Recently my pastor encouraged the church to be mindful, to be aware and present during all activities during the day whatever it is we do, be it driving, washing dishes, or drinking and eating so that we could worship The Lord in everything and through everything. So as I drink my tea I think about the tea, the satisfaction of it, and the source of it. I reflect about how thankful I am to have this tea and the time to enjoy it. And I praise God for my morning, my tea, and my life. This is one way to making one’s life a life of worship.
This mindfulness or awareness not only leads believers to a life of worship it also helps us to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Attentiveness to our deeds helps us to choose right over wrong, good over bad, virtue over sin. This Psalm of David encourages us to be alert to our actions and walk. Verses 1-3 read,
“I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2 I was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
3 My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:”
The tongue is one of the most powerful tools we possess. With that tongue we can praise the Lord, we can bless, testify, and encourage, or we can curse, hate, and destroy. James 3:5-12 says,
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
Most of my sins occur via my mouth. David was aware of that same problem, so his wise choice and good advice was to not speak when he was in the midst of his enemies. He wanted to stay silent in his ire rather than let loose, sin, and give those witnesses pleasure over his iniquity.
It wasn’t easy. He burned with a desire to answer them, to defend himself, and to pay them back with the kind of pain they inflicted on him. He knew what was right and he wanted to tell them, even though he knew they wouldn’t hear it. He wanted to shame them the way they shamed him. But he knew that would lead to sin. It would lead to destroying his testimony to the goodness, greatness, and awesomeness of The Lord.
But he was human and he let go and satisfied the burning desire of the flesh and sinned. He wasn’t patient enough to wait on The Lord for his justice. In his repentance God reminded him how short our time in this earth is. We live only 120 years at the longest, most never get close to that age. That is nothing compared to eternity. A year or a decade may seem eons to us, but they are specks compared to forever. God is bigger than time. He made time. He has already been to the future. He has already conquered the enemy. When we choose not to give in to temptation we are trusting God to be God for us. Verses 4-6 read,
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!”
When we look at our lives in comparison to eternity it becomes easier to let God be God. Vengeance belongs to Him. (Deuteronomy 32:35). He vindicates us. (Psalm 17:2). He is our Salvation, our Refuge, and our Strength. We are free to rest in Him. It is in leaning on Him, waiting on Him that our lives testify to Him, our Peace and our Joy, even through the worst of suffering. Verses 7-11 read,
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah”
David’s failures, his sin ate at him. He became physically ill because of the turmoil his sin caused him. The Lord’s conviction and discipline caused him deep sorrow. He didn’t wallow in the conviction, though. He let the discipline teach him. He knew The Lord was still his Hope and Deliverer. He praised God for forgiving him, instead of cursing God for chastising him. He recognized that the correction he got was not the punishment he deserved. He allowed discipline to lead him to repentance. Verses 12-13 say,
“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”
Discipline is not fun. It causes sorrow in us. But we don’t stay stuck in the muck of misery. We let God convict us and we repent. We make amends and we learn. And the next time we are faced with that temptation, we are stronger for it, we can use God’s strength and we can choose to trust God rather than sin. And though discipline is not fun we can rejoice in it, because we know The Holy Spirit is growing us to be more Christ-like. We know it is for our good. We know Discipline means our Father loves us. We know that discipline results in a richer life, treasures for this life and treasures in Heaven. Proverbs 3:11-14 says,
“My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.”
My precious loved brothers and sisters I encourage you today to let God be your Defender, keep silent rather than open your mouth and sin. I encourage you to pay attention to your life and live a life worship. I encourage you to be aware of your walk to avoid sinning. I encourage you to take note and appreciate God’s chastisement and grow.