07 January 2008

I'm Sensing a Theme

Lately I just haven't been feeling quite right. Nothing has happened to cause these "not right" feelings that I can identify, yet they are often evident in all their sinful glory! If I had to chose one word to describe me lately, I think it would have to be "unstable". I have felt unstable in my emotions and judgments, my reactions and thoughts. Today I read Psalm 51 and James 1, and wouldn't you know it, but both those passages mention being unstable, James quite bluntly:

but he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

This verse is in the context of someone who is in trials counting them all joy and knowing the good results that those trials can produce in his life. He can also ask wisdom from God, but he must ask in faith (for a more eloquent and helpful summary of the context, I can recommend several wonderful commentaries, if you would like).

Psalm 51 rather implies David's instability in one of the often-quoted verses:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

This verse (written in the context of David's confession to God of his sin with Bathsheba) seems to imply that David felt the need for steadfastness, in other words that he felt unstable. (This thought is not original to me, just so you know. I believe the source of the note in the margin of my Bible was from Sinclair Ferguson in his book, Deserted by God? a really good book that I highly recommend!)

This post isn't necessarily to make any great conclusions about why I am feeling unstable lately. I am not qualified to write such a theological treatise, but I do want God to search my heart! I don't know of any particular sin that is causing unstableness (such as in David's case), but I do know that I have been struggling with trusting God lately to provide for the different needs that I think our family might have though we might not be experiencing any great trials lately (perhaps similarly to the James passage). This post is just to make some observations and sort of flush out in "written" form some of my thoughts. I don't know exactly why I feel unstable, but I do know that I am a sinner and cannot achieve stability on my own. I do know that only in God, My Rock, can there be true stability. I do know that I must look only to Him for stability, and also that only He can help me to look to Him. I do know that somehow humility and submission and trust are involved, and I pray that God will enable me to trust Him as He is worthy of being trusted (Jer. 17). I do know that I want to be stable in God and that I want that stability to be evident in my relationships with God and with other people so that I might better obey the 2 greatest commandments!

2 comments:

guitta chaiban hogue said...

i am interested in the book you mentioned by sinclair ferguson. what is the tone of the book? really theological? devotional? practical? do you recommend it to someone who feels deserted or who is ministering to those who feel deserted?

thank you for being so frank about your "instability". the scripture you referenced is encouraging to my wavering heart, too.

CristyLynn said...

I really enjoyed reading Deserted by God? I like the fact that the title has a question mark. To answer your questions all at once--yes. Ferguson takes his reader through several Psalms, all of which are now really marked up in my Bible. I should probably read this book once a year. He talks about the different reasons that believers can feel as though they are deserted by God and how they can come out of it. He's honest about the comments that some of the Psalmists make that I've heard lots of preachers gloss over. I think it would be a great book for you to read. I got it at the RTS bookstore, but it's probably available at other stores, too, and obviously online. As I recall, it wasn't very expensive.
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