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Singing Psalm 115 you become like who you trust

“Of gold and silver are their gods,Which men craft carefully,And give them mouths that cannot speak And eyes that cannot see.”

“Though they have ears, they cannot hear;Their nose no scent has found.Their hands can’t feel, their feet can’t walk;Their throats can make no sound.” ~ Psalm 115:4-7

It’s ironic to ask a god to give you and those you love ears to hear the truth and eyes to see that they might walk in the truth when that god did not make you, your ears, your eyes, or your feet.

Rather you made this god. In fact, you gave it eyes, ears, and feet that don’t function. How can you ask such a god to help with anything, never mind to save you from anything?

But you were created by God who is functional beyond your imagination. He, being triune, is a social being, and he made you a social being too.

You likely learned to talk or walk by age two without formal or informal lessons. And if you were a younger sibling, you had more people to imitate and so it’s likely that you learned to do these things in even less time than your older siblings did.

Without studying, as you made progress in speech and movement, you didn’t end up speaking a language or languages other than the ones your family speaks. And you didn’t end up flying.

For better or for worse, you end up trusting those who you hang around. The good influences from God’s Word and those who keep it are a blessing while bad company corrupts good character.

How does it happen that you become like who you trust and that who you trust is not God? How can you start out trusting God who abundantly gives life and over time find that you have turned to trusting in lifeless idols? Or if you started out without a knowledge of God and came to know him what stops you from growing in your love for him?

Through a series of deceptions over time, you can unwittingly, subtly spiral downward exchanging the truth of God for a lie.

This exchange can happen in the best of places, in neutral places, and in the worst of places. It happens within, with “an image formed by the art and imagination of man.” (Acts 17:29) The following section explores ways that you can be influenced in your heart to trust false gods and how you then become like who you trust.

If any of this resonates with you, if this is in any way where you find yourself now, may the Lord give you grace to stop you in your tracks and turn you. “And you were dead…but God made you alive. You were separated from Christ…but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” ~ Ephesians 2:1-4, 12-13

Singing Psalm 115 you become like who you trust – a wooden simulation?

You become like who you trust: the world

It is unfortunately quite common to borrow trouble before we learn how we should walk in a way that is worthy of our calling and with whom.

For many, Google algorithms and statistics have replaced relationships with those who have a couple to a few more decades of life experience. Being truly malleable and inquisitive used to bring people to consult with the wise when advice was wanted or needed.

Now if you just ‘google’ it, you often miss the subtleties and nuances that references you to God as your foundation that human connections provide. You become like who you trust so multi-generational relationships have an important place as do peers.

The more you claim plasticity yet deep down wanting to win more than to learn, the more ossified you become in reality. Over time your hardened position can get so cemented and lifeless that you cease to examine what you think you already are sure of. You might not even believe what you say and wonder if you ever did. The cracks are exposed, and you become like who you trust.

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” ~ Daniel 4:37

If you have a notion that things aren’t right with the way the world is run, you might begin to wonder where God is and why his people seem distant. If any are friendly, you become afraid that you might be just a charity case in their eyes. You second guess yourself and begin to doubt, are they real or pretending?

If you’ve lived with intense conflict in marriage and family, that is enough to disorient you and leave a bad taste in your mouth. You hope for a better alternative.

You get lost in thinking you are called to follow conflicted, pretending sinners who sound good and lose sight of your righteous Lord and Savior who calls you to follow him only.

You don’t feel right about who you are, who you’re becoming. God doesn’t seem near anymore. You stop looking up to him. You look around you and see that others have taken it upon themselves to do outward things that seem to address what is unsettling you.

You’ve moved away from God and his people because your perception has become skewed. They seem to be distant, distorted, distracted, out of touch, and out of reach.

It doesn’t occur to you that it is you that moved, stopped caring, stopped serving, stopped probing.

“Why should the heathen nation say,‘Why does their God keep still?’For our God lives in heaven high,And carries out his will.” ~ Psalm 115:2-3

The heathen nations say “Why does their God keep still?”

