The Psalms have been on my mind a lot lately. There are so many Psalms of help and notes of overwhelming fear that these authors walk through. It’s incredibly identifying for all of us. It’s like the Lord specifically wanted to include a book of everyday people who went through life just like we did! Ironic how it happens like that, isn’t it!?
Recently at one of our Flownights at Grand Point Ship, I led through Psalm 4. Psalm 4 was written by King David and is a petition or plea for help. He starts with a simple cry of desperation, Answer me when I cry for help! and he moves directly into the fact that God is larger than any other and can triumph over every situation.
In the middle of this short Psalm he is captivated by the splendor and wonder of the Lord- Tremble in awe before the Lord… I find that’s what always happens. If you need something in your world today, you need to stop trying to fix it. You need to get very transparent before the Lord and watch in wonder as the God of the Universe fixes his focus on your plight and changes your world.
Here’s the next reality though…
Be careful moving forward!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!
Whenever we recognize the triumphant nature of the Lord, we are suddenly made painfully aware of the depth of our own sinfulness.
The rest of Psalm 4:4, and do no sin against him.
David isn’t declaring a warning to you and me, the readers. He’s telling himself, stop your willful sin!
I’ve come to realize the more closely we get to the cross and Christ, the more my willful sin is magnified and the more I hang my head in sorrow over my own stupidity.
The Lord wants our holiness and graciously looks past our “indiscretions” but only because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. it is because of that sacrifice that our willful sin weighs so heavy on our hearts.
In the scope of Christ’s death on the cross, my willful sin seems incredibly petty. Why would we choose to minimize Jesus death down to a very stupid and selfish note of choosing!?
Jesus didn’t die so we could continue in sin, he died so we could be completely free from it and it’s decaying effects.
The deepest stronghold that sin still has on us is the fear that letting go of sin may be worse than sin itself. That’s a lie and it comes from the father of it. We fear that Jesus may not actually be better than the sin we are choosing! But we will never really know that if we don’t fully turn from what we are choosing to fully embrace Jesus.
People will never know the completeness of the freedom and expansiveness found in Christ until they stop willfully choosing to characterize their lives by sin.
Something incredibly scary I’ve seen lately is people defending their sin as if it’s something the Lord is providing for them.
Forgive me if I get painfully personal here, but I feel you might not fully know what I mean by that statement.
- I’ve listened as husbands have defended their addiction to porn and justify it “because my wife isn’t fulfilling my needs anymore”.
- I’ve listened as wives berate and belittle their husbands because “he’s not the respectable man I married”.
- I’ve listened, Painfully, as Christ followers list out their strings of cuss words because that gives them “better connection” to the world around them.
Man, we could go on and on and on. The truth is that as we get closer and closer to Jesus willful sin MUST begin to diminish.
The closer you get to the cross, the more Christlike you become.
That is, unless you stop closing in on the cross because, by the power of the Spirit, the sin he prompts you to leave behind is worth too much to you. You will never fully know the delight of Jesus until you let go of the sin that weighs you down and just choose Christ.
How do you do this!?
Honestly, you don’t.
You let the Lord do it for you. You begin to look at your world and the things he is clearly identifying for you and you tell him, okay Lord, I feel you telling me that I need to leave this sin behind, and so I need you to take it away. Take away the desire, take away the temptation.
It’s time for a hard swallow. Breath again and now head to Psalm 4 and pray through what the Lord is directing you to do when it comes to his magnificence and our sinfulness.