But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
— Psalm 31:14
Have you ever thought about this phrase? What does it mean to declare that something or someone is your God?
According to Psalm 31, here are some answers below (corresponding verse in parentheses).
To say, “You are my God” means:
- You trust in this person/thing to deliver you out of difficult situations. It is the refuge that you run into for shelter when life is beating you up. (verse 1).
- You rely on it to be attentive to your needs, to be quick and effective in the salvation you seek. (verse 2)
- You seek wisdom and guidance from it about how to make sense out of your chaotic life. (verse 3)
- It is that thing that you seek to glorify with your life, that which you are willing to give the credit for your successes, instead of yourself. (verse 3)
- You rely on this person/thing for not only protecting you from present troubles but also future ones. (verse 4)
- All that your god embodies is honorable and true to you. Those that contradict your god, you abhor. (verse 6)
- You feel that your god understands you and you rejoice in the intimacy you have with it. (verse 7)
- You trust in this god to not only deliver you but to also expand your territory so that you have freedom to roam. (verse 8)
- You rely on it during times of grief, anguish, suffering, and affliction. When you are at your weakest and an utter derision to all around you, you still cling to this god to keep you from shame. (verse 9-17)
- You seek vengeance through it, to give you the justice you cannot get on your own. (verses 18, 23)
- You view it as the source of good things and a rewarder of those who are faithful to it. (verse 19)
- You trust it to protect you from harassment, physical harm, emotional pain, and hopelessness. (verse 12, 20-22)
- You rely on it to give you strength and hope. (verse 24)
- You find your resilience grows out of its character and presence in your life. (verse 24)
- You decide to surrender your life to its influence and control, to be “true” to it because you believe you cannot manage your life without it. (verse 23)
Let’s be honest. Gods can take many forms. Your god may be money, intelligence, alcohol, sex, food, work, humor, praise from others, self-harm, rationalizations, justifications, learning/reading, social media, depression, Netflix, busy-work, or the many-headed hydra of have to’s that plague us from day to day.
OR…your god may be religion, doctrine, good works, volunteering, going the extra mile for someone in need, false humility, presenting the “perfect picture”to outsiders, guilt, praying (instead of doing), doubt, materialism/shopping, or the unending list of do’s and don’ts that echo daily through our head.
Or it may be something else entirely.
But whatever you proclaim to be your god (even if you do not believe in the supernatural and claim yourself as your highest authority) will eventually be measured. Not by the standard of how well it meets your selfish ends, but by the strength of its character while under duress.
You may pick your god. That is your right. But be careful what you dedicate your life to. Most gods break when tested, for they are full of impurities and their promises are made of thin plastic. That is why you still feel hopeless. That is why there is a longing in your heart for something (ANYTHING!) to be real. For in those times that you see your god for all it truly is, you realize that all you have ever worshiped is a mere facsimile of the original and one, true God. Only He has the integrity to withstand the tests that attack Him and to deliver you from harm as well.
You must decide. To what, or whom, will you say: “You are my God.”