Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:4)
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
Look at the scriptures above. Read the first slowly and let it take you to that silent place where God calls you to receive Him. Then use the second scripture to bring deeper meaning to the underlined portion of the first scripture. Now sit with the first passage again.
When God allows us to struggle through trials we have two options: run to the comforts of this world or run to everlasting comfort in Him. God is our firm foundation and our refuge. Difficult moments are times when He calls us into deeper relationship with our Father, our Creator. Turning to God is described in detail in the passage above. It doesn’t have to be taken literally but let’s look at what it describes.
Tremble (in your anger) do not sin (turn toward things other than God (idolatry)). Trembling could be in fear or anger, both draw us out of comfort. We then have a choice of where we can find peace in the storm. We can choose between the Creator and His creation. The eternal or the temporal. God desires a relationship that grows deeper as our spirits mature. The best way to grow in relationship is through the difficult times where we have to rely on God’s provision and comfort to carry us through.
When you are on your bed (alone and away from distraction) search your heart (for what God is looking to teach you in this turmoil) and be silent (so that you may hear the still small voice of God). The world and its business look to captivate our attention and draw us away from the stillness we need with God. Seek the quietness and seclusion you require to draw close to God and avoid distraction. Search your heart, in openness and honesty to see where the Lord is missing in your life or situation. Where do you need in insert His power and rely less on your own? Look for the lesson God has for you. He loves you too much to let you remain idle. Seek and find what the Lord has for you. Then the most difficult part, be silent so that His voice can be heard, and the presence of His Spirit can work in your heart. Ask for understanding and be still to receive what God chooses to reveal to you.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous (humble spirit of thanksgiving) and trust in the LORD. Our sacrifice to God is submission, and a willingness to follow God’s will over our own as they become the same. Give thanks that God loves you enough to correct and lead you. Be thankful that as His chosen you are able to hear His calling and turn to the shelter of His love and faithfulness. Then trust that God is fighting battles that you cannot fight. We can rest assured that battles fought by God are fought to completeness. He will bring about His will which far surpasses our dreams. Turn to God and seek the fellowship described in Psalm 4:4. See the loving relationship and guidance the Father has for you.
As the multitude followed Jesus, it was recorded twice that He stopped and provided for them so that they would not parish in their pursuit of Him and His truth. (Jesus feeds the 5000 –> Matthew 14:13-21) When our focus is on God and serving Him He will provide for us in our faith. Jesus made this clear in the way He provided for those seeking Him. And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. (Luke 12:29-31)
The problem occurs when people seek that they want over what God is looking to provide. In our sinfulness we lean toward self-sufficiency and self-guidance. We walk a path we have designed in our own power and look to God for the provision to help us along our own fallen path. We can fall away from fear and anxiety when we realign ourselves with the plan God has for us. We have to realize that we were designed for a Godly purpose. God’s provision is meant to supply us for that walk. Our following of Jesus allows us to appreciate that what we have been provided is more than we need. God will provide excess so that the overflowing of His provision can be showered upon those around us. One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much (Luke 16:10) When God sees you walking faithfully in union with Jesus using His provision to accomplish what God has laid before you. He will multiply that provision so that your walk can continue in greater ways.
Don’t look to God for the worldly things you want, but instead ask Him to give you what He desires you to have. This will insure that your path is His, your desires are His desires, your will is His will, and all glory belongs to God the Father through a life transformed through salvation in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
“From Him (Christ) we learn how God acts toward people. The hypo-critical, the basically insincere, will find Him cold and aloof, as they once found Jesus; but the penitent will find Him merciful; the self-condemned will find Him generous and kind. To the frightened He is friendly, to the poor in spirit He is forgiving, to the ignorant, considerate; to the weak, gentle; to the stranger, hospitable.” -A.W. Tozer
The bible leads us to approach God in submission, in humility, in meekness, in gratitude, in love, etc. For the longest time I loved this idea. We ask the Holy Spirit to move in our lives as we grow in faith. The Spirit allows us to achieve the for mentioned attributes as we relate to a God that is greater than our minds and hearts can comprehend. The Creator of the universe, the God that has no beginning and no end, the God that has a love that is incomprehensible to our fallen hearts is worthy of all we are called to grow into. My thoughts were always to give my savior all of my heart and to submit all of my ways to the God that knows what is best for me. He designed me for a purpose and allowing Him to guide my steps leads me to a life that will far surpass my greatest dreams.
It is in this submission that I had a revelation as I read the passage above. Not only are we giving to God what is due Him as our Creator and Heavenly Father, in this position of growing sanctification we gain a perspective of God that allows us to move closer to Him in praise, worship, and love. When we take the position the Spirit leads us to we allow God to show us more of His infinitude and to move freely in our lives growing us in holiness and Christ-likeness.
In this same thought we should have compassion for those who are lost in the darkness of sin. How can they know what God can do through Jesus if they don’t have a heart to submit and allow Him to show His power in their lives? We must lead them through example and not just words that they cannot comprehend in their fallen state. Refuse to be frustrated as the stumble for perspective. Show the unfailing love of God that you know because God called you out of the darkness to reflect His light. Help others find perspective as you grow yourself.
Old Testament Law is death. The law killed Jesus Christ. People who could quote scripture and lived blameless in the law killed the Word — made flesh (John 1:14). Even Paul, the Pharisee of Pharisee, had to die unto himself to escape a life lived perfectly in the law. The law had to die in him for the spirit to fill him with the love of the new, better and perfect covenant. Paul tells us (Philippians 3:8) For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Paul is saying that his life, perfect in the law of the Old Testament, was worthless (as dung), in comparison to knowing Christ and living in His spirit. Without the law, sin is dead. (Romans 7:8) apart from the law, sin lies dead. Sin is made alive in the law but cannot exist in love!
(Romans 7:5-6) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
(Romans 7:7) if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin –Apostle Paul
Seeking longevity in life is common. If not longevity for the individual, it may be longevity for someone close to that person. God places people on this earth to serve His purpose good or bad. Their time on earth is used for His purpose however long that is. What each person should look to do is to live life to its fullest in the pursuit of the purpose that God place them here. We can’t focus on ‘our life’ we have to focus on the breath God placed into each of us and the significance of that fact. The main reason to mourn a life taken by the will of God is if that person didn’t know Christ and that they hadn’t found the eternal life Jesus pointed each of us toward by the will of God. (John 12:25) Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.