Thursday, May 01, 2008

What Are You Crying About?

Reading the Psalms is one of the things I tend to do on a daily basis. Recently, in reading Psalm 29 (which has become one of those "I know this already" things), I was drawn to verse 9. Following is Psalm 9 from the NASB:

Psa 29:1
"Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Psa 29:2
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.
Psa 29:3
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters.
Psa 29:4
The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic.
Psa 29:5
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
Psa 29:6
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, And Sirion like a young wild ox.
Psa 29:7
The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
Psa 29:8
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
Psa 29:9
The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, "Glory!"
Psa 29:10
The LORD sat {as King} at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.
Psa 29:11
The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace."

Again, my focus was on verse 9, particularly the phrase 'And in His temple, everyting says, "Glory!" '

How often do we read this and think of it as something happening somewhere distant (which it is) but yet don't realize how relevant it should be to each and every one of us who names the name of Jesus Christ?

Paul has told us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians) to see if we are really in the faith.

You may say "Ok, so what?". Well, if you are a true believer in Christ, Paul says you are a temple. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19 (an often abused verse by the legalists to justify their list of taboos) that sexual sin is a sin against the "temple", which is the believer's body. In saying this, he is telling us about what it means to be a "temple" in the negative sense. . .specifically fleeing sexual immorality. But there is a positive side to it, and I think we see a hint of this in Psalm 19.

This Psalm has been a focus for me over the past two days. What is it that is crying from the inside of this "temple" that God has transformed me into? Is it crying for everything to be about God's Glory? See, when a person is transformed, there is new life. And if there is new life, there will be a new cry. And that new cry, which has been placed there by God, will be about the Glory of God. Not self, not anything else. But the Glory of God.

What thoughts, words and deeds conform (or don't conform) to this standard? Anything that falls short of this standard is sin and calls for a "cleansing of the temple". It is time to drive out the "moneychangers" in our thoughts, words and actions that betray unbelief.

Paul, in correcting the Corinthian error in the area of food and drink, said this:

1Cr 10:31
"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Whatever we do. Whatever!

What of your thought life? Again, hear Paul:

2Cr 10:5
"{We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
2Cr 10:6
and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
2Cr 10:7
You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ's, so also are we."
(emphasis mine).

Did you catch that? "Let us consider this again. . ." within ourselves. It's an inside job.

So, what is going on in your heart? What are your thoughts focused on? Why do you do what you do? Is it for your own glory? Why do you say what you say? To impress others? Or to to bring Glory to God?

What of your attitudes? Be brutal with yourself and ask something like "What is it in my life, in thought, word or deed that doesn't glorify God that I'm holding on to like the rich man who walked away from Jesus?".

The rich man in Matthew 19 worshipped the idol of his posessions. But idols don't have to be material things. They can be attitudes, thoughts and actions. Anything that robs God of his Glory. What thoughts and attitudes do we need to give up, so God can be glorified when we have a change of heart? Is the false image you worship an "image" of yourself that you wish others to believe? That is a lie and is idolatry. Self worship.

Yet everything in God's Temple is to make a proclamation, which is "Glory". Glory to God, not glory to self. Every thought should be "sniffed". Every motive should be examined. Thoughts and motives turn into actions. And what comes out of the heart shows you what is there.

Let everything in the Temple (yours and mine) say "Glory".