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matthew16_15-16

Psalm 86

A Psalm of Supplication and Trust.

A Prayer of David.

1 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me;
         For I am afflicted and needy.
2 Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
         O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
         For to You I cry all day long.
4 Make glad the soul of Your servant,
         For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
         And abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon You.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
         And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
         For You will answer me.
8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
         Nor are there any works like Yours.
9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
         And they shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
        You alone are God.
11
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
         I will walk in Your truth;Unite my heart to fear Your name.

12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
         And will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your loving-kindness toward me is great,
         And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
         And a band of violent men have sought my life,
         And they have not set You before them.
15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
         Slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.
16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
         Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,
         And save the son of Your handmaid.
17 Show me a sign for good,
         That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
         Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

When you approach the Throne Room of Grace in prayer, what is your belief about God? What do you really think about Him? Do you have an earthly view of your Father Who sits over all creation? Is your view of God formed by your earthly Father (and Mother)? Maybe you had a very angry and stern unmerciful earthly father – one who was quick to point out your faults and failures; one who was quick to become angry and punish. Maybe he was one who withheld his love; maybe he only showed you his love when he approved of what you did. Maybe he was disapproving of everything you did – unforgiving of your wrongs and very critical and condescending telling you how you would never amount to anything. Your accomplishments were and still are never enough. . . . . How about an absentee parent who is totally unresponsive to you and your needs? It’s like you don’t even exist.

Or do you believe like David – who was a man after God’s own heart – that God hears your prayers? Answers your prayers? And that God loves you with an everlasting and unconditional love?

3 The Lord appeared from of old to me . . . saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3 AMP)

I ask because there are many of you, who like me, have done some pretty stupid things in our lives – things that are so mind blowing that when God finally gets a hold of you by the scruff of your neck, things that will make you wonder how on earth God could show mercy and grace to such a fool. Though I didn’t do it alone, my “crowning glory” was the final destruction of my Marriage and home. I haven’t always walked the talk, but I have been a born-again Christian all my life and at times I have really struggled with Who He is and what He is capable of. This isn’t a disbelief but rather an inability to totally comprehend Who He really is. If that doesn’t blow your mind along with the stupidity that we sometimes exhibit, nothing will. However, most of the time we have a tendency to project the human qualities, traits and characteristics of our earthly father onto God the Father. We’ve made Him out to be the demanding and insatiable God for Whom we can never do enough for – a Father who has a conditional love, is unmerciful and definitely can only forgive certain sins.

However, this is not the God of the Bible.

Read David’s description of God again. He describes God this way in vs 5;

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to ALL who call upon You.” (emphasis mine)

This definitely isn’t the picture of an unmerciful and cruel taskmaster. On the contrary, God is good and ready to forgive showing abundant love and kindness to ALL – ALL – who would call upon Him! There is no exception mentioned. Our God does not play favorites as parents sometimes do. He does not dole out His affection and mercy on those of us who might be “better” or “more deserving” than someone else. Placing absolutely no conditions on His mercy and love, God gives abundantly to everyone who would call upon His Name and ask. It’s that simple. Really.

David, a God-appointed king over God’s chosen people, committed adultery and murdered the husband of the woman he took because he couldn’t control himself – yet God called him a man after His own heart. It’s hard to fathom that kind of mercy especially knowing that David – and us – deserved much worse than he got. We definitely wouldn’t be asking God to give heed to our prayers. . . . . If we had to depend upon the mercy of a human earthly father to forgive us for those kinds of things (and more), I would fear for my existence and eternal destiny. In the early years of my upbringing, my Dad would have strung me up. I thank my God that he is now a changed man by the loving mercy and grace of God. I say that kind of tongue-in-cheek, but I can tell you I came close many times. But God is not like that. I can also thank God that my beloved Husband is not my ruler and judge. I thought at one time I was his ruler and judge, condemning him for what I thought he should or shouldn’t do, for his anger. I have since come to see that that is the enemy – not my Husband. I have relinquished control of those reins and let go and let God. In other words, I realized that I needed to forgive him for his part in the breakdown of our Marriage and love him with the love and mercy that God gives to me – no matter how angry he can be at times. God gave his Son for my Husband too. He offered His body for you and your wayward spouse as well. No, our God is not a God Who gives love based on a wishy washy set of human conditions but our God is a God Who is overflowing with love. Even when David was weak, needy and poor, he proclaimed the goodness of God by saying:

13 For Your loving-kindness toward me is great,
         And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Who is the God you believe you serve? Is He the God of the Bible or is He the god of manmade notions? Is He the impotent statue god created by your own hands – or is He the God Who is great and does marvelous and mighty wonders (vs 10)? Is He an absentee god who has no interest in your broken life and Marriage – or is He the God of the Bible Who promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you? (Hebrews 13:5) The same God Who promises that His Word will not return to Him void! (Isaiah 55:11) The same God Who promised you that He is faithful and just and will forgive even when we are unfaithful! (I John 1:9) The God of your impossible! (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27)

9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. I John 1:9 AMP

When you find that you are hesitant to come before your God and you are not wholly and fully trusting in Him, consider what your true thoughts are. What is your image of the God of your promise? Is He the REAL God of Scripture? Or is He the impotent statue created by your own hands?

15And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 AMP

Your house and my house may not be whole, but because you and I are standing in the gap for our beloved one-flesh covenant mate, I believe because your Husband or Wife is one flesh with you that they are still sanctified and set apart by your faith and belief in the One Who has called you both and set you apart unto Him. Otherwise if they are in unbelief and if not for you crying out to a Holy and Just and Righteous God on their behalf, they would be unclean.

30 He will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands. Job 22:30 AMP

Heavenly Father, teach us Your way so that we may walk in Your truth;Give us an undivided heart to fear Your Name, the Name above all names, so that we will give thanks to You, O Lord our God, with all our hearts, and we will glorify Your name forever and ever. Amen.

3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.

7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him. . . . . (Psalm 37:3-7 AMP)

May the God of your comfort give you the desires of your heart.

Amen.

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