You might wonder the same and question God too, yet you don’t question whether the ones doing things only outwardly might be deceived. They seem happy enough and you notice a trend that others feel a part of this new group where they get the sense that they belong.

Perhaps these are the sharp thought talons that hook those that are given over to compulsive behaviors.

Before long you mimic what they do. “If they can do it, so can I.” So desperate are you for the sense of connection that you never had or haven’t had for years that you succumb to chasing after the societal norms of your fancy.

After feeling rejected and like a misfit for so long, you think you have finally found where you could fit in.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked.” ~ Acts 17:30-32

“If the world is against the truth, then I am against the world.” ~ Athanasius of Alexandria

You become like who you trust: those who are not what they seem

It might feel so good to fit in that it doesn’t occur to you that it is counterfeit. Because it is outward-based and worldly, it is a mere imitation, a wooden simulation of real connection.

The promise of connection, even false, is so powerful a lure, that without reservation you become like who you trust.

You find this simulation among those in competitive sports all the way to those who elect to undergo plastic surgery. You might only trust those who have similar challenges or desires, such is the power of belonging. Rather than being open to relationships with people from different backgrounds, those that don’t share your particular field or struggle are suspect.

If you are considered “in” today and say something that challenges the “group think” you might, without qualification, without even as much as a question, get rejected and be “out“ tomorrow.

Wooden simulations aren’t just found in bars and strip clubs. It’s whatever you think is the solution to your problem apart from the triune God. Whatever or whoever you put your trust in more than him is sure to disappoint you over time, whether it be those in crack houses or in reputable medical establishments.

You might feel that no one can exactly relate to or fully understand your particular sorrows and that yours are considerably worse or more misunderstood than anyone else’s. Once you find a group of people who somewhat relate though, you begin to feel less odd.

When people hear you and share your experiences and emotions with solidarity, you begin to feel empowered. Corporations require diversity training so groups can at least tolerate if not ally themselves with other groups.

Countless platforms shout with mouths like open graves, “Here is the way, follow _____ !”

What they don’t let you in on is that this way is loaded with lying, dead idols that seem to magnetize you to become like who you trust.

“When an idol fails you, the real culprit turns out to be the person who has urged you to worship it— not the person who has tried to take it away.”*

Real relationships are clouded from your eyes by a foggy mist of what sounds like the support and affirmation that you crave.

The group you attach yourself to might be a smokescreen that shields you from the truth that, though painful, would set you free.

Words spoken by those outside the mist sound false. You have convinced yourself they can’t be trusted. You are trapped in a make believe world where truth seems like lies and lies seem like truth.

You never set out to be a fake, a phony. Yet you become like who you trust.

Your senses are convinced yet they are contrived.

You become like who you trust outwardly but remain an empty shell. You desperately want to be filled on the inside with real life but settle for outward conformity masking as an expression of individual identity.

You become like who you trust, either like those who water down the teachings of Christ to follow after their own desires or like those who are willing to let go of their desires, whatever flavor they may be, and follow the truth, the teachings of Christ.

“Whoever makes these lifeless gods—These idols which are vain—Whoever puts his trust in themIn time becomes the same.” ~ Psalm 115:8

Singing Psalm 115 you become like who you trust – one who helps and shields

There are blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. But in his glorious mercy in Christ, the triune God takes your curses upon himself, and gives you his blessings!

He prepares your heart to ask for his kind gift of repentance, and in mercy delivers you at the time that he appoints.

The Holy Spirit transforms your mind, maturing you, renewing you in wisdom from the inside out. You put your old self to death. You start to become like who you trust.

You become like who you trust: a faithful friend

Over time, you change your mind. You have a fire in your bones that drives you to help and shield others who are deceived as you were. “If I can do it, anyone can.” ** Yet not I, but the grace of God that is in me, you say with Paul.

You sing Psalm 115:1 together with your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world, that God chooses to do good through us, “Not unto us, LORD, no, not us, bring glory for your faithfulness and for your steadfast love.”

