One way to determine whether an unconscious person hurt in an accident is alive is to find out whether his heart is beating. One way to become aware that one's spiritual heart is beating is to look for what David writes in Psalm 43:4. He had cried out of being cast off and driven from God's house, which was a symbol of His love for His church. And he had prayed for light and truth to assure him that God's love would bring him back. That is why he wrote, "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding great joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God." If God would bring him back, he would do this.
There are two spiritual activities mentioned here, two deeds that are clearly related to each other and yet distinct from each other. Going to God's altar is bringing to Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declaring how good He is. The other is singing His praises, which includes thanksgiving but also speaks of His wisdom, power, faithfulness, love, mercy, and grace. Praise includes thanksgiving, but it is much more. And so we sing (PRC Psalter):
At Thy sacred altar bending,
God, my God, my boundless joy,
Harp and voice, in worship blending.
For Thy praise will I employ.
For us today, after the veil of the temple was rent in twain, and the whole temple, as a type of God's fellowship with us in Christ, faded away, we still show our spiritual life by singing His praises and bringing an offering of thanksgiving to help the poor and needy and to support the preaching of God's great goodness unto His church.
David said that he will thank God and praise Him. So will we when the light goes up in our souls and we see what He did for us in Christ. Search your soul today to see how strongly your spiritual heart beats and how thankful you are for the salvation God gave you through the altar of the cross of Christ. It is a good idea to feel your pulse; and if your heart is skipping some beats, go to the Great Physician and ask Him to restore you to a life that is truly thankful and considers God to be your exceeding great joy.
Read: Psalm 138
Psalter versification: #120:4
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #29
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
1 Chronicles 24 ; 1 Chronicles 25 ; 1 Chronicles 26:1-11
Quote for Reflection:
"Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse. The falling stone gathers momentum, and the further it rolls down hill, the greater is its velocity. So it is with one who has thoroughly sold himself to the devil—he gives his wretched victims no rest, but urges them on from crime to crime, until their cup of iniquity is full. Satan is a merciless taskmaster, who ever demands an increasing tale of bricks from his slaves. How earnestly we should pray to be delivered from the evil one!" – Arthur W. Pink