Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Obeying God’s Call (Psalm 131)

"LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty" (Ps. 131:1).

David sought to encourage his people to fight diligently under his banner by reminding them that they owed him obedience because God Himself called him to be their king. David did not act pridefully; he submitted to God’s royal commission. He had a quiet spirit amidst difficulties as king because his hope was in the Lord. He was confident because his commission came from the one and only God.

“In this he teaches us a very useful lesson, and one by which we should be ruled in life—to be contented with the lot which God has marked out for us, to consider what He calls us to, and not to aim at fashioning our own lot—to be moderate in our desires, to avoid entering upon rash undertakings, and to confine ourselves cheerfully within our own sphere, instead of attempting great things,” Calvin wrote. “He denies that his heart had been lifted up, for this is the true cause of all unwarranted rashness and presumption in conduct. Is not pride what leads men, under the instigation of their passions, to dare such presumptuous flights, to hurry on recklessly in their course, and throw the whole world into confusion? Were this loftiness of spirit checked, the consequence would be, that all men would study moderation of conduct.… While David put a restraint upon the risings of ambition in his heart, he was careful that his eyes should not lend their assistance to the heart in any covetous aspirations after greatness.

“The question, therefore, was not whether the lot of David was mean or exalted; it is enough that he was careful not to pass beyond the proper bounds of his calling. He did not think himself at liberty to move one step unless called to it by God. His submission in such matters stands contrasted with the presumption of those who, without any call from God, hurry themselves into unwarrantable undertakings, and involve themselves in duties which properly belong to others.

“So long as we have a clear call from God things cannot be said to be shut up or hidden from us, or too great for us, provided we stand ready for all obedience.… Our hope is of the right kind when we cherish humble and sober views of ourselves and neither wish nor attempt anything without the leading and approbation of God.”

Take a few minutes to think about all in which you are involved. Are you engaged in things God has called you to do, or are you pursuing interests that exalt yourself and your own ambition? Do you have peace in all that you are doing? If not, examine whether these things are calls from the Lord or your own vain ambitions.