As I read this Psalm, I can’t help but pray, “Father, make these words be true of my heart.” I hope that you will pray something similar. This Psalm is a beautiful example of what it looks like to have a heart that is truly focused on God. And the good news is that because this is the type of heart that God wants us to have, He will help us get it! I encourage you to take some time to read it with a humble and teachable spirit.
The first thing I notice in verses 1-7 is the confidence that David has in coming to God in prayer. Verses 1-4 showcase David’s argument for why he is worthy to have God answer his prayers: He is someone who loves God and trusts God, and is therefore confident that God can answer his prayers. While it is prudent for us to come humbly to God because of our sin, we must also have confidence before God because of Jesus Christ. It is not a contradiction to both tremble before God because of your sin and be confident before God because of Christ. The two must coexist, because to have one without the other is to misunderstand the Gospel. To not tremble before God because of your sin is to take your sin lightly; to not have confidence before God because of Christ means that you either minimize or don’t understand the forgiveness offered to you through the cross.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name. Ps. 86:11 (ESV)
Verse 11 is one that you should memorize, make as the wallpaper on your phone, write on your mirror, or all of the above. It’s such a wonderful picture of what following Christ should look like. We should be constantly asking God to lead us and teach us how to follow Him. Following Him closely should lead us to fearing Him and revering Him above all other things in our lives. What do you find yourself fearing instead of God? To put it another way, what are you worshipping/driven by other than God?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice