“I do not involve myself in great matters, nor in things too difficult for me.” Psalm 131:1
When a man or woman comes to the Lord in repentance and in faith and becomes a disciple of the Lord Jesus, they give the Lord a blank check for their life. With that blank check the disciple unreservedly commits to obey the Lord in everything He commands, to go wherever the Lord sends him/her and to do whatever the Lord asks him/her to do for the rest of their lives. It is certainly true that the disciple does not know what will be involved with their specific obedience and does not know all of what it will cost them to follow Jesus, but they give the Lord Jesus a blank check nevertheless and make their commitment to obey.
Now in the course of their discipleship journey, there will be many occasions when the disciple does not understand why the Lord is working out the details of their life in the way that He is doing or does not know the reasons why the Lord is calling him to do a particular thing. In fact, rarely is the disciple entrusted with an answer to the why questions. For example, in my own life I do not know what purpose was served by my three years in Russia and I can tend to think that my years there were a mistake and that I wasted that time. It is in those times that I must remember Psalm 131:1, which says, “I do not involve myself in great matters, nor in things too difficult for me.” The Lord called me to go to Russia. Of that I am sure, and that is enough. I obeyed His call and did the best I could with the time that I had there. I tried to learn the language and share the gospel with Russians. But ultimately why I was there is not my concern. I was there to glorify God with my life and to obey His calling on my life. The details beyond that are “too difficult for me.” Those details are above my pay grade and I am not to concern myself with these “great matters.” Instead of regretting that time as if it was a mistake, I rest in the fact that the Lord knows all the reasons for all things and He will work out the details.
What are other examples of “involving myself in great matters or in things too difficult for me”? Often these are areas of life where I want to have sight and the Lord commands me to trust Him without sight. When I was 46 years old and peacefully enjoying my simple life as a bachelor, the Lord called me to marry a widow with three children. The Lord said, “Roy, marry Lisa.” Just a simple command without explanation. “Lord, You have the wrong guy.” (So the Lord came to the wrong address and did not know who He was talking to??) “How will this turn out? Lord, do You realize how risky this is? A lot of people could get hurt in this if this doesn’t work.” All my questions about the future and about the outcome of this marriage betrayed a lack of trust in the Lord. And I plead guilty to that charge! But then I must realize that I gave the Lord a blank check on my life when I came to faith in Him. I told Him I would trust Him in all things and that I would obey Him no matter what He asked me to do. And I must make the decision daily “to not involve myself in great matters, nor in things too difficult for me.” Outcomes are not my concern. Outcomes are “great matters.” Outcomes are “things too difficult for me.” Hearing, trusting and obeying – those are things that I can do, but determining outcomes or answering why questions are above my pay grade. I am to leave those with the sovereign Lord and trust Him that He will work out those details in His own wisdom, for His glory, and for my good.
Sometimes I worry about the past. That is, I have a particular tendency within my personality that causes me to regret decisions I have made in the past and to feel that they were huge mistakes. When I do this, however, I am involving myself in great matters, contrary to Psalm 131:1. The Lord is sovereign and He takes full responsibility for leading His children and for determining outcomes. That is what it means to be sovereign God. When I regret something in the past, I hint that God did not control that outcome or that He didn’t intend that to work out for my good and His glory (contrary to Romans 8:28). By “involving myself in great matters, things too difficult for me,” I have discouraged and depressed myself and have dishonored the Lord. So based on Psalm 131:1, I will banish regret from my mind. (See also Philippians 3:13-14.)
Sometimes I worry about the future. That is, I am bent toward wondering if everything will be alright in the future. When I have these thoughts, I must again remember Psalm 131:1 and not “involve myself in great matters,” like how the world and my life are going to turn out in the future. Rather, I trust the Lord and obey what He has told me to do, which is consistent with the blank check I gave Him 25 years ago.
You and I are simple people and we are simply people. We have been given the humble task of obeying the word of the Lord and loving the Lord of the Word. If we do these things and do not concern ourselves with things too great for us (Psalm 131:1), we will be peaceful and blessed. SDG rmb 12/31/2015