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Singing Psalm 14 for the way to sincere friendship

Singing Psalm 14 to move from wooden to sincere friendship 

When sincere friendship is sought primarily in mind

When God looks down, does he see someone checking up on you to make sure you are performing the expected obligations? Are you going through the motions, as if you can unhinge your emotions from your mind even as you talk with God, skim his word, and sing his words back to him?

Can you really separate your heart from the action as if all the Lord wants from you is to love him with all your distracted mind? This creates distance between you and those who are attempting to prod you along in this limited pursuit, not to mention grieving the Holy Spirit as you have boiled God down into his outward laws and his people into a police force.

Move from chaotic to sincere friendship

When sincere friendship is sought primarily in emotion

On the other side of things, if you are not engaging with God in your mind, and you let loose emotionally, you are unhinging your emotions from your reason, separating yourself from others, frightening them with outbursts, lost in confusion, tangled in chaos that is a challenge for anyone to make sense of. Therefore, you will either be taken advantage of by those who see you as an easy target to exploit or avoided by those who are more reasonable and who might even care but don’t know where to begin to help.

Discern a better way to seek sincere friendship

All of you, every aspect of you, is required when pursuing sincere friendship

Both imbalances cut you off from the dependent relationship you were created to have with God who intricately made you for himself. If you know you wouldn’t like these kinds of relationships, if you wouldn’t be satisfied with a relationship that only engages your mind or only pursues your feelings, or only wants to be involved with one part of you, what makes you think that God would? Do you want to be used in this way in your relationships? Do you think God wants to be used in this way in your relationship with him?

What does ‘the narrow way’ mean in sincere friendship?

The narrow way refers to depending on the Lord only and not looking elsewhere for your security. It does not mean that you are to relate to him narrowly, as if you could put him in a box and take him out on the occasions when you perceive trouble. It also does not mean that you relate to him one-dimensionally but rather, you share every dimension of who you are with him alone.

Realize that the Lord seeks you in sincere friendship

Even as you mourn, the Lord woos you to sincere friendship

Yet the Lord woos you to himself with thoughts that move you to think about how you would like to be pursued in either of these ways. “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.” Singing these thoughts softens your heart, doesn’t it?

These thoughts motivate your mind to think of how you can show your appreciation and affection for the one who promises to be with you in all the ups and downs, who gives you every good thing, who promises to make his home with you now and to prepare a place for you with him forever if you will only take him at his sure word.

You will mourn the ways that you have relied on other things to sustain you rather than the only one who has never let you down to pursue other loves. You mourn relying on other things not just because they have failed you but because you are rejecting God, the only one who offers perfectly sincere friendship.

And you are blessed in this mourning because it draws you out of hiding and into his gracious, merciful, forgiving presence where you unreservedly praise him for his steadfast love, his faithfulness, his loving kindness, and his tender mercies toward you.

Although God knows your adulterous past, he pursues you and lets you know that “your Maker is your husband.” He heals you of your unfaithfulness. No one ever loved you like he does. How can you respond with anything less than your best love, your whole heart, your whole mind, all your strength, with all your inner being (your soul), with your time both quantity and quality, and with your utmost attention?

Singing Psalm 14 for the way to sincere friendship

You want to be a sincere friend to one is a sincere friend to you. You acknowledge the presence of such a one. Singing Psalm 14 juxtaposes with one who repays sincere friendship with not only not acknowledging his presence but with absolute rejection of his existence. This strikes a chord within you as wrong and moves you to take a course as far from it as you can: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” A wise one starts out saying, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” This is soon followed by “I have seen the Lord.”

March 30, 2022


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