Like a Weaned Child

November 30, 2011 at 11:35 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, God's Love | 3 Comments

I am passionate about the intellectual aspects of Christianity.  Some of the posts in this blog are indicative of that.  God wants us to worship him with our minds; he wants us to think deep and godly thoughts.  But there is also an emotional, experiential side to the Christian life, which is expressed in things like joy and peace.  Often individuals (and also churches) ignore one aspect or the other.  Those who emphasize the intellectual aspects of Christianity are afraid that emotion will ruin their theology, something I’ve seen happen; while those who emphasize the emotional aspects are afraid that intellectual questions will destroy their joy and excitement, and I’ve seen that happen too.  The biblical truth is that the emotions come from the correct intellectual understanding of who God is and what he has done for us.  A deep understanding of God’s word produces joy and peace.  The Psalms of Ascent are one place where those two aspects of Christianity meet.  The intellectual understanding of these poems bring out emotionally powerful pictures.  That is certainly true in Psalm 131:  “My heart is not proud, O Lord; my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (NIV)  While never departing from the truth, there are times when we theological types need to allow the emotional aspects of our faith to rule; we need to simply enjoy our sovereign, loving God, utterly consumed with who he is.  As consumed and contented as a baby in it’s mother’s lap.

This is an especially good exercise when we see our sin and are feeling beat up with guilt.  Then the truths of the Gospel can minster to our emotions; we need to feel the impact of God’s grace and forgiveness.

When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.
— Charitie Bancroft

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  1. I needed this. The poem was the first thing that caught my eye as I was scrolling.

    For years I was a housewife who could take things slowly…had lots of quiet time to pray and meditate.Then I started college. I didn’t adjust so well and my quiet times were pushed aside and worldliness has been creeping in. I would pray here and there throughout the day, but living on spiritual fumes. Then when Christmas break came I found myself being drawn but resisting…a miserable feeling…vexing. Today I sat for a long time trying to be still and quiet, but was unsuccessful. I still feel somewhat lousy, but this post helped a little.

    I wish I could say that I have been faithful like the way you described Christians in your post about Enoch, but I have wandered. I know I have forgiveness, because it is promised in the Bible, but I “feel” like a little kid who has been sent to bed without supper. :(

  2. Theresa,
    Thanks for your honest comment here. I loved your metaphor of a kid without supper; we must all feel that way at times!
    I knew from your postings that you were in school now. May God direct your steps and draw you to himself in those seemingly dry times when school seems to take over everything. You may look back and say those were some of the best times with God, because he was loving you when you didn’t feel close to him. Trust that he is totally sovereign yet always loving.
    GG

  3. I wanted to use the right metaphor…not “kicked out of the house”, just sent to my room to think about what I have done (sins of commission), and what I have not done (sins of omission), But today my heart has been lifted, much encouraged and I could almost hear those words, “Are you ready to come out now and ‘behave’ yourself?”. :)

    ” 1Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

    2Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

    3Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever. Psalm 131 KJV

    I just had to throw in the King James Version. Although I enjoy many versions and translations of the Bible, there is just something so poetic and beautiful about the Psalms in that version.

    Thank you so much for reminding me to trust in His love and sovereign grace.

    Theresa


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