Thursday, June 20, 2019

God and or God alone

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2, ESV)

The Hebrew version of Psalm 62 starts with the word only:  “Only for God does my soul wait in silence.”  It then repeats that word numerous times over the next eight verses.  Needless to say, it is the major theme of the psalm.  God is the only one who is worthy of our trust, and we are only trusting in him when we trust in him alone.  A. W. Tozer says it this way: “When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God himself.  The evil habit of God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation.  In the “and” lies our great woe.  If we omit the “and” we shall soon find God, and in him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”

Unfortunately, it is a very short trip from God alone to God and.  It is a very subtle shift in thinking and in being that is very hard to recognize.  We start out trusting in God alone, and then, before we know it, we begin to trust in God and our own comfort, God and our own opinion, God and our own agenda, God and our own desired outcome.  Somewhere along the line our desires have shifted from God alone to God and, and we didn’t even recognize it.

So how are we to know when we are trusting in God and rather than God alone?  The psalm, once again, gives us a clue.  Whenever we trust in God alone, we are not shaken (v. 2, 6), whatever that may look like.  It is our reaction to circumstances and situations that will let us know where I real trust lies.  If I am too attached to a certain outcome or opinion, if I am consumed with a certain situation, if I am frustrated or defensive or argumentative—all of those are signs that I might be trusting in God and rather than God alone.  Which means that I must recognize it, confess it, and repent (turn around).  I need to turn from God and, and return to God alone.  For trusting in God alone takes a good healthy detachment from my own desires, preferences, and opinions.  It requires us to be indifferent to anything but the will of God.  God become the end, not merely a means to an end.

O Lord, help us to recognize all of the ways and all of the places where we are trusting in you and something (or someone) else.  Help us to let go of those things—whoever or whatever they may be—and return to you alone.  For you alone are my rock, my refuge, and my fortress.  My salvation and my honor depend on you—alone.

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