- Pastor Jon Hicks
The Right Order
Ladies, you have to understand that the struggle is real. Guys, I feel your pain. What am I talking about? Reading and following the directions of the instruction manual whenever we make a new purchase. It seems so superfluous and unnecessary. It feels like I can just figure it out by looking at it. Maybe the temptation to make it work, assemble it, use it without consulting the instructions comes from too many yard sale purchases. I don’t know, but I do know that I’d rather just jump in without the directions. (Julie is very thankful that I don’t feel this way about asking for directions while driving.)
But what about the directions for assembling our life? Where do we start, and how do we maintain it? How can we troubleshoot the problems? Psalm 115 offers guidance for the person looking to correctly build his life according to God’s ways.
First, we need to start in the right spot. To reference the opening illustration of a new purchase and a manual, we need to know what the new tool should be used for. A new weed trimmer will do an awful job of cleaning your floors; just like a vacuum cleaner will do a terrible job of trimming your lawn. Our psalm tells us that all glory should not go to ourselves but to God.
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
We can’t possibly build our lives well unless we know what it is that we are supposed to do—bring God all glory. Why does God deserve all glory—because of Who He is. He is driven by His great love—mercy, and He is guided by His never changing nature—truth.
Second, we must know what can disrupt our purpose to glorify God in all that we are and do. The greatest threat to God’s glory shining through our lives is idolatry. Idolatry is anything that receives our worship apart from God Himself. We give our worship because we expect the object of that worship to supply us with meaning, relevance, and fulfillment. However, the psalm points out that idols are powerless to fill our hearts and help us. It doesn’t matter how strong the idol may appear or how deep our longing for them to complete, they remain inanimate and powerless to help.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Third, we need to realize with the eyes of faith that it is actually God Who meets and fills and comforts the longings of our hearts. God thinks of us and cares for us—verse 12. God blesses us and gives us increase no matter our human standing—verse 13-15. God alone has the resources to meet our needs and provide for us—verse 16.
So we must return to our purpose. Glorify God with all that we are. He designed us and created us for His pleasure and glory. While we live, we have both the mandate and the opportunity to praise God.
The dead do not praise the Lord,
Nor any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!