As Jonathan helped his friend, David, to find strength in God, you are inclined to do the same. In doing so, you become like who you trust.

He moves you. He is utterly irresistible.

He acts. He is virile. He reproduces himself in his people.

God calls into existence the things that do not exist. When he speaks, it’s as good as done.

He shares his lovable attributes with those he brought from nothing to life that you would trust him. God graciously moves you to become like who you trust.

He is what brings you to your senses, clears your palate of the smells and tastes of the pigpen. The prodigal sons and daughters are awakened to their longing for their Father’s embrace.

You receive his affectionate touch as one who finally knows you have arrived home. Your eyes meet, your voices are one as you tell the story to other wayward ones and offer hope from estrangement to reunion.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest…” ~ Matthew 11:28-29

You become like who you trust: a transformed truth-seeker

You see many who are powerful yet don’t use their power to proclaim the truth and make much of Christ. Instead, they make much of themselves.

Here you have God, the Word became flesh, who has been given all authority in heaven, and on earth, who has all power. How does he describe himself? Gentle and lowly.

If you had all the power in the world, would you describe yourself that way?

This is something different enough, other enough, beautiful enough to grab your attention. And if this doesn’t grab your heart , may the Lord graciously give you an existential crisis that will magnetize you in the right direction where you seek and find the truth in Christ, eagerly waiting for his return.

“I form light and create darkness;I make well-being and create calamity;I am the Lord, who does all these things.“For thus says the Lord,who created the heavens(he is God!),who formed the earth and made it(he established it;he did not create it empty,he formed it to be inhabited!):“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

“I did not speak in secret,in a land of darkness;I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,‘Seek me in vain.’I the Lord speak the truth;I declare what is right.” ~ Isaiah 45:7,18-19

The word of the cross. Is it folly or is it the power of God? The answer you get to that question will vary depending on who you ask and when you ask the person. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

The Lord’s unchangeableness does not render him useless as the heathen nations wrongly surmised.

On the contrary, he always acts according to his perfect will and character at just the right time. Your part is to trust him and wait for it. You become like who you trust — one who helps and shields.

He transforms you from the walking dead forever seeking to be in an altered state to truly alive, able to help and protect others by directing them away from false helps and insecurity to the One who truly is our help and shield.

Singing Psalm 115 you become like who you trust – Jesus

“Not unto us, LORD, no, not us,But to your name above,Bring glory for your faithfulnessAnd for Your steadfast love.” ~ Psalm 115:1

Once you are no longer imprisoned in the make believe world of your choosing and can breathe the fresh air of your Father’s real world, you think of those still enslaved and want to be a blessing to them.

You become like who you trust – Jesus in whose image you were made. Though that image was distorted, the Holy Spirit is remaking you until the image of Christ is restored and perfected in you independent of what anyone else is doing, dependent only on him.

You become like who you trust: one who walks with God

You can begin from wherever you are. Come to Jesus whose grace is sufficient for you. He is strong where you are weak. In fact, his power is made perfect in your weakness.

Trust him who is unseen as infinitely more real and reliable than those who are seen. As he walked the earth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus did the following:

In helping the deaf man to hear he lets you know he hears you. He helps you become like who you trust: one who listens, who hears.

In helping the blind man to see, he lets you know he sees you. He helps you become like who you trust: one who actually sees.

By touching the man with leprosy, he lets you know he touches you. He helps you become like who you trust: one who really touches.

By giving you the Lord’s supper, he lets you know he is so present with you. He helps you become like who you trust: one who tastes and sees that the Lord is good.

Instead of rejecting you, he rejected your sins. You are filled with him and are satisfied. Your fellowship with him at this meal awaits the promise of much more.

He is the fragrance of life. He gives you abundant life, and you become like who you trust.

He is as real as if you could physically touch him now. Though you cannot see him, he fills all your senses, gives you rest, and you become like who you trust.

He loves you, you love him back and wholeheartedly become like who you trust.

