All of God’s great men and women have seen this world properly. Lifted above the tiny island of Self, they are blessed to breathe the rare air of self-forgetfulness as their hearts are consumed with God.
C. S. Lewis describes this humility as “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.” They see God. Everywhere.
David was a man who saw The-God-Behind-Everything. It led to a worshiping, useful life, unleashed from the shameless shackles of self-absorption and the pettiness of pride.
Psalm 44 (NASB)
O God, we have heard with our ears,
Our fathers have told us
The work that You did in their days,
In the days of old.
You with Your own hand drove out the nations;
Then You planted them;
You afflicted the peoples,
Then You spread them abroad.
For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.
You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.
But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever.
It is always all of God, but David was one of the fortunate few who understood. It was so ingrained in his heart that it flowed from his pen with effortless, spontaneous joy.
He saw God everywhere—from the shepherd’s hillside to the deathbed and beyond. His one tragic season occurred when he let someone else fill his vision, and the result was disastrous.
I wonder if we believe that God is The-One-Behind-Everything? The Giver of every good and perfect gift? The Author of all that is valuable? The sole Provider and Protector? He who lifts up one and puts down another?
I wonder if our words confess God’s sovereignty behind it all, or do we love the applause? Do we (subtly) bring attention to ourselves, or wish for that attention? Or have we have found the glorious freedom, as Tim Keller writes, of self-forgetfulness?