“MUSINGS WHILE IN THE HOLD”
Pondering Faithful Trust and Contrite Supplications
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psa. 62:8)
“Trust in him at all times; ye people.” The conviction of the Prophet reads: I will trust my salvation, because my salvation is God. I will not be afraid for Jehovah my salvation is also my strength and my song. Therefore with joy shall I draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Is. 12:2-3). Faithful and committed hearts taught of the Lord are fixed, trusting in Him at all times. (Ps. 112:7). Being convinced by the Holy Spirit in the word, they commit their way unto the Lord; trusting also that He will bring marvelous things, both temporal and spiritual, to pass. (Ps. 37:5). Trusting in Him at all times, in whatever station divine providence has placed them. Trust, like so many other faithful properties is best brought to light under sore trials and unyielding temptations. When the hopeful servant is swallowed up by circumstances which are bleak at best, and they continue for elongated periods of time, dishonorable methods are hard to resist. The child of God feels like a breathless rabbit rushing through the thickets and bushes seeking to evade the evil dogs. When outnumbered by multitudes, trust is a fading commodity, and not easy to retain. Thoughts are jumbled and almost impossible to control. The strength of temptation oppresses with raging fury, while the heart melts like wax put next to the flame. There is a Godly behest however; “trust at all times; ye people.” In the shadow of His wings there is refuge. God is my refuge in the times of danger, said the Psalmist, I will rest in Him until these calamities be over passed. “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” (Ps. 57:1-2).
“Trust in him at all times.” “Should the whole frame of nature be unhinged, and all outward friends and supporters prove false and deceitful, our worldly hopes and schemes be disappointed, and possessions torn from us, and the floods of sickness, poverty and disgrace overwhelm our soul with an impetuous tide of trouble; the sincere lover of God, finding that none of these affects his portion and the object of his panting desires, retires from them all to God his refuge and hiding place, and there feels his Saviour incomparably better, and more than equivalent to what the whole of the universe can ever offer, or rob him of; and his tender mercies, unexhausted fullness, and great faithfulness, yield him consolation and rest; and enable him, what time he is afraid, to put his trust in him.” (William Dunlop).
To trust God is to abhor our own understandings and wishes. In fact to trust ourselves or any other man is a curse. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5). Solomon left directions for life in the Holy will of God. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6). See the same thought in Psalms 20:7-8; 2 Cor. 1:9-10). The command of the Lord is NOT to trust in man, nor in riches, not in our own understanding, neither in any other power, principle, or purpose. (Jer. 17:5, Ps. 52:7, 62:10; Prov. 3:5-7; Ps. 20:7).
Trusting in God with all your heart, at all times guaranties blessings and great recompense of grace. Trust in the Lord is the strong hold in the days of trouble. (Nahum 1:7). The Sovereign God of Scripture is the eternal garrison of truth. Therefore, He is worthy of explicit trust. (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 25:10, 117:2; Jn 17:17).
He is to be wholeheartedly trusted in days of utter despair and thick darkness. God alone is the stay of those that obey His voice. (Is. 50:10). Childlike trust liberates the redeemed from the fear of men, a fear which is called a snare. (Ps. 56:3; Prov. 29:25). Should God be pleased to slay the believer, He is still to be trusted. (Job 13:15). Even while in the shadow of the valley of death consecrated trust ushers forth divine comfort which ignores fears and dire circumstances. (Ps. 23:4). That this allegiance is not a natural reaction to the flesh should be easily recognized by everyone. This is Godly inspired loyalty. The gift of faith is so endowed with efficacious grace that it could remove mountains. (Matt. 17:20, 21:21-22; Mark 11:22-24). This type of trust, because it makes the Lord its only desire is unassailable to the enemy. The reason we do not experience these exceptional plateaus in faith is because of their awesome bountifulness. Faith in its present condition (less in size than a grain of mustard seed) cannot grapple with such amazing promises. Unbelief suffocates the validity of such pledges before the seed can germinate.
The promises of God with regard to faith are absolute guaranties to those who are blessed with conferred holy trust. Trusting in God procures perfect peace. (Is. 26:3). Trust in Him at all times ensures the servant of laid-up treasures and goodness which the Lord has wrought for them. (Ps. 31:19). A righteous trust assures the possessor of abundant mercies which will compass him about. (Ps. 32:10). The conviction of trust always guaranties that this attitude has the Lord as its author, and the fruit of such a persuasion is Godly stability and safety. (Ps. 125:1; Prov. 29:25). A complete trusting in God at all times guaranties divine help, divine deliverance, and divine salvation at all times. (Ps. 22:4, 37:40, 115:9-11).
