23 Dec 2013

Impressing God

Submitted by John T Reagan

He is not impressed
By the strength of a horse;
He does not value
The power of a man.

Yahweh values those who fear Him,
Those who put their hope
In His faithful love.

Psalms 147:10, 11


My Bible is full of bookmarks. That’s because somehow I always end up reading in lots of different places in the Bible at once. It's not that I don't see the value of reading a section through to the end before going on, it's just that I really haven't been able to operate in that mode very often throughout my life. Generally, when I sit down with my cup of tea for my morning quiet time, I slip into the spirit, perhaps pray some in tongues, and try to hear from the Lord where He wants me to read and that is where I turn. (That gift of tongues is a great tool to aid us in "slipping into the spirit"!)

One of my bookmarks is in the Psalms and, at the time of this writing, I have reached the final songs of that wonderful book. While I have always appreciated the final psalms – they are awesome praises offered to God – I have sometimes hurried through them. When I read the Scripture, I generally am looking for the verse or passage that, highlighted by the Holy Spirit, jumps off the page at me, impacting my soul with its truth. Up to now the final songs of the Psalms haven't done that much for me. Until yesterday. Yesterday I read the Scripture quoted above – Psalms 147:10, 11 – and the Holy Spirit drove it into my heart.

Most people in today's urbanized America cannot appreciate the imagery of "the strength of a horse" in verse 11, but I can. I haven't ridden horse since I left the farm for college many years ago, but I do appreciate what God created when he crafted the horse. To be honest, there is little about the horse that is not to be admired. Their solid bodies are pure muscle and operate with perfectly coordinated synchronization. Just to watch a horse run, all-out, across a field is an experience in itself. Its muscles ripple, its mane and tail fly in the wind, and, best of all, the joy of life flows from this work of God's creative artistry. God put something of Himself into the horse.

I do appreciate the strength of a horse – but God doesn't. Neither does He value the power and accomplishments of man. If God put something of Himself into the horse, how much more did He put into man, God's very image? What man can accomplish – even as limited by sin as we are – is truly astounding. Consider the magnificent accomplishments we see right now in America. Set aside the skyscrapers, the airplanes, the satellites and the moonwalks and just look at the tremendous things that have become a normal, everyday part of our lives, and you have reason to be impressed! Yet God isn't.

God looks at the heart, and what He looks for first is a heart that fears Him – a heart that respects and honors Him and places Him first. God also looks for faith in a heart that hopes in Him, rather than in man's strength. He looks for a heart that believes He is faithful and truly loves us. When He finds that kind of heart, then He truly values and treasures it.

 

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