“Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the LORD.”
How often do we ponder our actions, our words, our thoughts and motivations in our own hearts, and be silent—not offering excuses, not looking for ways to justify ourselves, but simply contemplating in light of who our God is and allowing Him to reveal anything that is not pleasing and honoring to Him?
It’s easier to just brush it aside and not really think about it. Or to justify our decisions and behavior and harden our hearts against anyone—including God—who may hint otherwise. But peace is found in surrender to our Lord. Setting our mind on things of the Spirit, taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ, circumcising our heart to make it no longer stubborn—this is the difficult road. The one contrary to our fallen nature. But it is the road of life and light and abundant joy. It is the road of freedom.
When sin is revealed, or something that may not be “sin” but is still a hindrance for us, the immediate response we are to have is to offer a right sacrifice. In Psalm 51:17, we are given a picture of this: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Quieting our hearts and minds to hear Him, surrendering our will to His as He shows us His righteous path and our ways of darkness, responding with a heart that is broken and humbled before Him—this is a life of sacrifice and surrender to our God.
The psalmist calls us, upon offering these right sacrifices, to put our trust in the Lord. This is such beautiful timing for this statement. Because if we must offer sacrifices, then something must have been found in our heart that required repentance. There was unrighteousness, wrongdoing to be dealt with. This can cause us to focus on the wrong, get caught up in the guilt it causes. The brokenness of our heart lingers and we carry around that shame. But once we have humbled ourselves and turned from that sin to again walk in obedient faith and love to our Lord, we need to trust that He has forgiven us.
He isn’t holding out on forgiveness to make us prove ourselves. He isn’t hesitant to welcome us back into fellowship. We are welcomed with open arms. We are forgiven without reservation. That sin has been cast away from us and we stand in the righteousness and grace of our Savior. So we can let it go, resting in who we are in Christ and what He accomplished on the cross.
We put our trust in the Lord to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We put our trust in Him to lead us rightly and continue to reveal ways that we fail Him, not so we can dwell on failure, but so we are released from that captivity and brought back into the light of freedom in Christ. It is for freedom Christ has set us free—so as we are freed from sin and hindrances, let us walk delighted in that freedom and rejoice that our God cares enough to break our bonds and reconcile us to Himself.