The LORD, Yahweh, that is, The God Who draws near to redeem me from the tyranny of sin, is King of my heart!
If indeed, The LORD is King of my heart, it discounts the negative responses my heart could possibly encounter. It discounts my having an anxious heart. That is, a heart that frets and worries, a heart that is encumbered with the cares and the “what ifs” this life serves me on it’s platter, daily. My heart can only respond in this anxious direction, if I allow these issues to attack my soul. And, what of fear? The fear of the unknown; the fear of financial ruin; the fear of a terminal illness; the fear of….well, you could fill in the blank, I’m sure. An anxious heart, a fearful heart based on the cares of this world, leads to a troubled heart and ultimately ends with a sinful heart.
It is a definite progression; a downward progression. Yet, is it inevitable? No, it is not.
Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” It is a matter of perspective…a matter of our vision…a matter of our heart.
“light” -216- “luminary” (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.): bright, clear, sun
“salvation”-3468- “liberty; deliverance, prosperity, saving.
strength-4581- a defense force; a fort(-ress), rock, stronghold
“afraid”-6342- stand in awe; (be in)fear, make to shake.
Paraphrasing, then, Psalm 27:1 with Strong’s definitions we could read Psalm 27:1 this way:
The LORD, the One who draws near to redeem me from the tyranny of sin, is my Luminary, my Clarity, and my Liberty and Deliverer. Of whom then, (or what) should I dread? The LORD, Who is near me to purchase my freedom from sin’s hold on me is my Defense, my Fortress, the Stronghold of my life; Of no oneshould I be in awe and nothing should cause me to be shaken.
This certainly paints a picture for us of the kind of faith we can have and do have when we place our faith in the LORD and make HIM the King of our heart.
Be Thou My Vision, is an ancient Irish hymn which was translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1880-1931 and versified by Eleanor H. Hull, 1860-1935:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
It is the presence of the LORD in our lives that makes the difference in our perspective, the difference in our vision. He, being the difference, will be the LIGHT that overshadows all else, and keep us from a sinful heart.
The great impetus of this stanza is not passive request, but a pleading of the hymn writer to lay hold on God to be Lord of his life. The writer seems to understand what Galatians 2:20a says when we read, “I am crucified with Christ…”. He wants Christ to be the One in charge of his life, the One Who lives in him. He understands that nothing and no one in this life matters more than his relationship with Jesus Christ. He wants nothing this world has to offer, but only what Jesus has for Him, and in fact, only Jesus Himself. The writer wants his focus to be 20/20…perfect vision, which is more than perfect, if Jesus is His vision. His vision is complete!
With Jesus as his only focus, his complete being will be complete and filled: his heart, his thoughts, his waking hours, his sleeping hours. The writer expresses the reliance he has in Jesus’ ever-presence with him and considers Jesus’ presence with him the illumination of his day and all of his life.
If our lives could be traced or marked by the joyous events in our lives: first cars, a new job, moving to a new home, a special vacation, marriages, children being born and toddlers taking their first steps, the first day of school and then college graduations, grandchildren, anniversary celebrations, being able to finally retire… Well, the list goes on. So many memories spring to mind and flood our souls with satisfaction and hopefully, thanksgiving for God’s blessing on our lives.
In all of these memories, did we see the Lord, Himself IN these events, or did we just see His blessings, the things we received or were granted? As we look back to these memories, how was our vision at the times of these blessings? Did we notice God’s fingerprints on our lives at these times? Did we take note of His presence and His power? His Sovereignty? Or was our vision blurred? Did we have an astigmatism? Did we not perceive His nearness. Or, were we farsighted, seeing Jesus in the remote distances of our lives and not acknowledging His near and direct presence in our lives?
Our vision of God is dependent on our spiritual character. Certainly salvation, that is being born-again, as Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”, is key and the precipitous point of the evidence of God in our lives. But the measure, that is the depth and breath of God in my life, is parallel to my vision, my understanding and response to Who He is; that is, my relationship to Him. Do I take Him at His Word? If I am living and responding in life as one that truly ‘hears Him’, then, I will obey His Word, and truly HE WILL BE my Light, my Salvation, my Strength, my Fortress and in responding to Jesus in this manner, I make Him KING of my heart!
In closing, there’s another verse that is dear to me, and paints a similar picture: Proverbs 18:10:
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
The righteous heart seeks Jesus for his refuge. His reliance is solely on Jesus regardless of what may come his way in life. Why? Jesus is ever his vision and he has given over his life to Christ to rule in him and over all of his life.
The last verse of the aforementioned hymn says it this way:
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
May our hearts begin today with a new vision, or a renewed vision, to make Jesus the LORD and King of our hearts.
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