Tuesday, October 21

Under fire.....

Psalm 143
A psalm of David.
"O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant."

My brothers in Christ, warriors to the True King; Garry and Andrew, write a blog: Men To Men; and send out a devotional titled "Men's Prayers" They challenged the men getting the devotional to answer this psalm.....specifically, have you ever felt the way David did in verses 3 & 4? Do you feel that way now? Why?

"The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed."

I can definately relate to the way David is feeling in the beginning of this Psalm; the enemy, seemingly endless and powerful in its adaptation to my battle skills, has driven me into a place where my heart feels isolated, alone, and no voice of God's grace and guidance fill my ears. I feel weak, powerless to stop the advancing horde that will surely spell the end of this man.

Many things thrown specifically at me; though general in nature: Finances, family, job, and all the other considerations that I must deal with daily; for daily is how I am living now. Such thoughts are never far from my mind; how to fed me and my son, worry over my daughter, and the multitude of little things (i.e. hour drive to work/from work).

I can look back over my life and see...................

An increase in the enemy's attention in my life; where once he walked with free reign, convincing me that I was unloved, unlovable, and therefore flaw (one of the few of the Creator's hand), destined to live out life in sorrow and chaos, never to know peace, success, and freedom; now the lies don't work, but the enemy still runs through his Jim-specific attacks, finding those pinholes in the armor that I wear….pinholes I myself have put there by not properly using the protection provided.

But practice makes perfect. The armor, designed to be flawless, is becoming more effectively used.

As David represents in his psalm;

I remember the days of long ago; I mediate on Your works and consider what Your hands have done.

We have no way to deflect, defend, or vanquish the results of our deeds, sinful and self-serving, from the first breath we took in a world destined to oppose us. We cannot make promises that we later will try and fulfill; they are as empty as a breath of air……We cannot redeem ourselves; our humanity is flawed from the Fall on and therefore everything we have done, will do, has been corrupted or will become corrupted.

We can only plead for God's righteousness to deliver upon the promise that He has freely given and therein lies our only hope. Far beyond the capability of man is One who has the capability and demands nothing for it; expecting everything in gratitude and praise for it.

David declares the promise, remembers it, and then prays for the overcoming of his troubles, offering up his own admission to sins he's committed and acknowledging that it is only by God's mercy that he can ask for pardon.

He overcomes his fear of the power and force of the human force arrayed against him by remembering the power and force of Almighty God. This causes him to look forward to the realization of that favor.

We cannot, even as believers, forget that even at our best we are the worst sinners. It is the burdening of our souls, weighed by the corrupted nature of our flesh, that causes us to cry out in supplication; asking for a pardon we neither deserve or can command, for sinfulness that we strive not to do, but in the course of the day, will commit. All sin carries the same weight, the same punishment. Anger, pride, envy are on par with homosexuality, murder, and greed. Can you truly say you are sinless?

Christ tells us to have the faith of children. An infant will reach out in supplication for nourishment from their mother, a child will vocalize their needs to their parents. Neither are refused. Likewise, depending on whether you are a newborn Christian, or one with some 'years'; cry out for the nourishment that only the Lord can provide…….refreshing water to quench the unending thirst.

No comments: