Psalm 107 is one of my favorite Psalms. It’s “titled” Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So, and that’s exactly what it talks about. It features four scenarios of people going through life, crazy, cocky, afflicted.
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and burst their bonds apart. Psalm 107:10-14
The verses above are the second scenario, and my personal favorite. Each section has this line: then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
When I read this and other sections of Scripture like it, I am smacked in the face by this: we cannot be cocky and love and worship God to the fullest. Those four scenarios in Psalm 107 show us how impossible it is. It first describes the defiance, the know-it-alls, the prideful, and then it shows them in chains, dying, thirsty, scared. They are humbled, in body and/or in spirit. They have nothing left in themselves.
That’s when they cry out to God, and he delivers them. And it points to this:
We cannot be full of ourselves and come to the throne of God. We can be bold, confident and courageous (one of the definitions of that word), knowing that he will answer us and forgive all of our sins. But we can’t strut up there, because nine times out of ten, our “strutting” is thinking we have it all together. By ourselves. Not with God.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (Jesus talking)
Jesus says what Psalm 107 shows. In sin – without Him – we are slaves. In chains, wandering in the desert, tossed about in a storm. When we are in sin, we are defiantly telling God that we don’t give a crap about what he says, that we know best.
Then, in a thousand different ways, because we’re all different, we realize that we don’t know best. The only thing we know for sure is that the Lord saves and sets free. It’s in that moment, with our pride gone, that we can truly go to the throne and let him take over.
Because it is surrender. That’s a scary word for some (was for me), and there’s no way we’re surrendering when we’re so full of ourselves we can’t walk straight.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
Humble, knowing that you have sinned and need him, and boldly, having confidence that he HEARS and SEES you and GIVES GRACE. That leads to FREEDOM!