Friday, September 18, 2009

Trusting Truth- 40 Days of Psalm 37 (Day 33)

"The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial." Psalm 37:33

I don't know about you, but as a little kid I had a habit of breaking, losing, or ruining toys and "things" that weren't mine. I never did it on purpose, but it seemed like I would stop paying attention to what I was doing at just the perfect time in order to ruin or mess up something of worth. One instance has never left my head and the feelings in my gut of condemnation can be recalled any time I need a definition of that word. I was about eleven or twelve years old, playing in my parents garage on some weight machines (something else I also managed to mess up). I don't remember exactly what happened from the point that I got off the weight machines, but a few minutes later my stomach was churning as I was staring at a nice scratch in the back right door of my Dad's brand new "7 series" BMW. He had just gotten the car as a result of his first "big" year in business for himself and it was his new favorite toy. I remember pondering whether or not to "come clean" as I had a friend over and didn't want him to be sent home. I also remember considering the alternative of telling him that, "I didn't do it. Must have been hit by another car in a parking lot" until I realized that he'd park this car at the end of a parking lot so that this type of thing couldn't happen. No matter what, He was going to know I did it and I feared that this "sin" was about to lead to death as I went in and told Him. I walked up to him, wooden spoon in hand, pants down and told him to take it easy. Not really, but in hindsight that would have made the story better right? I actually went in, told him, saw his face turn red as he tried to hold in his frustration and gave me grace as he turned this difficult situation into a lesson about why I shouldn't be moving large things next to a car if I'm not strong enough. It also has given me the reputation as somebody who doesn't lie, something that has stuck with me the rest of my life.

As I read today's Scripture, recognizing that it is a response to verse 32 which reads "The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death" I can't help but think of how grateful I am to have a Father God who's on my side, who sees what I'm going through, even when it seems as though it may kill me. I also have God, who because of Christ, sees me as blameless and righteous as I let His Spirit live in me and make the decisions for me. In my story, though I sinned as a little boy (numerous times...still do) I am able to recognize that like my Dad's response, I will not be condemned when I come to trial. Though my circumstances may become tougher because of my own actions or the actions of those who don't like me, eternally, as Romans 8:1 states "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Today's passage raises a few questions to myself as well as the potential readers. Are you feeling like God has abandoned you? Are you questioning whether or not God exists because of the people around you treating like you a mental midget for having such a medieval philosophy? Have you done something that you consider to be unforgivable because of the hurt that it has caused another person or do you feel worthless in this life? Do you believe you are unworthy of God's love, because of the person you are "in the flesh"? Let me briefly answer each one of these for you in the Spirit of today's Scripture and with the use of God's eternal word.

Psalm 37:33 starts off by saying, "God will not abandon Him to his power". "Him" is you! God will not abandon you no matter what you are going through. If you need some reassurance in this, I would encourage you to not only read the entire New Testament to see how well God knows you and your needs (as well as loves you and offers eternal life in Jesus Christ), but to take a couple of minutes after this blog today to read Psalm 139 in which David gives us a clear description of where God is and how well He knows you. Here's the link...

The second question above was, "Are you questioning whether or not God exists because of the people around you...?" This answer is two part. The first part is that the people of this world (minus the Spirit of God in them) are wrong as 1 Corinthians 2:14 states, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." When we take other people's words for anything, without figuring them out for ourselves we are actually being immature, selfish and lazy. God doesn't always make sense to man, and therefore the only way to discern what God is doing (i.e allowing evil, death, etc...) is to get to know Him by accepting Christ. Keep in mind, that the idea in which God operates, and us following that plan SHOULD appear to be "folly" to those who don't share the same view of Christ. The second part of this answer lies in the "Spirit of God" line. Earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:12 Paul states, "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." If you are questioning God's existence and the realness of Christ because the smartest people you know don't follow this view, I'd suggest writing out who's "wisdom" you want to trust. The wisdom of the Spirit is eternal and true, while the "wisdom" of man only gives answers based on a finite perspective. Spiritual truth is real, and the way to interpret it is not by asking somebody who doesn't speak that "language". That's like asking a bumble bee to tutor you in Spanish. You would never do that, and having the things of God interpreted by MTV, the news, Wikipedia, Kanye West, a friend who doesn't know Christ or even the President of the United States is also a bad idea.

"Have you done something that you consider to be you believe you are unworthy of God's love?" These can be the toughest for people, especially men who believe they must prove to God their "worth" in order to receive His love and pardon from sin. We constantly aim to prove ourselves to parents, family, friends, our boss, and our culture to show them our worth. But our worth is different to God. We have eternal worth, intrinsic value as the Christian Philosophers would say, because we are created in His likeness (see Genesis). Because of our worth, the Gospel was presented in which eternal life with the Creator could be guaranteed by the acceptance of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing we can do will separate us from the love of God which is why the constant prodding of Jesus to follow him, never leaves us alone. The inheritance of God's Kingdom comes with that faith and our perspective is changed from finite to eternal. Keep in mind that God has to love us, because we are made in His image (this includes both those who follow Christ and those who don't, which is why Christ is an option for all and not just a few). However, 1 John 3:1 in context, makes it clear that the family of God are those who accept Christ. It says, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us, is because it does not know Him." If you choose to love God in Christ, you are in. If you choose to go about life alone, you can expect to never understand where the one true God is leading His people.

I hope you realize today that you are a child of God and it's up to you whether or not you continue to seek emancipation from Him, or if you accept His free gift of love and grace through Jesus Christ. When you accept Christ you are accepted into the true family of God. As a member of that family, God does not condemn and will not abandon you. Trust Him with your life today, understanding that His ways are not ours, and that's a much better option as we see daily what the best thinking of human beings has done to the world we live in.

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