“Pour out your heart before him.” The language used by David in this Psalm is sentences of complete dependence. God was his only expectation, and as such David waited, expected, trusted, and prayed accordingly. This attachment was the evidence that the dependence in God was humble, total, and genuine. “Humility consists in being dependent on grace alone.” (Facets of Prayer by Frans Bakker).
To pour out your heart simply means nothing held back or concealed. “Honesty is always the best policy.” This would be especially true when dealing with the one who knows everything about everything. God knows all about us. He has searched the hearts of men and knows their affairs perfectly, even before they have entered the heart. Man has no idea what tomorrow may bring, but the Lord knows tomorrow as thoroughly as He knows yesterday. He is infallibly acquainted with the downsitting, and the uprising of every human that ever lived. God understands the thoughts of each one of us whether pure or evil. The words we have spoken in years gone by, or words which will proceed from our lips in the future. The Lord has flawless knowledge of them before we ever consider speaking them. (Ps. 139).
Jehovah the All Knowing God entirely ascertains the intent, the aspiration, the motive, and the desire of all mankind. “Thou knowest it altogether,” nothing can be hid from the omniscient God. We need to keep these things in mind when we supplicate the Throne of Grace.
Together with dependence is coupled contrition. The truly contrite heart will be revived. “For this saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contribute and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Is. 57:15). The broken spirit and the contrite heart are called the sacrifices of God. (Ps. 51:17). It is to these burdened and broken vessels that God will look upon with favor. “… to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Is. 66:2). These are the ones the Lord has promised deliverance and salvation. If there is not a complete sense of emptiness, dependence, and unworthiness when we pray, our verbiage is nothing more than Pharisaical arrogance. To approach God with superior feelings about one’s religious functions is manifestly repugnant. However, it is not uncommon to hear glib paragraphs of righteous self-esteem in many of the prayers spoken by professed Christendom. Words which cloak a daring false humility. What is really set in the heart of this nature is, OH! Lord, I thank you that I am not like other men. Now here God is a list of my many marvelous moral excellencies which I humbly place before thee. (Lk. 18:11-12). “It is almost as if they lived a more exact life than God prescribed in His Holy Law.” (Frans Bakker)
The spirit of pouring out the heart is one of grief. “The heart is full of grief, and almost afraid to empty itself before the Lord. (John Berridge). It is conscience of its own ignorance concerning the depth of wickedness which still is ever so active within. It is troubled greatly over the coldness and insensitive nature in which the saint conducts himself. The believing soul is suspicious of his own motives, and is abundantly aware of how deceitful he still remains. The poor child is crushed by his horrible willingness that continues to flirt with and promote the vile thoughts which habitually pass through the mind. More alarming still is how we secretly wish we could have had greater freedom to exercise these filthy practices. After entertaining the fleshly pleasures, and the imagination has been played to the full, we then deem it as sinful. When the temptation has degenerated into lust, and the sinful thoughts begin to prick the conscience, a rather haphazard acknowledgment is offered to God. This lifeless reaction is not what is needed, nor should it ever be classified as repentance or acceptable contrition. It is sin and a repentance that needs to be repented of. (2 Cor. 7:10).
If darker shades of remorse are not present in supplications over our evil actions and workings of the flesh, then we have not poured out the heart to God. Why else would these Godly saints be contrite and broken if it were not for the fact that they had, by God’s merciful grace, seen the impure and obnoxious elements which loom heavily in their daily lives. May the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord cause the believer to hate his own sins and iniquities as much as the Lord hates them.
Pour out your heart, conceal nothing. The one we confess is filled to the fullest with forgiveness, mercy, compassions, grace, eternal love, and plenteous redemption. Father I have sinned and never was, nor ever shall be, worthy to call upon thy son, is the confession of the truly saddened. Here are my sins, the ones I am aware of, and the inclinations which have caused me to depart from your word. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” (Ps. 51:1-2). It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. (Rom. 2:4).
Pray for early convictions. “Arise… in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord.” (Lam. 2:19). When pouring out deep spiritual anguish, the quickened child may feel inadequate and noticeably unable to find comforting words. His thoughts are disconnected and frazzled, but there is divine help in true supplication. (Rom. 8:26). Be it ever remembered that true prayer is the result of the Lord’s pouring forth His Spirit of grace and supplication. (Zech. 12:10). This is the defining mark of praying in the spirit. Be ever on guard against any confidence in your own actions toward God. At the very best, they are permeated with flaws.
Pour out your hearts, thoughts, imaginations, desires, sorrows, doubts, fears, and sins. Hide nothing, hold nothing back, turn the soul upside down until all that is inside is poured out. To do less than this is to regard iniquity. To regard, is to favor, conceal, acknowledge the presence of, but not confess in reality. (Ps. 66:18). It may be cleaned up, dressed up, excused and pampered, but this special care of sins only deadens the ears of Jehovah. Yet, He alone can deliver us from such a vile practice.
