Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

4 Forgiving our Failure – Part 4

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Psalms 32:1-11

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one    whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent,     my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”

After talking about the happiness of forgiveness and the heaviness of sin David now in verses 6-11 draws our attention to the:

  • Help of God

It’s here that God’s helping hand is seen in three ways.

  1. His protection (6-7).

David urges those who are faithful to pray. Faithful doesn’t refer to those who are perfect but those who are passionately pursuing God. There’s a sense of urgency attached to this call to prayer, to pray now while we can. Often prayer becomes our last resort instead of our first response. As Oswald Chambers once said: “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” Are you petitioning the Father in prayer or putting prayer off? The promise here is that God has the power to protect us from the deluge and destruction of mighty waters. Instead of drowning in the surging waters of this world there is deliverance. Verse 7 tells us that He will not only keep us from trouble but He will surround us with songs of deliverance. God is our only true hope because He alone is our hiding place. It’s interesting that in the beginning of this psalm, David is hiding his sins from God; now he is hiding himself in God. Confession causes us to cling to God, to seek shelter under His wing. Is God your hope and hiding place or are you turning and trusting in something else. Many of us are trying to find protection and security in stuff instead of the Savior. But we will never find protection unless we pursue Him. Not only is His helping hand seen in protection but second in:

  1. His instruction (8-10).

God promises to instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. As great as the blessing of protection is, it would only be partial if it were not accompanied by His direction. What good would it be God guarded us from destruction but never told us which way to go? Verse 9 warns us to not be stubborn and stupid when it comes to following God: “Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” By nature, most of us are stubborn, wild and unwilling to obey God’s Will. So when we are like David and act like mules God will put the bit and bridle of suffering on us to turn and rein us in to repentance. Is God humbling you right now? Are you experiencing the bite of the bit and the tug of the bridle? Discipline is not fun but it is fundamental to a functional and full life. God only does this so that we will turn from those things that will ruin our lives to that which will restore and refresh us. Instead of following our feelings and what feels good we need to learn to follow God the Father. Not only does His helping hand bring instruction but also:

  1. His joy (11).

As we cling to God by cultivating a spirit of surrender and submission, it will result in singing. Confession results in a clean heart that is no longer cluttered up with sin and is free to sing. We can’t help but break out into joy: “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” The word, “rejoice” here means to jump for joy, to spin around with glee like a child. While the phrase “be glad” literally means, to brighten up, to no longer live in the darkness and despair. What a contrast there is between covering up and confession. Do you want to live in the gladness or the gloom? One of the reasons we get stuck in the sadness is because of sin. Sin doesn’t just put us in jail it robs us of joy. But when our sins are forgiven we can’t help but break out into spontaneous expressions of joy. David put it this way in Psalm 92:4: “You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” Those who are forgiven much will love much. May be the reason for your lack of joy is because you have forgotten the depth of His forgiveness. Do you want to deal with your distress, then confess. Instead of coming clean many of us are trying to drag around our suitcases of sin, like sinful sailors rowing our boats loaded with bitterness and guilt. How it must break the heart of God to see His children chained up in sin, trying to carry the burden of guilt when God has made a way for us to be free. Do you want to be rid of your regrets and be forgiven for your sins, then come to God and confess. He will forgive you, and when He does, your sins will be forgotten and you will be free. Instead of letting go of our sins many of us are acting like Robert DeNiro in another scene in “The Mission” where he is struggling with his load of guilt and someone cuts the rope. His net of iniquity goes tumbling down the path and into the water. Instead of being thankful, DeNiro pushes the man out of the way and runs after his sins. When he gets down to the water he picks up the bundle again and tries to carry it back up the mountain on his back. Are you giving your guilt to God only to pick it back up later? Look God isn’t interested in babysitting your sin for a few hours or a few days so you can get a short reprieve from your remorse. He wants to take your sin and trade your sorrow for a song of joy. If you’ve confessed and repented then God has forgiven you, the question is will you forgive yourself? Do you want to live in the sorrow or in the song? As long as you carry your sin you will be stuck in the sorrow, but when you come and confess you will experience the song. Why not take time right now to come before God and come clean, to confess the sin you have been carrying and trying to cover up. True forgiveness always brings freedom.

 

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