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Singing Psalm 11 you untangle your thoughts

How is it that your thoughts get tangled?

Your thoughts get tangled when you think you are supposed to know what you cannot know on your own. You think you are alone to carry the weight of what to do, when, with whom, how, and the existential why.

How can you untangle your thoughts?

Singing Psalm 11 you untangle your thoughts by discerning what’s worth imitating

Understand the Creator-creature distinction and untangle your thoughts

If God is the author and keeper of wisdom and will give it to anyone who asks for it, it makes sense to ask him for it.

When your trust is in the Lord, you are not afraid of what anyone can do to you and your thoughts are clear.

“The fear of man lays a snare,    but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” ~ Proverbs 29:25

When your trust is in anything or anyone else, you will be afraid and want to get away. Wherever you go, there you are, still desperate to untangle your thoughts.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” ~ Luke 21:34-36

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  ~ Matthew 5:6-8

Singing Psalm 11 assures you that when you seek his ways, you will see his face. And seeing his face will untangle your thoughts to love what he loves and to hate what he hates. He will make you secure and take away all you fears.

You don’t need to fear what the wicked might do in darkness. When they think no one sees, the Lord sees since darkness is as light to him. 

He is your refuge and your strength. He will make your path straight as you follow Jesus.

How are you sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from him?

He is glad to give good gifts to his children and to reward them for seeking him. He is pleased when they receive them from him joyfully.

What level of eagerness do you have to receive his reward as you seek his face?

You untangle your thoughts by listening to, reading, and submitting yourself to God’s Word. You picture yourself in the story as you seek to imitate those who follow Christ.

Singing Psalm 11 will motivate you to find out God’s righteous ways that have been adopted as a way of life by many of God’s people throughout his Word like Joseph, Boaz, Ruth, Esther, Mordecai, Abigail, Jonathan, Daniel, Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael.

Some start out well (Job, Isaac, Solomon), others repent along the way (Job, Abraham, Jacob, David, Jonah, Paul), while still others end well (Job, Jacob, Judah, Peter).

You will be encouraged by the Syrophoenician woman, the Centurion, and the thankful leper. They expressed their honest faith in a very accurate understanding of who Jesus is, what he can do, and the praise he deserves. These stories and many more will untangle your thoughts and encourage your heart.

Singing Psalm 11 you untangle your thoughts by discerning what’s not worth imitating

Understand the fallout from the fall and untangle your thoughts

When our first parents, Adam and Eve, decided to trust their own thoughts over obeying God, they passed down the inheritance of an unrighteous nature that trusts in self over God. Their thoughts became tangled up.

Because you were adopted by God himself in Christ, you can untangle your thoughts by listening to, reading, and submitting yourself to God’s Word. You can picture yourself in the story intentionally doing things differently than those who do not follow God’s ways.

Haman built the gallows he was hung on. Absalom died fighting his father on his way to usurp his throne. Judas betrayed the greatest friend anyone ever had and was driven to suicide.

Singing Psalm 11 will motivate you to turn away from schemes to get your way. You learn to untangle your thoughts scrambled by deceitful desires. These desires pursue an illusion of control with self on the throne, control that belongs only to the Creator.

When speaking with those who placed themselves on par with the Creator of the universe, Luke records that Jesus looked directly at them, and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” ~ Luke 20:17-18

When you fall before the Lord, the living stone, seeking his ways, your ways, your plans will be broken to pieces if they were in opposition to his ways. But if that doesn’t happen, that stone will fall on you and crush you either by your taking on what only your Creator can manage, or ultimately at the final judgment.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.“ ~ James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5

Singing Psalm 11 warns your heart that if you don’t untangle your thoughts about who God is and whose you are, one made in his image living in his grace and mercy, you can expect him to “rain entangling snares” and fierce judgment.

You will see the craftiness, pretense, and political plays the religious leaders used against Jesus. They couldn’t touch him, though, until it was time for the triune God to use their evil intentions and actions to bring about the greatest possible good.

How sad to reject a free offer of salvation from Jesus, blinded by pride under the illusion that you can somehow save yourself.

