me, a big part of me, wants to argue with God about this. My words could be worse. My feelings are completely justifiable. Anyone in my situation would feel the way that I feel. My circumstances are often frustrating and infuriating. I can play the comparison game all day and make myself seem pretty good. 

Ah, but pretty good isn't good enough, by His standards. To be acceptable in His sight, they need to be edifying of others and glorifying of Him. As my Lord, He has the right to ask this of me - no matter how impossible it may seem.

So, you can see the convicting part of this verse. The Holy Spirit is saying that my words and meditations need to be better; they need to be acceptable in my Lord's highest, most perfect opinion. 

As a result, when I found my words lacking and my meditations darkening, I began to practice memorizing this verse. 

Then the coolest thing happened. 

My meditation was on God's word and this very verse that had convicted me began to encourage me. 

"My Rock" already knows my circumstances. He has seen the injustices. He is the stability in the midst of all my uncertainty. 

"My Redeemer" has already saved me, justifying me forever -sometimes in spite of the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart. He knows those sinful tendencies of mine and He is still at work on me, continuing to redeem my unruly tongue and selfish, old-nature. 

Besides, the entire verse isn't even a command. God is not directly telling the reader to get her act in order. The writer is praying! He is asking God to help him do what he cannot do on his own. 

This prayer acknowledges God's authority as Lord and confesses that the words of the mouth and the meditations of the heart fall short from His holy requirements. It also claims the promises God has made us to be our Rock and our Redeemer. 

The truths of this one verse did not fall on me all at once. And, I am far from an expert at applying it to my life yet. But I have found it to be true. 

As I meditate on what I know would be acceptable in His sight, my words soften to those around me and my heart is lifted, not feeling bogged down by the stresses of the day. As I do what God directs, He keeps His word, fulfilling His roles as my Rock and my Redeemer. 

My circumstances have not really changed. The challenges may in fact be even bigger and harder. My words and meditations are still all too often very sinful and destructive but for now, at least, when the Holy Spirit gently points out these very real faults, I am responding with this prayer. It also just so happens to be the fourteenth verse of the nineteenth chapter of Psalms. 

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