Recently, I was reading Psalm 131 during my morning devotionals. God spoke through it so loudly that I knew it was something I should share with you. Psalm 131 is a short psalm. It only has three verses. King David composed it about three thousand years ago. The Holy Spirit has preserved it for us today as part of the canon of Scripture. This means we can hear the same message the Spirit put in David’s heart.
The first verse (NKJV) says, “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Nether do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.” As I meditated on David’s words, I heard additional words that live between the lines of this verse. They spoke to me, saying, “Keep life simple!” As Pastor Suli has said so many times, “Keep the main thing the main thing.” Pastor Suli was referring to giving Jesus priority over everything else. Isn’t that what keeping life simple is really about? I understand this and completely agree with it. Now, keeping life simple is not always as easy as we would like it to be. We tend to complicate things, especially when we allow pride or unbelief to have their way with our hearts.
When pride has its way, it always complicates things. When this happens, we easily are tempted to think we are somebody who we are not. We can then be swayed to do what we have no business doing. As this happens, we can be distracted from doing what God has called us to do. You have been designed by God to be a one-of-a-kind creation. Your purpose is to glorify Christ. Keep life simple. Obey the voice of the Lord. Be led by His Holy Spirit. Keep the will of God, which is to glorify Jesus, as the main thing. Allow yourself the freedom to live a successful, significant life. Surrender your pride to God. With your surrender, you give Him dominion over those voices that would bring stress or worry into your life. Then, those voices that are not from God can no longer convince you of their destructive lies. As the psalmist said, “my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty.”
The second area of our lives that we tend to complicate is our approach to faith. How often do we allow our faith to be compromised or contained by what we see or hear? I am sure this is common to all of us. I have learned to rely on the following threefold approach to faith.
1. What I see or hear, regarding my natural circumstances is certainly important and worthy of my attention. I must acknowledge that it really is there. Doing this allows me to bring accuracy into my prayers regarding my situation. Be sure that you do not deny what your natural circumstances are. You must understand them, so you can pray accurately to the Lord for wisdom, aid or comfort.
2. What I see in the spirit and know in my heart carries more weight than what my natural circumstances have told me. This is because I am now positioning myself to see, hear and know God’s response to my prayers. This allows me to approach things with the simple expectancy and confidence that God is about to move into my natural circumstances. He will give me a supernatural result!
3. In times of difficulty, I have learned to remind myself that God’s Word is true. His Word is not subject to change. Natural circumstances cannot take away its power. It contains my promises, possibilities and even the assurance of my protection. Therefore, I will stand in faith, having positioned myself for victory. This may be the most difficult of the three to “keep simple,” because (except for His written Word) God may not have spoken yet in response to our prayers. At these times, trusting in the Lord becomes the most important thing we can do. Trust in God must be woven into the makeup of our character.
The second verse of Psalm 131 says, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me” Do you see the connection to my thoughts from Verse 1, above? This second verse, reminds me that nobody else can keep my life simple for me. It is completely up to me. I must make living a simple, humble, faith-filled life an act of my own determined will. I do this through the daily, sometimes hour-by-hour choices I make. As I choose to calm my emotions whenever they try to control my life, and if I step on my pride, fears and doubts, then I will live a calm, productive, God-pleasing life. Putting these thoughts from Verses 1-2 together gave me the following message. Keep life simple by keeping yourself humble and faith-filled, always trusting in God. Try to maintain the purity of a child’s perspective on life. Be someone who knows he or she has a heavenly Father who is completely trustworthy, willing and able.
The final verse of Psalm 131 says, “O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.” When I put this final verse into today’s context, and connect it to the first two verses, it tells me I can rest in the Lord as I place all my hopes for the future in God’s hands. Having done this, I then can cope with what today and every day that follows will offer me. I can maintain that attitude of a child in his or her father’s arms. I will trust in my heavenly Father, as I obey Him and give faith in Him my highest priority.
Well, that’s it. Think about whether what you have read makes sense for whatever you face today. If it does, (and is surely does) apply it to your life – right now! Do this without delay or compromise. Allow today, and every day that follows, to be filled with humility, hope, simplicity, and above all else, faith and trust in God. Then, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind, with the calming presence of those simple things He has provided for you… all through Christ Jesus our Lord.