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Singing Psalm 64 to reset your heart



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Singing Psalm 64 to reset your heart

Is there a way to reset your heart? A pill to swallow or a button to press?

The Lord Jesus has given you the psalms to sing to move your heart to make distinctions toward a closer friendship and a more intimate affection for God who is Father, Son, and Spirit, than toward anyone else. You get to sing the psalms to reset your heart to receive the Lord Jesus, the bridge of connection to the Lord your God, and be fully satisfied in him!

Singing Psalm 64 you reset your heart to hope in the Lord

“God, hear my voice, hear my complaint,     Preserve me from my foe. Hide me from plots of evil men,     When sinners violent grow, Whose tongues are sharpened like a sword,     With bitter speech like spears; To shoot in secret at the just,     They shock and do not fear.” ~ Psalm 64:1-4

There are many voices to which your heart can attach itself. Which voice will you listen to?

Most distressing is when you listen to the voice of one who is skilled at disguising who he is inside, how he relates to you, and what his true intentions are. You either ignored the warning signs or there were no warning signs. You believed with all your heart that he was with you and were devastated when you found out his heart was not there.

What a relief that you can count on God hearing your voice when you present your distress to him and cry out to him for help. You reset your heart to know the Lord understands your hurts deeper than you can even feel them. When he has you remain in your struggle, it is to cultivate the good he is working in you. In the face of rejection, his comfort is wonderful beyond words as he gives you gifts of strength, courage, and purpose to reset your heart. God promises to be with you always—when you feel his presence—and when you don’t.

Jesus gave that comfort to all who were with him, all who would receive it. How did he assess those on the road to Emmaus who had lost hope after he died on the cross rather than continuing in hope and in faith that he would rise from the dead as he said he would? He said they were foolish and slow to believe. This is what it looks like to God when we doubt his words and his love for us in the face of trials. You reset your heart to perceive his trustworthiness and appreciate his faithfulness even when it runs counter to your personal desires. You reset your heart to change those desires to match the Lord’s desires since you rightly deem them as far better.

When the Israelites doubted God after he had saved them from the oppression in Egypt, when the spies came back with a bad report, (except for Joshua and Caleb) God had every intention of bringing them into the promised land and overtaking those who lived there without a problem. But because of their lack of faith, what they feared originally is what happened in the end. God told them he would not go before them since they did not believe him. Again, they didn’t believe him, and they went in and were sorely defeated. Their error teaches you to reset your heart to seek truth in his word, to know the Lord’s ways, and to trust him. It is self-defeating to doubt God.

O Lord, please move your people to trust you!

Balaam outwardly complied with God’s word but his mind was on what money and honor Balak was offering him. His heart was far from God. In times of temptation when someone offers you what seems like a better deal, reset your heart to a sure hope in the Lord. Constrain your allegiance to him alone to be with him heart and soul.

Your faith in Jesus is your anchor on the Rock that brings you delight. You reset your heart, however, to depend on and to delight in Jesus himself over and above your faith in him. Someone or something might yank your chains and it feels as if you are becoming undone. Your anchor threatens to become disengaged from the Rock. But the Rock isn’t going anywhere. You recall his words:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Your mind is renewed as you reset your heart to embrace him in your weakness rather than rely on the strength of your faith in him. Although your faith in him goes up-and-down, he is steady and his covenant love steadfast. With this your pride is starved and your humility is fed. Singing Psalm 64, you reset your heart knitting it to God’s heart, toward an intentional emotional connection with him who is holy where he becomes your heart’s desire. 

“He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.” ~ Luke 1:51

The whole Bible is the epic story of Jesus, the bridegroom seeking his bride—a people for himself who would receive his love and return it as a bride loves her bridegroom from the heart who cherishes and protects her. God finally gets his bride, the church, whom he cleanses and makes beautiful and loyal after she scorned him. God responds by showing her his glory in his mercy toward her and in his wrath toward those who would threaten, oppress, and lead her astray. Singing Psalm 64, you reset your heart around this story of hope in your one husband, your eyes set on his beauty and strength alone displayed perfectly in the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

Singing Psalm 64 you reset your heart toward purity and holiness

“They set their minds on evil plans,     Lay traps, and say, ‘Who sees?’; With skill devise injustices     Man’s heart and thoughts are deep.” ~ Psalm 64:5-6

Would you live like a scoundrel if you thought God didn’t see? He is slow to anger and is patient but he by no means clears the guilty. “Who sees?” God sees all. Nothing is done in secret. Though God hides you from evil men, all is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Man’s heart and thoughts are deep. If the shelving is there to go deep into evil, those shelves, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can be deeply restocked with good. Since God looks not at the outward appearance but on the heart, he is all about enabling you to reset your heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” ~ Matthew 5:8

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” ~ Hebrews 12:14

The purity and holiness of Jesus is what God sees when he looks at guilty sinners who hide ourselves in Christ and are redeemed by his blood. Jesus took on the guilt of his people and fully paid for it at the cross. The gospel of Jesus renders those who come to him as pure and holy in spite of past, present, and future sins. This is the best news ever!

O Lord, help your people to see you clearly and to worship you for your great mercy!

Every cleansing ritual in the Old Testament points to the fact that we need Jesus to be clean. Every warning for those who do not cleanse themselves according to God’s law translates to those who refuse to come to Jesus to be cleansed.

