We are currently in a series on Sunday mornings in the book of Psalms. In Ps. 46 we talked about how God is our refuge. Our “very present” help when trouble comes....and come it will. We are seeing unprecedented changes in our culture today. Many of these have a direct effect on our daily lives, anywhere from being forced to acknowledge a gay marriage, to being told who you can or cannot hire in your church, to not being sure who you might run into in your bathroom at your local Target. We face the uncertainty of the upcoming elections and what it might mean for the ongoing state of our culture and our nations place in the world. If you are like me you can be prone to discouragement, disillusionment, fear, anxiety or even depression. You used to be able to have a modicum of confidence in your elected leaders and or ultimately in our constitution. Now however it seems like everything is up for grabs and the ones grabbing the most are diametrically opposed to our biblical beliefs and values. Bottom line...we can not (or ever could for that matter) take refuge in our nation or government.
We as Christians are supposed to take refuge in the Lord....our VERY PRESENT help. In Ps. 46 the psalmist uses the word Selah three times at key intervals in the text. The word actually means silence or rest. A time when the music stops. A place where the singer is to be silent; probably to ponder what has been said. Spurgeon calls it a place where we can pause and rest amidst all the destruction in the mountains and the oceans and nations going on around us (Ps. 46:1-3). The question is do we rest in hope, and refresh and retune our instruments, or do we pick up our instruments, when we’re supposed to be resting, and play a song of fear, anxiety, and depression as we labor under all that is going on around us? I was at an event some time ago where someone started to sing a song without waiting for the accompaniment to begin. With good intentions they started to sing alone and then the piano tried to join in a different key (the right key). This was very painful as this went on for a while. I have a degree in music...trust me, it was excruciating! Unless you take the time to get back in tune with the accompaniment its not going to be a very fruitful experience or pleasant to listen to. If you want this to be a beautiful, edifying song you better make sure you’re in the right key. You don’t tune to yourself, you tune to the one accompanying you. The point is this; when life’s situations start taking a toll and it feels like everything around us is falling apart, its easy to take matters into our own hands and try in our own power to make it sound right. Instead of taking a step back, waiting in silence, and retuning with the Lord who is our very present refuge, and trusting in Him, we feel like we must launch out on our own. Spurgeon said “Too often we speak in our haste, lay our trembling hands bewildered among the strings, strike the lyre with a rude crash, and mar the melody of our life-song”. Martin Lloyd-Jones said it this way; “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” What he meant was that instead of speaking the truth of God’s Word to your heart (tuning up to Him), you spend your time listening to musings of your own heart. You are listening to yourself. You are singing your song in your own key instead of stopping and tuning up to the one who holds your whole life and future in His hands.
Are you ruining your life’s song by playing your own song when you should be resting in His song? Here’s a word for you: SELAH! Stop. Be silent. Tune up with the truths and promises of God’s Word. Do what the writer’s of the psalms say to do over and over; Wait on the Lord. Be patient. Wait. He is your very present help...your refuge and strength. In that refuge of waiting and trust you will find yourself at peace and ready for anything the Lord might have for you.
Tuning up with the Lord.....