Pour Out Your Hearts Before Him
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
– Psalm 62:8
Trust, intimacy, and safety…three things that all healthy human hearts long for, and three things that are deeply intertwined. We do not have true intimacy with someone we don’t trust, and intimacy is had only in a context of safety, which itself also depends on trust. And again, trust and safety cultivate intimacy. I could go on. The point is, these three relational states are interdependent, mutually supportive, and precious to each of us.
The staggering thing I want to spend a bit of time on today is that our Lord, Judge, King, Creator, and God invites us into this sort of relationship with Himself….He calls us to trust Him, to pour out the most intimate writhings of our heart to Him, and to hide in Him as our safety. Let’s look briefly at each piece of this verse
“Trust in Him at all times, O people…”
Do I trust Him at all times? Do I trust God? “Of course, He is God, what He says is true.”….Then why the anxiety? Why the fear, why the “what if’s” and the trembling heart? Trust for God is grounded in knowing His character, which means that lack of trust bears evidence to a lack of fellowship with Him. Thankfully, such a lack can be remedied…
God has surrounded us in a living revelation of His character: the universe itself. Trees that are cared for by an invisible hand, birds that are led to their food each day, the faithful sunrise and the unfailing sunset, the sweet gladness of a field or forest or stream, all of these things and more are literally explaining God’s heart to us. May our lunch-time walks, weekend bike rides, and office windows be opportunities for us to gaze into and know the trustworthy heart of God.
But we also have His word, a more authoritative and clear book of revelation than that of nature. Scripture is God’s communication of His heart and mind to us, and this communication climaxes in the person of Jesus Christ. Friends, this is where we go if we want to know God…we look at Jesus Christ….we listen to Him…we “sit at His feet” and learn His character as it is diffused to us throughout the entire canon of scripture….if we would know God so as to trust Him at all times – we look at Jesus.
What a wonderful discovery to find that Jesus Christ is God…to find that the Lord of the Universe invites weak, broken, poor, un-educated people to come find rest in Him…that the same words that silence storms and banish demons also sustain the weary and heal the wounded…that the Author of Life pours out His life in love for those who hate Him. May the false images we have of God fall away as we gaze at perfect revelation in the biblical Jesus Christ.
“Pour out your hearts before Him…”
What is more intimate than our heart? The spring of all our longings, the seat of all our affections, the churning, near-infinite sea of disorganized, unexplored, often contradictory “self”…..To whom have we ever truly poured out our heart? To whom have we ever emptied ourselves? Certainly, there are other human beings (spouses, parents, siblings) to whom we have revealed our depths….but no human can grasp the totality of the human heart…..we cannot fully know ourselves, so how can another person hope to fully know us? They can’t. Only an infinite being could know our near-infinite hearts…and the only infinite being in existence asks us to pour them out to Him.
This requires trust. This requires total abandon of ourselves to another. God is not asking for the surface of our heart’s ocean, He is not asking for us to wade with Him in the shores of our soul, He is calling us to empty the entire thing into His own heart……”Pour out your heart to me.” He calls for it all – the parts we are proud of, the parts we are scared of, the parts that confuse us, the parts that shame us, the parts that frustrate us, the parts that haunt us – Our God asks for it all. And isn’t this what we long for? Isn’t this what our deep heart ache compels us to do? Do we not desire to be utterly known?
“But,” someone might say, “He will turn away from me….He will deny me…He will be ashamed of me…He will think I’m petty.” If we are boastful and brazen, yes. But if we are broken and contrite, no….He will not despise a desperate heart (Ps. 51:17).
Again, someone might say: “There is sin in my heart, there is rebellion, there is persistent failure.” Yes, and on the throne of God there are wounds that drown your confessed sin in an ocean of mercy. We can pour our hearts out to Him because He has poured His blood out for us. The cross creates the context for safe and intimate fellowship with God. And this leads to our final interwoven relational reality: safety.
“God is a refuge for us.”
You do not expose yourself in a context of danger, therefore our intimacy with God depends on our recognition of Him as our refuge, and He is our refuge only in Christ. A blood-washed saint pouring her heart out in desperate hope before the throne of God is perhaps the safest creature in existence…though her body may be destroyed – even in the act of prayer, as we have recently seen in Charleston – her soul is bound with adamantine chains to the heart of God and cannot be stolen away. May we strive to grow in our recognition that – because of Jesus – our God, the infinite I AM, is our Rock and Refuge and Fortress and Shield and Defense and Strong Tower and Shepherd, and may this increasing recognition yield increasing intimacy and trust.
So, friends, may the Lord help us to look to Jesus and so grow in our trust of God. May He help us to recognize that the outpoured blood of Christ carves a channel of mercy along which we can pour out the entirety of our confused hearts to God. And May He help us to run to Christ, the Rock cleft for us, and Hide in Him as our refuge who enables intimacy with God.