‘May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
Most of us will remember flailing our arms and legs about in an attempt to keep up with the classic party game, the hokey cokey: ‘In out, in out, shake it all about. You do the hokey cokey and you turn around, that’s what it’s all about…’
Sometimes in the Christian life we can find ourselves feeling like we’re trying to do the spiritual hokey cokey. A good friend might tell you that all that matters is what happens on the inside. ‘Too many Christians’, they continue, ‘are concerned about what they do. However, Jesus wasn’t — look at the story of Mary and Martha. Mary was commended for sitting at Jesus’ feet.’ Then, two days later, you might bump into another friend, who starts telling you about the latest teaching series they’ve heard about the importance of speaking up for our faith. ‘Isn’t that all that matters? Doesn’t the Bible say ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks’?’ By the end of the week you feel like you’ve been in and you’ve been out; you’ve shaken it all about and are totally confused!
Here in Psalm 19:14, the frantic spiritual hokey cokey is put to rest. The psalmist shows, us in this simple prayer-like plea, that both the inner meditations of the heart the the external actions matter to God. There is no separation between the internal world of the heart and the external world of our actions. True worship, true discipleship flows from and encompasses it all.
So today, let me encourage you to ponder the simple prayer-like plea of Psalm 19:41. Can you pray it sincerely? Are your inner and outer worlds saturated with the same simple desire to please God? Are you able to lay before Jesus your heart’s desires and your life’s actions as simple acts of worship?