June 11 - The Calming of the Soul
The flesh or the self is one of our spiritual enemies, according to the Scriptures. The preoccupation with the self is the cause for most mental illnesses. Depression is rooted in self-hate, self blame or self love. Anxiety and worry may come from self-preservation, self-defense or self-insecurity. The self-esteem teachings of the 70’s have given rise to the narcissistic disorders of the Post Modern generation. In a word, self-centeredness or pride is the root of all inner turmoil.
The psalmist discloses his secret of a calm soul. In his prayer, he declared that his heart is not lifted up, his eyes are not raised too high, he does not occupy himself with things too great and too marvelous for him. In other words, he has overcome the problem of the self by taking his rightful place before God. He is not prideful or self-centered, knowing that he is limited in his abilities. There are things that are too great and too marvelous for him. There is no need for him to prove that he is good, able and worthy. His self-concept lies in God and not in his own performance. There is no need to compete with others or to get ahead. He is at rest and has peace and quietness of the soul.
In trusting God and putting his hope only on God, he is like a weaned child in the bosom of the mother. He chooses the mother rather than the milk from her breasts. He wants God more than he wants the gifts that come from His hand. That is the only way for him to overcome worries and anxieties. His body does not need to move all the time in activism, trying to feel secure. His mind does not go off in cycles of negative thinking, his emotions are stable and his decisions are sound. All this happens because he lets God be God.
The cure for mental illness lies in our relationship with God. Only God can satisfy all our needs and as we trust and hope in Him, our depravations and emptiness are filled. There is no need for us to grab things of the world in order to feel secure. Holding on to the mother goes far beyond a security blanket because she cares for you and will satisfy your every need. What kind of a child are you? Are you kicking and screaming, constantly asking for more? Do you have a quiet trust in God who is your true provider? Are you still in a performance mode and have an insatiable need to excel? Do you compete with others for prestige, position or profit?
God wants you to rest now, to just come before Him and be a weaned child. Wean yourself of all the things you think you must have, abandon the ambitious projects and the need to be successful. Trust in the Provider and refuse to take in more and more. Give away what you do not really need and show your complete trust in the Lord. Then your soul will be well, calmed and quieted. How is your soul today?
Ps 131:1-3 1 Kgs 8:1-66 Acts 7:51-8:13 Prov 17:1