Friday, February 2, 2007

Glad Hearts

"I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices." Psalm 16:8-9

In psalm 16, David demonstrates the type of relationship he has with God; he shows us where he stands, where God stands, and the consequences of maintaining such a relationship. David allows God to be fully in control of his life, placing God in the position of the right-hand man, as well as the One to go before David in all situations. As a result, David's heart is "glad".

Allowing someone else to make a decision for us dictates vulnerbility and fear. For some reason, we think we are capable of making the most reasonable decisions on our own behalf. Ironically, we don't always know what's best for ourselves. And yet, the idea of giving up the reigns is hard because we don't like giving up control.

However, by allowing God to go before is the best choice. Even though it feels like we're losing control over the situation, our trust in God's ability and wisdom is actually securing the most infinitely perfect control possible. As a result, we can be assured that everything will come together for His will, and our hearts can be glad.

Dear God,

I want a glad heart. I want to be liberated from any fear or anxiety I have. Please help me to give up my hold on these ridiculous events in my life; I can't mend them; I can't erase them; I can't do anything. However, I want to trust that You will take care of everything in Your time.

Cut to the Heart

"When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth..." Acts 7:54

Stephen, being attacked by those wanting to stir the people against Jesus' disciples, begins to provide a thorough history as proof to the authencity of Jesus and also as evidence for their folly in rejecting the truth. Though he rightfully shows the parallel of the Israelites' hard-heartedness to these men, the effect, though on their heart, does not urge them to repentence.

The men hear Stephen's accusation, but instead of turning from their ways, they allow their anger and pride to override the guilt that they feel. They translate those feelings into hate and revenge, instead of allowing the feelings to manifest into humility. They turn against Stephen, and end up killing him.

When we are wrong, we cannot get defensive. The embarrassment we experience must be fermented into humility rather than covered with anger. Being "cut to the heart" is painful, but God wants us to repent and grow.

Dear God,

Help me to know when I am wrong, especially if I am not representing You as best as I can. Lead me to repentence and humility as a result of my carelessness or selfishness, and dismantle my pride from growing into something destructive.