A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.
LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD— now and always.
-Psalm 131 (NLT)
Psalm 131 is more of a private prayer, than the previous psalms. After everything that the Lord has brought me through, I want to be able to say, "my heart is not proud and my eyes are not filled with arrogance".
My flesh or my carnal self wants to be proud and wants to run the show. It thinks it is superior to others. Our sick selfish selves are grandiose. We take the place of God, in our own and other's lives.
If we think we are better than others, and that is what 'haughty eyes' mean, then we are off-track, and the 'homework' from the previous eleven step psalms has not been taken seriously. David, with all he went through, and with all the favor and blessings from God in his life, learned humility. We have to learn it too.
When we evaluate, critique, or judge others ungraciously; we stand in danger of being the proud person that God must resist. But, if you have embraced suffering with Christ (Psalm 129), and if you have had a revelation that there is more redemption that you need (Psalm 130); then you are ready to pray Psalm 131.
We need to know our sphere of responsibility, or what our assignment is. There is humility in knowing that you don't know all the answers. Kings, presidents, and leaders in every sector are wise if they realize that they don't know everything, even in their area. There is always more to be learned and we need to know our limits.
The big idea throughout all of the songs of the steps or pilgrim songs, is trusting God, and Psalm 131 carries on this theme. By not being proud, arrogant, pretentious, and better than others, we are displaying or living out trust in God.
We need to remind ourselves that we are not God. We need to learn to control our selves, to calm and quiet our souls. We need to exercise faith, and wean ourselves from being a crying baby. We learn dependence on God and never out grow it, as we grow up.
If you can not say, "Lord, my heart is not proud", right now, you can repent. You might circle back to Psalm 130, and admit your sinfulness and ask God to redeem you and transform you. Humble yourself, so that he might lift you out of that deep pit of darkness. Wait for rescue and seek for God to change out your defective character.
It is good to know you are loved and no matter what the gifts are that are operating in your life, you are just one of God's many servants on the earth today. That seems to be David's attitude. We need to have a proper sense of our selves, as David did.
Psalm 131 teaches us that we need to learn to still and quiet our souls, as a way of humbling ourselves, to the point that we can say honestly that we are done with pride, the pride of thinking we know it all or the pride that thinks we are in control, even as we try to exert control through worry.
Pride needs to die on the cross. There is a strange form of pride that says the we are uniquely so bad, that God does not want to bother with us. That is a lie and a deception. We need a big God and small people. God's love and grace is beyond us.
As we humble our selves, and stop all the crying and chatter, we will find that God will fill the space we make with depth in our lives. And we will be patient to wait on God and wait on people, because our hope is in God, not our selves or other people.
This was our twelfth step or degree. Here is the review of the previous ones:
- We learn to call upon God and that God saves us and answers prayers.
- We learn that God is our guardian, watching over us.
- We learn to be worshipers, desiring God.
- We choose to humble ourselves as servants as we ask for mercy.
- We cultivate seeing God's workings in our lives, then sharing the stories.
- We learn to live a life of trusting the Lord, that brings security.
- We discover that there is more or we have lost something and ask God for it and learn to release the grief of our hope differed, through tears and we persevere in our walk towards God, with weeping as we walk, and experience astonishing joy from God.
- We learn to trust God to build everything, and we labor under God in building, learning to enjoy finding rest, and becoming aware of the gift of and responsibility of raising children for God.
- We learn that the result of a life of revering God and walking with him is fruitfulness, which means children: your own or spiritual, or metaphorical; and having grandchildren is the end result of a blessed life.
- We learn that suffering is part of the faith walk towards God. God uses suffering to grow us up into Christ-likeness. This may surprise us after we have done so well, 'going wide', in learning to walk with God, cultivating a rich relationship with him, and learning to enjoy the blessings. After learning to 'go wide' with God, having an enlarged 'God life', we begin to learn to 'go deep'.
- We are surprised to learn, after we have been walking with God for some time, that God has more redemptive work that he wants to do in us. We discover deep places where we want God. God in turn redeems us in those deep places with his unfailing, steadfast, covenant love; and we are made more like Christ.
- We learn to humble our selves, and stop all the crying and chatter. We can say that we are not proud, to God, and that we don't have it all figured out, but have a lifestyle of trusting him in our lives, that dethrones pride. We patiently embrace the silence of waiting, and encouraging others in a life of hope in God.