A Word for the Week
I read this morning about David's reckoning with God in Psalm 51. How through repentance God restored him to fellowship after his sin had taken a tremendous toll on his family and even his faith.
David prayed in Psalm 51:11-12--"Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your righteous right hand."
No believer is immune from experiencing what David did. David's experience in the 'far country' could have lasted for the better part of a year while he was on the run from God. David had committed adultery with another man's wife, arranged for her husband to be killed by the enemy and then moved Bathsheba, Uriah's wife into his house and married her. The last phrase of 2 Samuel 11:27 says--"but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."
The word 'displeased' means--"it was evil in the sight of the Lord."
You and I can never please God so long as we are engaging in activities that are 'displeasing'-evil. We always suffer when we sin. And sometimes the lessons/consequences are very painful and far reaching. King David was a man after God's own heart but because of sin, his heart became hardened toward God. All the while David was fooling himself in thinking he could hide from God..
Instead of humbling himself and repenting--David chose to cover his sin instead of confessing it. (Proverbs 28:13)
David wanted to hide what he had done from everyone around him but the thing David forgot is the same thing many others forget when sin is committed against God; we can never hide it from God. 'IT' always has a way of eventually catching up with you and me. And the cost to our person and potentially our purse will be much greater, later than sooner.
Psalm 51 is the repentant prayer of a very powerful king who finally grew tired of running and hiding. When confronted directly-- David acknowledged his sin before God and repented of it.
I can almost hear his agony in the words of Psalm 51. They reveal the brokenness of a person who has been away from where he knew all along he should have been. His whole life had been a proverbial 'train wreck' since that night he chose to live beyond the boundaries of God's will. That's the way it is for anyone and everyone who is 'away' from God because of sin.
Does that describe anyone you know?
Dr. Kie Bowman, Pastor, Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin Tx observed this from this text. "Restore to me the joy" was the prayer of a discredited king. He had power, wealth, and pleasure, but when he refused to fulfill his responsibilities as a follower of God, he lost the one thing money can't buy, David lost his joy!"
When you and I refuse to fulfill our responsibilities as followers of Christ, the first thing we lose is our joy. Here's the thing, what is lost on the inside soon becomes evident on the outside to those we live with or serve with. Instead of pushing forward in faith, there is the tendency to pull back in fear. We lose the joy of His salvation and life is reduced to passionless, pointless, even painful experiences where we focus on finding ways to just get by. The Lord doesn't desire that any of His people 'just get by' in life. He has promised and provided the strength for us to be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Romans 8:37
You and I can't borrow joy from others and we can't buy it back. We must repent and be restored by the grace and mercy of Holy God who desires to heal us and help us overcome!
If your journey with Jesus has become joyless--why not return to the One who is willing to forgive and restore what is separated and broken? He did for David--He will for you!
The only other alternative is to remain on the run from your responsibilities that flow out of loving God and loving others.
Are you following God closely today? If so, joy will be present and full! If not, well you know what the next step is! I urge you to take it and not waste another day on a joyless journey!
May the Lord bless each of you today!
1 Corinthians 15:58