If our intention in prayers is to rehabilitate the flesh, we have been severely misled. We are commanded to mortify it, kill it, and crucify it daily. We are never to trust, love, or make provisions for the flesh. Show it no quarter, None! (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24; Col. 3:5; Rom. 13:14).
Pour out the heart of your thoughts and imaginations. The thoughts and imaginations of the flesh are said by God to be a great wickedness, and only evil continually. (Gen. 6:5, 8:21). The heart of the sons of men are full of evil, and madness possesses them while they live. (Eccl. 9:3). An evil man brings forth evil things. (Matt. 12:35). Man exults in applauding man for his good works and deeds in the world. They give awards and honors on their behalf. Sadly, even believers are caught up in this worldly infatuation. The Scriptures, however, denounce all such empty parading as unholy. These worldly spectacles are a faithless aversion. Because whatever is not of faith is sin. Without faith it is impossible to please God. The lofty looks, the arrogant heart, and even their enshrined earthly works are all labeled evil deeds. These natural man-made heroes in their present condition are not subject to God or His word. Even their so-called religious acts and prayers are an abomination to God. (Note: Rom. 14:22; Heb. 11:6; Prov. 21:4; Rom. 8:7; Prov. 28:9).
The redeemed because of their new life in Christ are free from the damnation of sin. However, the evil principles of the flesh are still present and warlike in them. (Gal. 5:17; Rom. 8:28). The admonitions and warnings to the saved are many and varied with respect to this wicked nature of the flesh. A nature that will hold powerful sway until it is swallowed up in victory. Jesus said, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Paul announced that evil was present in this body of death. That in the flesh there dwells nothing that is good. The willingness to do evil is ever active, and that sin is in our members. He informed his readers plainly of the harsh and brutal warfare. The descriptive power of the flesh was not minimized. He proclaimed that without divine intervention, it was able to take captives by its strength. (Matt. 26:41; Rom. 7:14-25; Gal. 5:16-26).
All of these testimonies were written for our learning, and to inform the children of God of their need to pour out their hearts in total dependence unto Him. Believers are much more dependent upon the Lord than even the most well enlightened can thoroughly comprehend.
The believer’s thoughts and imaginations are often subject to vanity. We rewrite our own history and place ourselves in high positions. These fictitious embellishments are immersed with the praises of men. The heart lusts for worldly honor and admiration. In this make-believer prestige we become the envy of the masses. Riches abound and our opinions are considered gospel. In these vile wanderings we are free to indulge in all manner of fleshly pleasure, and the world feeds our passions with a golden spoon.
That is not to say the believer is always caught up in these evil theaters of vain thoughts, albeit some spend a great deal of time in romancing these wild excursions of the mind. To those alive to spiritual convictions they know very well the lustful and covetous imaginations of their sinful flesh.
The religious arena is likewise molested by the tempter. This is apparent when Christians have proud assessments of their so deemed exploits and achievements in church affairs. As it was with the Pharisee, there is in our frame the same hungry disposition to be seen of men. It makes one feel so good and righteous when he is recognized for his pure and sound testimony. With all these things in view does not the summons thunder even louder; “Pour out your heart before him.”
The contrite heart, the broken spirit, the totally dependent servants who believe in, and stick to, the counsels of the Lord will manifest the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-25). They will be shown the secrets of God’s covenant. (Ps. 25:14). Neither shall they be ashamed in the face of their enemies. They will all triumph in Christ. When by grace through faith the quickened depend on the Godhead, and daily relinquish all confidence in themselves, they as believers shall be armed with all-powerful weapons. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
Pour out the heart of your sorrows, fears, desires, doubts, and sins. In all of these situations we need to encourage ourselves with the considerations of who we are dealing with. It is in the name of Jesus that believers have access to God. We can be bold in Him in faithful praying. The confidence we can have is as trustworthy as Deity, as long as that confidence is in the finished work of Christ. In the name and faithfulness of Jesus the children of God can pour out their hearts to a Father that is incomparably more loving than any earthly father. His love is unsearchable and dripping with compassions which fail not.
God spared not His own Son for the objects of His affection. The blood purchased child is advised to cast all cares upon Him. Why? Because He careth for them. (1 Pet. 5:17). This Holy blood cleanseth from all sin. When by saving grace we receive this mercy, we confess our sins. The promise of God is that through the vicarious obedience of Jesus Christ, we are cleansed from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn. 1:7-9).
When God is all the things named in this Psalm to His people, they shall never desire anything that is contrary to Him. The desires of the righteous shall be granted. (Prov. 10:24). The redeemed will be delivered from all fears, all troubles, and none that make Him their trust shall be desolate or disappointed. (Ps. 34:4, 6, 7, 15, 17, 22). God is truly the refuge for His children.