Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
It’s going to happen sooner or later in each of our lives. Someone will say something about us that is not true. Others will join in with their opinions and summations of what they think we are thinking. You are not given any recourse to even defend yourself. You begin to believe the lies about you, too. Fair? No. David had the same troubles. It’s an age old problem with humans. However, read how David thought it through…with God.
Psalm 26, The Message
A David Psalm
Clear my name, God;
I’ve kept an honest shop.
I’ve thrown in my lot with you, God, and
I’m not budging.
2 Examine me, God, from head to foot,
order your battery of tests.
Make sure I’m fit
inside and out
3 So I never lose
sight of your love,
But keep in step with you,
never missing a beat.
4-5 I don’t hang out with tricksters,
I don’t pal around with thugs;
I hate that pack of gangsters,
I don’t deal with double-dealers.
6-7 I scrub my hands with purest soap,
then join hands with the others in the great circle,
dancing around your altar, God,
Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs,
8-10 God, I love living with you;
your house glows with your glory.
When it’s time for spring cleaning,
don’t sweep me out with the quacks and crooks,
Men with bags of dirty tricks,
women with purses stuffed with bribe-money.
11-12 You know I’ve been aboveboard with you;
now be aboveboard with me.
I’m on the level with you, God;
I bless you every chance I get.
SOMETHING TO CHEW…
Let’s take a look at how and when this happens. It happens to me when I’m trying the hardest to keep in step with God and His will for my life. It happens when good results are happening or about to happen in the work God gave me to do. It happens when sweat from all the hard work trickles down my face and back. It happens at the pinnacle of ministry. Fair? No. But that’s life here. (And Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy and promised trouble.)
Life is not fair. But God is. It is HIS plan to set things right in His time and in His way. If you really want to know how bullies began their work, take a look at the first fall of Adam and Eve. (Genesis) The evil one (who trains the willing and weak into bullies of humans), who is desperate to take God’s place in God’s creation, wants us to fail, to fall back, to give in and follow him instead of keeping in step with the Savior. This is a battle we face each day. Without God you will be defeated. With God you will have the power who created the universe to set things right.
David knows God well. His heart beats with God’s heart. David asks God to “clear his name” but he also asks God to examine him “from head to foot” to make sure he is fit for God’s Kingdom life. We must do the same for in the war with evil, we might and probably will, get dirty ourselves and need a Holy Spirit cleansing by the repentance of our own sins. (“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans)
When was the last time you asked God to truly examine your heart from head to foot? This might be better than the yearly physical exams we put ourselves through! What do you think?
Our inclination is to fight back or make excuses. The best way to fight, as you have probably heard is to fall down on our knees before God and ask for His forgiveness and then His help so we can “keep in step, never missing a beat” with God as our guide. THIS is what our enemy hates most…Believers on their knees, crying out in the Name of Jesus Christ for God’s help to defeat the enemy. The enemy flees at the sound of this battle cry to God. Our enemy knows he is no match for the Creator, Our Father in Heaven, the One and Only God.
How long has it been since we fell on our knees to humble ourselves before God and ask for His forgiveness and help?
Do our prayers get hung up in our busyness and become just words on the go from place to place? (Guilty here.)
Do I believe God will answer prayers said on my knees in the Name of Jesus Christ?
After the exam, David’s joy is restored, his spirit renewed. “I scrub my hands with purest soap, then join hands with the others in the great circle, dancing around your altar, God, singing God’-songs at the top of my lungs, telling God-stories.” THIS is church, my friends.
Will I accept and follow the answers that I am given by God or fight for my own way to solve problems and bring resolution to certain situations?
Finally, brothers and sisters…Go to church! I know she’s not perfect but God’s forgiveness is perfect. We need each other to remind us of God’s forgiveness, love, mercy and grace. We need to ask God often to examine our hearts. AND we can expect forgiveness because of Jesus’ work on the cross. We can expect joy and a renewed Spirit. After looking to God first, now look left and right at others who were broken, seeking the same and now set free, too. Rejoice, sing God-songs, together, to the top of your lungs, too. Tell God-stories of your life. LISTEN to others tell God-stories of their lives.
Encourage each other. Lift each other up, don’t tear each other down. Don’t gossip. Gossip is the destroyer of most church groups. Let God’s house glow with HIS glory because of HIS Presence in His church who listens to Him and desires to keep in step with Him.
Can I get an amen?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Examine me. Transform my heart, mind and soul. All I am is yours. Do what you must but be gentle and merciful. I rejoice in knowing and following You…and You alone.
In Jesus Name, deliver me. Amen. I believe.