Mouth and Mind
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 ESV
I tried to pray Psalm 19 this morning. I so enjoyed praising God for creation and thanking Him for His word, but I stumbled over this verse that closes the chapter. I tried a few times to repeat at least the thoughts in Psalm 19:14 in my own words before the Lord, but I just couldn’t get them out. It’s not that I don’t want this to be true for me. It’s not that I don’t crave that my words and thoughts honor God. If I am honest, I have trouble believing God would grant this prayer true for me.
For others I can believe it. For others I can imagine that their words and thoughts might be a sweet smelling aroma to God but not for me. I know myself too well. I know my thoughts too intimately. One moment I am dwelling on precious and magnificent promises; the next moment I’m rolling around in the gutter and enjoying it like a sewer rat.
I have grown horribly intimate with the pain from the lashings the devil unleashes on me after every interaction with another human being. “You sounded arrogant” “You sounded foolish” “You sounded unloving” “You offended that person” “You should have said ______.” These are the things he says as he laughs at me and mocks my failed attempts at holiness in my speech.
Oh the depth of my depravity. My words? My thoughts? They will never be acceptable before God. I can’t imagine it.
But then the ending crescendo. Those marvelous seven words. Who is this unimaginable request being lifted up to? “O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” I’m not asking the one who mocks me to restore me. I’m not asking one who is quick to anger or reluctant with grace. I’m asking my God. I’m asking the rock that I rest on. I’m asking the one who gave himself for me. My plea before the throne is not lifted up to some distant ruler in the sky. It is heard by a gentle savior. A savior who walked through the absurdities of this life just as I do. A savior who sympathizes with my temptations and yet never gave himself over to them. A savior who is righteous. A savior who is my righteousness.
Let the enemy hear me say, “The words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart are already acceptable in God’s sight because of Jesus Christ the righteous.” In this grace, there is freedom. Freedom to speak redeemed words. Freedom to think redeemed thoughts. Freedom to fail and still find embrace at the cross of Jesus Christ.