“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:1, 2
Is your heart loud and noisy today?
Words of striving and contention and discord with your fellow-man have more to do with the Almighty than you realize. If you do not learn to worship the Lord in the psalms, you are leaving your heart exposed: Self-righteousness will settle down and find a comfortable place in your heart. At the root of occupying yourself with things that are beyond human ability is arrogance and pride – a heart that is lifted up in pride and eyes that are haughty and condescending.
David is honest about his own pride that is behind a disquieted soul. He says in verse 2, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul . . .” Do you see the turn about from the confessed implication behind verse one? David said, “but.” David knows what a loud and noisy heart sounds like when it is lifted up in pride and is preoccupied with things that are beyond him. David’s circumstances are familiar with ours:
- Wanting security in this life by wanting all the answers.
- Wanting security in this life by wanting control.
- Preoccupation with areas of life that are beyond human ability and jurisdiction.
- Spending too much time listening to agitators of the soul. Like Job’s miserable comforters, you give your ears over to nit-pickers and doomsday prophets of sorts that only rob you of hope in the Lord: too much political news, too much financial news, too much talk radio, too much fault-finding and too much fussiness like an infant rooting around for satisfaction that never comes. I’m not saying that as Christians we need to just stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is ok, but when you and I are hopeless, it is because we occupy our lives with thought patterns that do not belong to us. And behind that is a heart of pride and arrogance to think that we are capable of knowing all that can be known and acting on all that can be known. It is no wonder that our hearts are like an unweaned child who can’t find his mother.
So how do I live psalm 131 in my heart today?
1. Repent of the pride and arrogance that is driving your disquieted soul. Think about your real desire for control of the future, control of circumstances, control of and desire to out-wit everyone and everything. Ask the Lord to reveal your heart’s alignment with the world’s malcontent and then to realign your heart to God’s quiet heart.
2. Train your mind with psalm 130-131 until you begin to see the limits of your life, the limits of your abilities, the limits of your strength, and the limits of your humanity.
3. Pray the psalm over your life that God would quiet your soul with his hope.
Then Rest in This:
There was a man who suffered like no other, and he never found fault with God, he never lifted up his heart with pride and his eyes with arrogance, he never was driven with discontent and he never exposed his heart up to the world’s malcontents and agitators – his soul was like a weaned child, resting, hoping, quietly in the presence of his Father. And he died, making atonement for every mumbling word that has come from our mouths. He was raised to declare you righteous by faith and he lives to make intercession for you and will provide the grace you need to not only pray Psalm 131 but to provide the quietness of soul that you long to have. His name is Jesus, the only and pure innocent one who is the true hope of our preoccupied souls in the night.