Friday, November 21, 2014

Now I Know How David Felt

                The closer you get to God, the more you see the depths of your own depravity. This truth came home to me in the early hours of the morning. I woke to a movie being played in my head, of a sin that has been buried deep in my heart. This is a sin that I have confessed, a sin that I thought I had taken care of. But there it was; buried deep within the soil of my heart, and the roots had started to grow again. For months I tried to cover it, avoid it, put some band-aids on it and walk away. And to some extent I had succeeded. Over the years it has come up before my face, but I would just bury it, and walk away. But this morning, there it was, staring me in the face, and my God was not letting me walk away from it again. This must have been how David felt.  
Psalm 51 was written by David after Nathan the prophet comes to him and reveals to him that God sees and God knows the sins that he has committed with Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 11 tells us the story of how David and Bathsheba. Bathsheba was married to a man named Uriah, who was also a loyal soldier in David’s army. David, in his lust, sleeps with Bathsheba and gets her pregnant. He then realizes that he has messed up and instead of confessing his sin to God, Uriah and Bathsheba, he goes and has Uriah sent to the worst part of the battle where he is killed. Uriah’s blood is now on David’s hands. Because David chose not to do the right thing and repent, his relationship with God was tainted, and David was no longer walking in righteousness before God. But God, who loves David, and who loves us, sends Nathan the prophet to David to reveal to him that God sees, God knows, and God asks for him to repent. I didn't have Nathan knocking on my door this morning, but I did have the Holy Spirit knocking on my conscience. Now I know how David must have felt.
                “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness, according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1
                We know that when we confess ours sins before God, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. (1 John 1:9) But some of our sins are buried so deep that God has to work at them, He has to dig them up and get to the roots; otherwise that same sin keeps coming to the surface, over and over again. David knew what he had done was wrong. I knew what I had done was wrong, but in me there was this desire to cover it up, to make the top part of the sin disappear, leaving the root in the soil of my heart. Just like in my garden, when I am pulling up the weeds that want to choke out my beautiful flowers, unless I get to the root, the weed will keep coming up. Without true repentance, without recognizing that the root of our sin is still buried in our hearts, we don’t allow God to dig, and we choose to stay in our sins.
                David also knew that God wanted to root out this sin and betrayal from his heart. He knew that only God could be the one to do it. He cries out to God, and asks Him to have mercy on him, according to His lovingkindness. His lovingkindness, His goodness leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Do we not see the great and powerful love that our Father has for us? When we sin, no matter how deep, how dark, or how bad that sin is His lovingkindness shines a light of hope into our hearts, and begins to kill the weeds of sin that we have buried. Without His lovingkindness, we are not able to see our need for repentance. We must know and believe and have confidence that if we do confess, He is faithful and just to forgive us. No sin is so great that God’s love cannot reach it. No sin is so terrible that God’s mercy cannot forgive it. No sin is so traumatic that God’s love cannot heal it. Never forget that His love is the reason why we can be forgiven and free once and for all.
                “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight- that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.” Psalm 51:2-4
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                David recognizes that God sees the very root of this sin in his heart, and He cries out to
God to wash him from it. That was my cry this morning. I saw the root, God showed me the root of my sin and how I had tried to cover it up, I tried to make excuses for it, and I tried to live as though it was not there. But there it was, trying to break through the surface again. There it was, growing and choking out the one thing that I desire most- true, complete, intimacy with Him. Once we realize that we have sins buried in the depths of our hearts, the only course that we can take is to confess them. This sin of mine has been in my heart for years, and no matter how many times I thought I was getting rid of it, all I was really doing was covering it up, and making excuses for it all. I was not completely willing to confess to my God the depths of this sin in me. In confessing my sin to Him, I must acknowledge that against Him and Him only have I done this evil.
                We forget, I think, that God hates sin. Over and over in the Bible we see a loving God, a merciful God who forgives, but we forget that He hates sin and that He cannot be where sin lives. If there is sin in my heart, whether buried deep or on the surface, I can never have that holy life that I desire with Him if I do not allow Him to dig that sin out. I have repented of this sin before, many times. I have prayed and asked for His forgiveness, but to be honest, I didn’t see the depravity, or the depth of the sin in my heart, so in the end, there was no true repentance. Today, however, He showed me the root of my depravity, and the depth of this sin that I have buried deep into the depths of my heart. I have seen the consequences of my sin and the need I have for Him to free me once and for all from its grip.
                “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalm 51:5-6
                David tells the Lord that sin is in him, it is in his blood. We are all born into sinful flesh. There is not a man, woman or child born into this world who is not born in sin. But, David knows that the sins that he committed before God were sins of his choosing. He chose to take Bathsheba for his wife. He chose to have her husband killed and he alone chose to cover up this sin before his Holy God. Sin did not choose that for David, David chose that sin for himself. We also choose. We choose to sin or we choose to follow God. We choose to allow sin to rule us, or we choose to allow God to control us. God desires truth in our inward parts. When we accept that we have chosen to sin against God, then and only then is He able to give us the wisdom we need to find true repentance which leads us to a restored relationship with God and with man.
                David cries out to God to finally free him of this guilt of sin that is in his heart. Sin is death. Sin leads us away from God. David asks that God would purge him, cleanse him, recreate him, renew him, restore him and uphold him (Psalm 51:7-12) David knows and understands that only God truly and completely sees the depths of his depravity, and the deepness of this sinful root that is in his heart. Without God’s help we are never truly able to repent and be free of our sins. Many times God has spoken to me about this sin, and other sins in my life. Since I am being truthful in my inward part today, I have to freely confess that I have in the past made light of these sins. I have made excuses for them, and tried to cover them up. But there is nothing hidden before our God. He sees every detail, every aspect, and every motive, of everything we have ever done, thought, spoken or even anticipated. There is nothing hidden from His sight, (Mark 4:22) not even the roots of the sins that we have buried deep in the soil of our hearts. He brings them all to light.
                “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation. And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” Psalm 51:14
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                David’s sin caused his relationship with God to be tainted. Our sins, no matter how big or how small we think they are, cause our relationship with God to be tainted with bloodshed. Our sins are grievous to God, and if we allow the roots to remain they will block His favor and His blessings from our lives. Our sins will cause us to keep God at a distance, because we do not want Him to see the depths of our depravity. Now I know how David felt. David saw and understood that by covering up the sins in his heart, he was covering up God too. He saw that every time he desired to have a closer walk with the Lord, or to be the man God wanted him to be, this sin would come before his face and until David recognized and confessed it God was not able to get to the root of it all.
                “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart- these O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
                No matter what we do, how many committees we serve on, no matter the amount of our good works, nothing, absolutely nothing means anything unless we are broken and humbled by our sins before our Holy God. The closer I get to God, the greater I see my depravity, and the greater I see my need to allow Him to get to the root of it all.
                “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1-2

                Blessed are we who see the depravity of our souls, and who allow God to get to the root of those sins that we have so diligently tried to keep covered. I pray that we would all come to a place today where we would seek the Lord our God to show us what sins we have covered, what sins are buried in the soils of our hearts, and allow Him to dig for the root and lead us to repentance before Him, our Holy God. In Jesus Name, amen and amen.