My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore. Psalm 131 (NIV)
Psalm 131 gives us a wonderful picture of having dependence on God in our Christian walks. One of the root and primary needs throughout our walk with God on this earth is to cater and enjoy a trusting and cleaving to Gods ways and His voice. Life has so many different choices, voices and distractions.
We must be disciplined to build a hour by hour, day by day trust and reliance on the Lord.
Do you see yourself as a weaned child in the arms of our Lord? Is your trust in His provision and strength or in your own abilities and cleverness. God never uses clever people. Those who are clever in their own ways, God in His love has to bring them to an end of themselves so they will trust in the ways of the Lord and not the arm of the flesh.
Jacob is a wonderful example of this truth.
His name means supplanter, one who wants to replace or more simply put deceiver! How would you like your name to be deceiver, or supplanter! Jacob had in him that old nature which wants to have it his own way, with his own cleverness, tricking and always ending out on top. God wanted to use this supplanter, so he orchestrated a series of events till God could rename him Israel which means struggle with God or in a simple word: governed by God. Imagine that! going from being a clever supplanter to one that is being governed and controlled by God. This is where the Lord wants all of His children to be, in a place of submission and dependence on Him.
There is a clear warning in this passage that those who occupy themselves with great matters will end up walking in the flesh and the ways of self energy and striving. To accomplish the will of the Lord we need the mind of the Lord.
This only happens as we quiet ourselves in His presence and learn of Him.
The prophet Jeremiah declares:
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength (Jeremiah 17:5).
If you find yourself in the place of trusting in your own abilities and trying to make the work of the Lord happen you will find your heart turning away from the Lord. You will still be busy with many things and to many people seem to be fruitful but your heart walk with Jesus Christ will not be there and the fleshly show will not be of any eternal significance.
Only the work of the Lord done His way will build His kingdom. Many ministries, sermons, churches and works done in the Name of God will in the end just be a pinch of dust at the judgement seat. Flesh or anything of self must not be our support or means.
I have found myself many times going on in a work for the Lord and at some-point realizing that the Lord let me go on ahead without Him. We have all experienced this in some ways, it is like talking to an individual on the phone but the line was disconnected yet you continue to ramble on. This is just how it is in doing a work for the Lord without being in vital and intimate communion with Jesus.
One of my mentors always reminded me that the safest place in our walks with the Lord was either to be following in the shadow of Jesus or holding His hand. Otherwise we are prone to run ahead of Him in our zeal for the things of God. Have you gone ahead of God in His work? Do you feel empty, tired and have been struggling in the arm of the flesh? Repent, turn around and come back to the Lord. Quiet yourself in His presence and learn to hear Him again. He wants to use you for His kingdom work but we must do it out of our love and walk with the Lord.
It is Gods mercy who keeps us from building a kingdom of man in the Name of the Lord. That is one of my prayers: Lord keep me from doing a work for my glory or name, may everything I do be done for your glory. Jeremiah also has some wonderful and positive encouragements for us:
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him (Jeremiah 17:7).
What a wonderfully happy and content person you will be in the work of God if your confidence and dependence is in the Lord and in His sufficiency. Jesus said clearly that He will build His church. But sadly he will let us build our own churches if we want to. If your hope is in the Lord and constant expectation is from Him, you will never fail to bear fruit and as our Lord said in John 15 we will bear much fruit.
May God find us as a weaned child today in His arms depending on Him.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon