The effect of spiritual immaturity.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me. (NIV)
The Bible says that God opposes the proud. It would seem as if it is God putting up a wall against those who are prideful, but this is not the case. We are born in pride and Christ died for us while we were still steeped in sin. Rather, pride is the effect of spiritual immaturity.
Our passage today reminds us that our praise increases as we learn the laws of God. The more we grasp the pure love contained within the principles of Scripture, we see His love, His wisdom, and His power. We can’t help but praise Him. This is not praising that comes from a person’s desire for a euphoric mountaintop emotional experience, but praise that comes from a deeper discernment of His eminence.
Strangely, however, in our passage, after declaring praise to God prompted by greater enlightenment, the psalmist pleads with the Lord not to leave Him as He obeys. The dissonance in this statement is striking. It would seem that as we obey, there would be an assurance God would not leave. The psalmist illuminates the principle of humility. The more I know of God, the more I am aware of my own sinfulness.
Isaiah’s devotion to God was such that he became God’s chosen oracle. Yet, his mystical encounter with God prompted Isaiah to confess that he was a man of unclean lips. The more of God’s holiness we encounter, our utter sinfulness overwhelms us. Even Jesus, a sinless man, would not accept the title of ‘Good’ saying only the Father is good. I wrestled with this until I realized the distinction between Christ living as a man and the Father was that Christ was tempted and the Father cannot be tempted. Christ recognized that even as a sinless man, His purity in human flesh was darkness compared to the light of God in His purest form.
Spiritual maturity produces humility. Lacking spiritual maturity comes from a surface-level understanding of our Maker. The effect of spiritual immaturity is opposition to God. We praise Him with our lips and will follow His commands, but miss His being and so offend Him in our hearts. God becomes the instrument we use to puff ourselves up. We must accept this principle and seek impassioned familiarity with the heart of God.
Prayer: Lord, draw me closer to Your heart that I might not oppose You in anything. Amen.