I read Psalm 103 this year on Good Friday, and it has become one of my absolute favorites! Lately, I’ve been reading Bible verses out loud instead of to myself, and you would not believe the difference it has made. It’s almost like I’m proclaiming it to myself- as if hearing it actually spoken makes it more real than simply reading it. At first, I felt a little awkward. With this Psalm, I just kept reading it over and over though. It captures a heart that is full of gratefulness for what God has done. It reminds me of forgiveness and love and patience and compassion- and weakness. Yes, the last one is not a typo.
The more and more I get into God’s Word, the more I realize just how weak I am and how much I need Him. It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life. I talked about this in one of my posts a few weeks ago. I had been striving to meet the “standards,” to be “good enough” for God. What a relief it has been to embrace His unconditional love once again! It is so refreshing and rejuvinating once you realize that God doesn’t love you any more or any less if you spend ten minutes in prayer or thirty. That’s why I love Psalm 103. Praise, praise, praise. Who else can love like He loves?
Verse 14 has been on my mind since Good Friday, and it has dramatically changed my thinking. “For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” After reading that Psalm, you’re probably thinking….okay, that wouldn’t have been my pick, but let me explain.
I’M DUST! I’m a big lump of dust! God knows that. Sometimes I try to puff myself up and act like I’m more than that. I’M DUST! I’m weak, and on my own, absolutely worthless. I’m just a shell here on earth. But, but….when Christ lives in me. Wow. Now that is something worth looking at. When Christ lives in me and in You, people notice. He disciplines me and corrects me and changes me, but “he remembers we are only dust.” When I fall short of God’s glory, He isn’t suprised. He knows that I will. What matters is the motivation of my heart. Is my whole heart seeking after God?
I used to think that in order to seek fully after God, you had to be a devoted Christian who studied the Bible six hours a day and evangelized at least two (okay, maybe these numbers weren’t always the same, but you get the idea). The amazing thing about Christ is that He is everywhere- in the car, in my class, at the office. God doesn’t speak to me just from the Bible, and He doesn’t use me to speak to others only when I set aside two hours. Day in and day out, He purposes each and every move.
Have you ever stopped to think about that? I was walking home from the gym tonight, and I thought to myself….God knew exactly what time I would go to the gym tonight. He knew how long I would run, when I would get tired, and when I would begin gasping for air (haha- just kidding). The crazy thing is He actually knew that not only for me, but for each and every person around me. And He knew that I would be sitting here, on April 16, writing about Him. And He knew that you would be reading this right now. Crazy, isn’t it?
Okay- back to the seeking fully after God idea (sorry for my tinge of ADD kicking in ; ). I used to think in order to seek fully after God, you had to be chained to a desk praying and reading the Bible. After your hours of study and prayer, you could then go boldly proclaim to others the Good News. Only people in full time ministry can really serve God, or that’s what I thought. Well, God’s been using me in ways I never thought possible. Whether it’s conversations at work, or with people in line at Chick N’ Grill. Every movement He purposes for a reason. And the great thing about it all is that when your heart and mind are fully focused on Christ, you can be doing whatever it is you need to be doing and still glorify Him. There’s always what Tozer calls that “secret communion,” that goes on between you and God. If you love someone, they’re always on your mind. You can’t wait to spend time with them and share with them what’s been going on in your life, and you look forward to hearing about their life.
I now approach prayer not as a burden, but as a delight. When I miss my morning time alone with God, I normally say, “Man, God, I missed you this morning. Sorry about that.” I look forward to telling Him my deepest longings, my heart’s desires, and my dreams. Even more so, I love to hear Him. I absolutely love hearing God’s voice. He never disappoints, never discourages. His voice is always full of love and compassion. So back to Psalm 103. I can’t say it enough. “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”