Learning from him who is gentle and humble in heart, you can be a friend to those who don’t know how to be and even to enemies, and so become like who you trust.

Jesus, the master friend, meets your greatest and smallest needs, sets an example that you should follow in his steps whether you are great or small, and you become like who you trust with working parts that form a whole — not a simulation.

Your creator God controls the senses you perceive. You see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. He also controls the hidden senses, vestibular, proprioception, and interoception, that you don’t perceive.

Jesus is whole and not fragmented. He brings clarity, balance, comfort, and life to ground you so you know where you stand, no longer fluid or gaseous tossed to and fro by every wind of teaching that blows your way, but firm and solid.

Each challenge is tailor-made for each individual to form Christ in each one of his people. This is another problem with “group think.” Carry one another’s burdens? Yes, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Take on someone else’s challenge as if it is yours? No, lest you neglect to perceive and take on your own challenges.

While some ignore Jesus or place him in a corner of their lives as though he were impotent and not important, you “see and savor the sovereign supremacy of Jesus above all things.”***

You become like who you trust: one who talks with God

Like his first disciples, you often do things you ought not or you’d rather not.

They slept when Jesus asked them to keep watch with him while he had the most intense conversation with our Father. His loud cries and tears were not affected but a genuine outpouring of the distress of his soul, overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

They worried while Jesus slept in the boat before they woke him and he calmed the storm.

Peter, James, and John were in a deep sleep when Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about the redemption he would soon bring and was outwardly transfigured before them.

Our Father conversed with them. He spoke words of life to them. He commended Jesus before them. He let them know that he is pleased with Jesus and commanded them to listen to him.

Adam was put into a deep sleep when God had something greater for him to engage in than playing with animals. He made from his body someone suitable for him who could help him and who could converse with him.

He and his counterpart found out the hard way when they trusted the serpent’s words over God’s that you become like who you trust. They got ahead of God when they ought to have followed him, caught up to him, and walked with him.

If you tend to forget spiritual insights quickly, it’s because Satan snatches the seeds from your mind before they get a chance to take root.

Counter this by being diligent to seek God’s face in his Word. Ask him to preserve your meditation and memory trusting him to help you to hear his Word and to keep it.

As you think within yourself, so you are. Therefore, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

Keep a journal and a pen handy. Record your progress to become like who you trust.

Learn to “love thy body” as God made it and be patient for him to perfect it. God is in the process of renewing your mind and will transfigure your body in the twinkling of an eye.

Meanwhile, listen to Jesus when he tells you not to worry about your body, what you will eat, drink, or wear.

Be careful not to get ahead of God by being quick to alter the state of your body with esoteric foods, drinks, substances, and various other means to rush it to its perfect state, or to the ideal state that you can imagine, but rather, trust him, wait for him, and follow him.

What does God require of you but you act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God? That’s it.

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by men, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind, life and breath and everything.” ~ Acts 17:24-25

God doesn’t need anything from you. He just wants you.

He wants to give you the relationship of your dreams as you walk with him and talk with him.

You’ll catch up to him in stride and walk comfortably with him. You’ll become comfortable in your own skin as you become like who you trust.

Neither sleep nor death can separate you from the home you have found in Jesus.

Through sleep, death, and beyond, you live together forever with your truest friend.

Living with him, you are truly home.

You will awake from your deep sleep and know you are so much more than what you look like, sound like, feel like, or what you taste or smell.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23

You continually converse with the triune God and are solidly and uprightly who he made you to be.

You trust him. You have become like who you trust never to sleep or die again but to live abundantly.

Your identity is God alone.****

“The LORD has kept us in his thoughts;And He will bless us still…

“He’ll bless all those who fear the LORD,The great as well as small.O may the LORD still prosper you,You and your children all.” ~ Psalm 115:12-14

*Is God Anti-Gay? And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible and same-sex attraction, Revised and Expanded Edition, by Sam Allberry, The Good Book Company, UK, 2015, p. 77

April 3, 2022 – March 31, 2023


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