Like Nadab and Abihu’s unauthorized fire did not honor God but suited themselves, Zimri and Cozbi got close in a way that was not authorized by God. Their bold and blatant rebellion cost them their lives and serves as a warning. The Lord sometimes brings swift judgment on those who oppress his people, on those bent on evil thoughts and deeds. He sometimes waits. You reset your heart to trust his timing is best in each situation to bring about his glory which is his mercy and to bring about ultimate good for his people. He brought about the exodus of his people from the bondage of Egypt. He brought judgment on Egypt so that his people could worship him at just the right time. Jesus leads you from the bondage of idolatry to make you pure and holy as you worship him and come to him for rest.

“But God will shoot a shaft at them     And wound them with all dread So their own tongue will trip them up;     Those seeing shake their head.” ~ Psalm 64:7-8

Singing Psalm 64 to reset your heart to trust God obeying him over your feelings

After being made fun of over my stuttering, I took solace and pride in academic and athletic achievements. My pride clouded close relationships and skewed my understanding of how I would relate to God. You learn to distinguish between the anchor and the Rock, between relying on your faith in Jesus and relying on Jesus himself. One feeds your pride and starves your humility. The other starves your pride and feeds your humility. The Spirit will urge you to reset your heart so that you boast about what Jesus did, does, and will do for you.

If you catch yourself boasting in your thoughts like I did over my accomplishments, even if it is just to yourself, you can ask the Spirit to reset your heart, to open your eyes and help you to see clearly that there is no comparison and no need to compare since it’s Jesus who carries you. Once that sinks in, you will boast about your weaknesses and resolve to know nothing more than the cross of Christ and the power of his resurrection that saves you.

The world will urge you to boast about what you can do. They’d even put a child through an existential crisis, making her feel as though she had to earn the air she breathes by her own efforts. Competitive sports and academic prowess can become gods. God gives the heart of repentance to forsake these idols. To reset your heart is a process that takes years of unlearning as idols lurk under every nook and cranny of the thoughts of your heart. Nothing but the Spirit of God could drive them out. And one day he will drive them out completely. We are being prepared for the new heavens and the new earth where humility reigns and pride will be no more.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17

You reset your heart against the pride of life and your place in it. Since eventually the bronze serpent became a snare and a source of idolatry for Israel (Numbers 21:4–9), I doubted the Lord’s purpose in asking them to look at it to begin with. I genuinely thought I knew better than God in this instance. Ouch. What is clear is that the Israelites ought to have thought about how merciful the Lord is to allow them to look upon a bronze serpent in place of being bitten by live serpents. They ought to have thought of the Lord’s compassion. He is perfectly, infinitely wise and good. Who am I, a mere finite creature, to dare question the Lord’s ways in my heart? Jesus made clear that this event pointed to the mercy he would have on all who look to him. All who trust Jesus will not receive the eternal penalty they deserve but instead will have eternal life!

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” ~ John 3:14-15

You and I will do well to humbly follow the ways of the Lord in purity of heart. He is power, wisdom, humility, and love wrapped up perfectly in the three-in-one God. You reset your heart to know in all truth, God himself is his gift to the universe. Though he humbly brings each day forth, let a day not go by that his people do not shout his praises whether or not their personal desires are fulfilled.

This prayer for humility has become my heart’s desire:

“Our Father, I ask that of your great goodness, you make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind and form and degree of pride, whether it be from evil spirits, or my own corrupt nature; and that you would awaken in me, the greatest depth and truth of that humility, which can make us capable of your light and Holy Spirit.” ~ adapted from Andrew Murray’s prayer in his book, Humility (1982)

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19

“Don’t believe for a moment that the longings you have long felt can be written off as a tragedy you must survive. Instead, you must see them as a treasury that is brimming with potential blessing, fruitfulness, and eternal glory. Perhaps, then, the greatest tragedy of all would be that you never become the kind of person who can say, ‘Not my will but yours be done’ and truly mean it.” ~ Tyler Greene (2019)

Adam and Eve were tempted and tested in the garden. Moses was tempted and tested at the rock of Meribah. Jesus was tempted in the desert and prevailed rebuking Satan: 

And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” ~ Luke 4:12

How often have you been tempted and tested and failed the test? A situation arises that throws your plans. Reactively, you are up in arms, not thinking to consider God’s presence. Once you let go of your independence and remember the Lord, you trust God over your feelings. You reset your heart on his deeds and ask him to move you to obey his command to be gentle and humble.

You will accomplish good things since the Lord has prepared in advance good things for you to do. But you don’t earn your salvation by doing. It’s a free gift in Christ. You are saved to do good that others would see and glorify your Father in heaven! Ask that the good you do not become a seedbed for pride in yourself but to reset your heart to glory in God who would bring about a changed life, a new creation in you.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:16

A friend simply described the difference something like this: “Don’t do to be, be to do.”

Because he is merciful, the Lord will reset your heart on him. You look for opportunities to speak of who he is—not with lip service—but from the heart.

“Then all will fear and tell God’s work,     Considering His deeds. The just find refuge in the LORD,     In Him boast joyfully.” ~ Psalm 64:9-10

March 6-15, 2024

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