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Friday, December 3, 2010

Invitation into a solid reputation

3-4 Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, 
   So no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. 
 5-6 I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—I'm celebrating your rescue. 
   I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers.
(Psalm 13:3-6)

There are two responses to life - facing it head on, or ducking for cover.  The first requires some element of determination, faith, and commitment.  The latter simply requires a spirit of complacency, our emotional response to fear, and a whole lot of discouragement.  David is the writer of our Psalm today - he was in a real "pickle" when he pens these words.  Friends had turned their backs, enemies were all around, and everything he had counted on seemed to be failing - except God.  So, in the midst of this, he turns to the one he knows will never fail.

When we look deeper at what he says in the midst of his disappointment, we find that he is not going to give into the doubts that God has turned his back on him in the midst of his circumstances.  He is not going to give into the disbelief that his friends have all scattered like the wind - he still has God.  He is not going to succumb to the "woe is me" emotional roller-coaster of missed opportunities, delayed answers, disappointing outcomes, and inadequate responses.  

Instead, he faces God - asking God to face him - taking a good look into his life.  He invites God to search him - to uncover anything that is not honoring to him.  Why?  Simply because he does not want his enemies to have even one thing that they can boast about!  He wants his reputation to be pure.  He wants his testimony to be strong.  This purity and strength is proven in the presence of a holy God - so he runs headlong to God, asking God to expose his character to all who would look upon him.  

He can do this because he knows God has been working in him to form the quality of character that stands up under the pressure of life's negative stuff.  It is not easy, but it is true - we can stand strong in the midst of life's "junk".  If we faithfully come to God with our responses, desires, fears, unbelief, etc. - he takes each open exchange of our time together and begins to use those times to mold us into the image of his Son.  

The invitation today is to have a strong reputation.  It is to be a man or woman of God that your enemy cannot speak a negative or accusing word about.  The enemy of our souls is the accuser of our souls - he looks for opportunity after opportunity to accuse us.  Why?  Because those accusations eat away at us - they allow doubt to enter in, they invade the personal peace of our soul.  God invites us into his arms - enjoying the intimacy of those moments - in order to build us up where we have been torn down by life.

You are invited into his arms today.  There, he delights in creating a freshness of spirit, a renewal of joy, and a treasure-load of hope.  In those moments of intimate sharing, our character is being transformed - our reputation is being "re-written" so that the world sees only Christ in us.  The hope of glory!