In Gideon’s story, you see him testing God and at the same time you see God’s profound patience with his lack of faith and accommodates his requests to bring him along in his faith. Gideon brought a sacrifice nevertheless to the One who was so obviously above him even if he did not yet trust him.

You get to present a sacrifice to the one you trust. You must shake out whatever is ensnaring you, entangling you. Your phone, food, drink, sex can become false gods, idols that can never put you together right but are what got you entangled in your thoughts to begin with.

Francis Schaeffer calls these things false points of integration that promise false peace – good things you take in to excess or poisons disguised as healthy. It is in placing your hope in any of these things rather than in the triune God that you must untangle your thoughts.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:1-2

You see in God’s Word those who trust him half-heartedly, tenuously, that seem to need constant reassurance or they are ready to desert. You are saddened by their lack of allegiance and loyalty. You are repulsed at the thought of being the same and ask for your faith to increase that you would not imitate the half-hearted toward God but to be all in.

As you are warned by many examples in God’s Word on how not to be, you untangle your thoughts. You learn to be still and know that God is God.

Singing Psalm 11 you untangle your thoughts about relationships

Understand the work of Jesus as the antidote to the fall and untangle your thoughts

Sadly, there are many failed relationships, examples in God’s Word of people whose selfish agendas cause them to never have faith or to shipwreck their faith.

What should relationships look like? Untangle your thoughts that look to self. Look to God. Love the truth.

When someone asks how you are doing, can you say this from the heart? ”God is on his throne, everything is going his way, and he loves me.”*

That’s truly all you need to know. Knowing he’s both great and good, you untangle your thoughts and want to know all you can about this all-powerful One who chooses to love you.

What pleases him?

What does he love?

What does he hate?

Is he pleased with your plans, what you feel, what you think, what you do, where you go and with whom?

He placed everything you need to know about him and revealed it in the Bible, God’s Word. Hear it, read it, keep it.

The Word, Jesus, God the Son, became flesh and lived for a while among us, full of grace and truth. In light of his seeking you and saving you personally, you want those you love to be who they could be based on his grace and truth in their personal lives.

Knowing him is worth the pain of changing. It’s worth the disruption of old allegiances. It’s worth the discomfort of renewing your mind. 

It’s worth the time it takes to break old relationship habits and form a new mindset about your relationships.

You untangle your thoughts about relationships as you accept the rejection of those who hope in themselves and make new friends of those who hope in God alone.

How do you respond when things don’t go the way you expect them to?

How do you respond when you don’t like how things are going?

Jesus gave you the most direct way to untangle your thoughts: “not my will, but yours, be done.”

Catch the Creator-creation distinction. The Creator lowered himself to become like his creation in body to teach them to look to their creator and not to themselves because it’s the only way life works.

There is no real answer to man’s psychological need and crushing load apart from the Creator-creature framework, the comprehension of the fall, and the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ in history…when God turns to Himself as the center of the universe, there is still communication and love. But when I turn inward, there is no one to communicate with.“**

To untangle your thoughts, find out how God’s Word is directing you in every area of life. This will inform not only what you do but the intentions of your heart. It will free you of the crushing burden that only the Creator can bear.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” ~ Ephesians 4:1-3

Be committed to doing God’s will to the death, and you will live. It is through dying to self that the triune God gives life abundantly with peace.

He promises that when you seek him with all your heart, you will find him. He promises that he will never leave you or forsake you. Not one word of all his promises has failed.

He is slow to anger, compassionate, and abounding in justice and mercy. He is worthy for you to fear him and obey his commands. You untangle your thoughts when you recognize that Jesus is the best friend you will ever have.

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” ~ Matthew 11:29

Seeking to untangle your thoughts and put your trust in him, it becomes clear over time that God is the one to untangle your thoughts, emotions, words, and deeds and keep them in order after him, after all.

“My trust in the LORD;    The LORD is in his holy place;

The LORD rules over all.    His eyes will surely see;His eyelids test men’s sons.    The Lord tries just, and wicked men;His soul hates cruel ones.

Upon all wicked men    He’ll rain entangling snares…

For righteous is the LORD,    And He loves righteous ways;And everyone who upright is Will look upon His face.” ~ Psalm 11:1,4-7

**Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality, 1971, pp. 146, 151

April 1-7, 2023


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