In the Lord my Heart Trusts

Psalms 28:1-3 ESV

“To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.

“Do not drag me off with the wicked,
with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.”

Who are you?

Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of your life? Are you sure? Based on what? How do you know that you know Jesus?

In 1 John 1 we read that if we say that we have fellowship with God/Christ while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness, evil), we lie and do not practice the truth. In 1 John 2 we read that the way in which we know that we have come to know Jesus is if we keep (obey) his commandments (New Covenant). So, whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

And we read in 1 John 3 that we are to let no one deceive us. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as God is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, and whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. So, here (and in many other Scriptures) we understand that to know God/Jesus we have to obey him and we have to not make sin our practice.

Now, this is not talking about sinless perfection (see 1 Jn 2:1-2), but it is talking about what we practice, how we live day by day as a matter of life course, how we conduct ourselves in our actions, in our behaviors, and in our attitudes and words, too. For the Scriptures teach that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (see Romans 8:1-14).

In other words, how we live matters for eternity. How we live our lives on this earth determines whether or not we know the Lord and if we are saved from our sins and if we have eternal life with God. And this is not works salvation. This is the salvation that Jesus taught, and that his New Testament apostles taught. For if we live to please the flesh, we will reap destruction, but if we live to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.

So, why am I taking time on this subject? It is because we can’t pray this prayer of the Psalmist (or something similar) if we are not truly in Christ by God-given faith in Jesus Christ which is evidenced by the things that we do and speak. If we are still addicted to sin, we are not in fellowship with God and so we don’t know him. But if we are walking in obedience to our Lord in holiness and righteousness, then we do know God and can pray this prayer.

To You, O Lord

If Jesus Christ is truly our Lord it means that we are now his possession. He owns us. And he is now the one to determine our steps, not us. It means he is Owner and Master of our lives. We no longer are the ones in control of our own lives but we have surrendered to the Lordship of Christ over our lives, we have submitted to him as Lord, and now we follow him in obedience to his ways, to his truth, and to his righteousness.

Thus, we can call on him, for he is our Rock. We can call to him for help and expect that he will help us. He will not always deliver us from difficult circumstances, mind you, but he will deliver us and carry us through them, and through them we will grow to maturity in him. So we can make pleas to him for mercy and for help because we are his and he is truly our Lord, and because we are walking in the fear of God in true worship of him.

If we are following the Lord Jesus Christ with our lives, if our lives are committed to him, and if we are following him in obedience to his commands, we are not going to be dragged off with the wicked, with the workers of evil. But if all we do is just profess Jesus as Lord with our lips, but we don’t obey him, and if righteousness is not our practice, then we will be dragged off with the wicked. We will not inherit eternal life with God.

Psalms 28:6-9 ESV

“Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.

“The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

All this mentioned above that we are to do we cannot do in our own selves. We cannot do any of this in our own flesh. We can’t be righteous in our own sight. The righteousness we are to practice is the righteousness of God which we do in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to turn from our sins and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands.

So, if we are going to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and to walk in his ways and in his truth, we are only going to be able to do this in the strength of the Lord with the Lord as our shield, and with our trust fully in him. When we trust him with our lives then he empowers us to live godly and holy lives for his praise and for his glory. And he helps us when we don’t know what to do or to say. He will show us the way and he will give us all we need.

Our Lord will always keep his promises to us, but we must do what he says. All of his promises have conditions. They have stipulations. You can’t just claim Jesus as your Lord and expect to claim all the promises given to those who love him, for to love him is to obey him. And if we do not obey him we do not love him and we do not know him and heaven is not our eternal destiny. So, if we are double-minded, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (John 14:15-24; 1 John 2:3-6; James 1:5-8).

So, if we want the Lord to save us from our sins for eternity, and if we want to inherit eternal life with God and to enter into God’s eternal kingdom, and if we want him to shepherd us and carry us forever, then we have to die with him to sin, not just once, but daily, and we must now walk in obedience to his commands in righteousness and holiness. Sin must no longer be what we practice, but righteousness must be what we practice. And then we can stand on the promises of God for we have met the stipulations to do so.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]

Standing on The Promises

By Russell K. Carter, pub. 1886
Based off 2 Pet. 1:2-4; Heb. 10:23

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

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