Prayer of David

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, and the ship was like (about) to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them, (threw everything possible overboard to lighten the ship).

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship, and he lay, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1-5

This is the final post in the series dealing with the thought of spirit versus flesh.

In “Magic” button we looked at Peter and the disciples, who succumbed to emotional exhaustion and  the sorrow caused by the dread of the uncertainty of what was about to take place.

And Paul, who definitely had a predisposition to violence was constantly imprisoned, and ridiculed and was quite honest about the struggles that he faced as he allowed the Lord to teach him the reactions God wanted him to display and he did, one of the many proofs of this came after he and Silas were miraculously freed when God sent an earthquake and opened ALL the prison doors.

Paul alerting the jailer to the fact that they were all still there just as the jailer was about to commit suicide because of their escape.

Paul’s unexpected display of love and mercy being one of the things God used to bring conviction on the jailer, saving him and his entire family.

And with “Kidron calling” we discussed the tear filled journey taken by many including David, whose comfort and complacency directly led him to the place of temptation which Bathsheba. 

David should have been in battle with his men, and his fall to that temptation gave way to what would send him and those faithful to him fleeing toward the wilderness.

And finally Jonah whose just simply allowed his flesh such control that he really believed that he could outrun God. 

Most know the story, when it became evident that he was the reason this storm had come upon them ALL and asked to be thrown overboard with which the storm ended for those on the ship but it still took a horrifying ordeal to convince Jonah that he would do as he had been told.

And still, Jonah held on to enough of his flesh that he actually got mad when God showed mercy to Nineveh and revoked his judgment after they had repented, Jonah was mad because he wanted them destroyed to fulfill his prophetic word.

He could have had his own insecurities as prophets are usually hated and ridiculed, maybe he thought if he sleep long enough and ran far enough someone else would do his job for him and God would somehow “forget” that he had given Jonah this job, and unfortunately,  there is still a lot of that going on today.

These stories have many common threads but one that is really prevalent is how all these examples affected other people, from the hurt and heartache Jesus suffered when his friends couldn’t even stay by his side and would go on to run and even deny him and being betrayed by one who knew him so well and had held such closeness with him that he knew exactly the spot that he could hand Jesus over to his enemies.

Of course, Jesus knew all this and still loved us enough to go on over that brook of CALLED.

And the story of David filled with weeping upon weeping as we all “take people with us”, whether we want to believe that or not, we do.

Our decisions, just like in Jonah’s story, can affect and endanger others, as he laid comfortably sleeping  while those on the ship were in fear of being absolutely destroyed. Jonah oblivious to what was going on around him, and as with the fare price, he did indeed pay a much higher price and STILL had to do his job.

That is what happens when we allow denial to convince us that everything is really just someone’s else’s problem that they’ll just have to deal with.

God has given us the Bible and all the stories of those before us to be examples to us of many things and often what to do and a greater blessing of what NOT to do and how NOT to handle our problems.

In starting this series I had that thought over and over in my own heart as I have been trying to deal with my own struggles after losing my Mom and I have found that to be true so many times, we all struggle with something at one point or another in life.

We can choose to be big fakes and try to hide those struggles and put on our “churchy christian” faces (yeah, someone actually called me that a few weeks back ;), I was thinking, “If you only knew”…, obviously they had no clue to the battle I was having just staying on the boat!) and we can chose to pretend that we are all together and fa-bu and all kinds of groovy.

But that is not real and God hates that, actually His word says this, and I have quoted this verse probably thousands of time during my time with the Lord and His word never fails:

James 4:7-10: “SUBMIT yourselves therefore TO God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh unto you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded. 

Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep:

LET your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). 

HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

So with all the troubles in life that can sometimes TRY to lull us back into those old comfortable places where we can just go to sleep hoping to wait out the trip of the dreaded, now uncertain future ahead, so afraid of tearfully crossing that brook ahead of us, that we can forget the promises, and the blessings, and the fulfillment of the callings that are just on the other side of that brook…if we will make that journey.

I want to end this on the note of David, this is the answer for us if we have struggled with these issues or even if someone wasn’t thrown from the boat, they had just temporarily “fallen off”!

That is one of the innumerable beauties of God, it’s not about falling off the boat, or having to be thrown from the boat, it is all about climbing back on board and trying your best to sit down, shut up and trust the Captain.

I love the boating terms, always will, and I have put this is past posts, but back in the day when our late Pastor, who had been a Navy man, would hit us with a particularly toe stepping message, he’d always end it with this, “Shape up or ship out!” and then he’d smile really big and finish with, “And these pews don’t have oars on them!”

Still pretty good advice, we can’t go backward there is nothing there except heartache and death, so we have to go forward, even if we are going without human companionship. 

Imagine the disciples once they were “on their own”, they really had to put their faith to the fire and as Jesus told none of us are above any of us and all of our work will be tried in that fire.

This is David’s prayer after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sins with Bathsheba and the “murder by war” of Uriah.

It is a wonderful prayer and even to be broken down and prayed by certain verse over our specific struggle, we can all find hope, help, and healing in the word of God.

                                                         Psalm 51

“HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speaketh, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. 

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite (crushed) heart, O God, thou will not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

 

Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017