It’s been said that much of Christianity happens between the ears. Well, aside from the historical, once-for-all, finished, good news of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and the supernatural working of the Spirit in giving and leading life, I agree. What do we do with this information contained in the Word? What do we think about ourselves in God’s grand scheme? How do we process our sin and suffering? What occupies our silent musings, anxious fears, and those moments of joyful pleasure? The new life birthed in us by the Spirit of God is far more than what we “do”. The Pharisees “did”, religious systems call adherents to “do”, and the near miss, yet entirely different, message of Biblical moralism is also intent on the “doing”. Yet the Psalmist calls us to a different order of living. One far simpler and much deeper. Listen to Psalms 19:14 with fresh ears,
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
My Rock and My Redeemer
Let’s start from the end. The Psalmist, in this case David, knows who God is, and to whom he belongs. He is LORD (Yahweh), the personal-powerful God of All. He is Rock and Redeemer, the solid foundation unmoved by life circumstances, and the active mover engaged in all of life’s circumstances. And … He is MY Rock and Redeemer. David knows God is his, and he is God’s. This is language of acceptance, surety, and salvation. Make no mistake, this man-after-God’s-own-heart sinner knows his purity does not earn him grace any more than his sin removes it. What does this confidence move David to pray?
Being Accepted Motivates Acceptable Living
The human heart is hard-wired to perform. We do and we get. We prove and we are rewarded. We walk acceptably and we are accepted. The Gospel of Psalm 19:14 says different. David walks in the confidence of his acceptance before his Rock and Redeemer, and prays to now walk acceptably. Because he knows his “acts” don’t earn him favor, he pushes far beyond the surface behaviors where he has experienced both success and failure. He pushes to mediate on his meditations, and the subsequent words that flow from his mind-heart and out his lips.
Meditating on Your Meditations
Now we’re back to where we started, and the penetrating question of what goes on between your ears. Or speaking more holistically, what rattles around in your thinking and is wrestled with in your inner-being (heart)? When you’re alone and have nothing to think about, what do you think about? When you’re sad, lonely, discouraged, and afraid, what fill your meditations to occupy your soul and insulate your heart from hurt? Dare I say, the Psalmist David has drilled down to the very core of our beings, and forced a “test” as to our deepest desires and true beliefs. That test: What do you mediate on? The call: Slow down and reflect on what you’re reflecting on, meditate on your meditations, let the Spirit of God expose where the inclinations of your soul lead you.
What then? Don’t pretend they aren’t there, God knows they are. Don’t force a “good act” to convince yourself you are fine and in no need of help. And don’t pile up shame and condemnation thinking your acceptance is in jeopardy. Ask for help! The very next verse (Psalm 20:1) reads, “May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!” You mediate on your meditations so you can ask for help from the God who is your Rock and Redeemer … and He answers you! Our gracious God, who has accepted us in Jesus, ever lives to make our meditations, words, and behavior acceptable as we take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), put a guard over our lips (Proverbs 13:3), and walk in obedience (Romans 6:16). He has done it and He will do it!
Living in Acceptance,