Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One, two, three...poof!

Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel. 
   Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance. 
   And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.
(Psalm 119:78-80 The Message)

David is setting out a prayer to God in our passage this morning.  It is composed of three parts:  1) How he wants God to deal with those who stand against him; 2) How he hopes God will use him in the lives of others; and 3) How he expects to live with God's help.  

First, let's look at David's prayer about his enemies - - fast-talking tricksters who tried to sell him a bill of goods.  When we are encountered by someone "selling a bill of goods" we usually see that we have two choices: accept what they say at face-value, or reject it at face-value.  We really have a third choice: investigate it for truth rather than trusting the face-value.  When someone is trying to sell you a bill of goods, they are attempting to have you accept something that is untrue or is of little value to you.  David says his life has been exposed to this kind of "trickery" and he now wants God to expose the lack of truth in the bill of goods these enemies have been trying to pass of as true.

We often are exposed to these kinds of "schemes".  Just think back to the last set of TV commercials or printed advertisements you encountered.  The wallet that you can drive over with a car and it opens gracefully without a scratch or dent in its frame.  The immediate release of stains with a generous application of this magic cleaner.  A promise of teeth bright enough to signal men in outer space with the simple application of a tiny strip.  The list could go on and on.  You get my point.  I have tried to open the wallet straight out of its packaging and found it more than difficult even BEFORE you run over it with a truck!  The stains just don't come out in one easy swish of the shirt in the magic cleaner!  The white teeth don't even seem to turn the head of the puppy in the window, let alone the men in my life!

The fast-talking tricksters WILL be exposed - - their trickery is God's business to expose, not ours.  We "deal" with their trickery by having an accurate "test" whereby to "filter" their claims - - the counsel of God.

Second, David has a deep hope that God will use his life to touch the lives of others.  He has a desire to be a living "testimony" of what God does when he has complete access to a life.  David starts with a prayer for God to deal with those who have no evidence of truth in their lives, then he turns to himself.  He knows that God has been working to create evidence of truth deep within his frame.  In turn, he asks God to use that evidence to give both assurance and hope to those who will turn to him in search of the reality they cannot find elsewhere.  He is asking God to make his life an open declaration of all that God has been doing within.  

This is a pretty brave request on his part - - expose the work you are doing in me.  I don't know about you, but anytime I get to the part where I think God might just expose what has been going on in my life, I get a little nervous!  Why is that?  I think it might be the fact we are not always comfortable with others knowing our struggles.  If others see that we struggle, they see us as human - - this is the basis of David's prayer.  He wants others to see the reality of what God can do when a heart is yielded to his care.  There is nothing shameful in exposure - - when God does the work of exposing!

Last, David prays for himself.  This is not a selfish prayer in any respect.  He is asking God to "cement" the work he has been doing so that he need not be ashamed of his behavior.  When David asks God to let him live whole and holy, soul and body, so he can always walk with his head held high, he is beginning the process of yielding.  He is willing to submit mind, will, emotions, and spirit to the care of God - - giving up the need to be in control of self.  This is a prayer God delights in answering.  In fact, when we see this prayer coupled with the other two, we understand the importance.  In asking God to make his testimony strong and his ability to stand as evidence of truth in the midst of much untruth.

I don't know if you are dealing with fast-talking tricksters today, but if you find that your path is riddled with their schemes, take them to God.  He has both the "filter" by which you can evaluate their claims and the ability to silence them with evidence beyond argument!  If you have been struggling with something you just don't think God will ever use, don't be surprised when God urges you to allow him to make it a testimony of his power and grace.  When he urges, he also empowers.  Walking with head held high is God's greatest honor - - when he sees us yielded, engaged in this walk we call Christianity, he is honored greatly.

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