Who's better?

You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. (Psalm 51:4-6)

We probably all have a close friend - someone who seems to know most of the "dirt" in our lives - hopefully it is someone you can call your BFF. To be totally transparent here, these "besties", "BFFs", and "best buds" only know us "most of the way", though. There are always some parts of "us" that we honestly believe are kept hidden away from everyone - those really secret things we just hope no one ever learns about us because if they do, we wonder if they will ever be able to love us, much less like us! The only one who really knows us "all the way" is the one who actually created us - God himself. Our 'besties' get really, really close to that level of intimacy, but if we are truthful with ourselves right now, there are things we keep to ourselves simply because we know they are the 'hard things' that make it hard to deal with us. It could be we just need someone to point out those hard places, though.

God has all the facts about us and he still loves us! Now, if that doesn't amaze you even a little, you will miss the rest of what I am about to tell you! David, with a little help from a faithful friend he's likely have called one of his 'friends', comes to the realization of just how much his sin has driven a wedge between him and God. There was something there in his life that needed to be 'pointed out' so God could deal with it and help him overcome. It was likely God's love for David that caused Nathan (the prophet) to bring the message of "conviction" to David. David had wallowed in his sin long enough - Nathan was about to turn the tide for David with the message of forgiveness he would bring him. How does God know the right time, the right method, and the right messenger to send? It always amazes me to know God has that all in his control and he comes through each and every time.

A faithful God provides a faithful friend. Did you ever stop to consider the friend God has placed alongside you for the journey you are on today? In reality, this one may be able to see and know some things about you, but when God is in these friends of ours, they see much more than we might imagine! In the moment of our greatest need, a faithful friend is always willing to point us directly to the source of where our need will be met - Christ! A friend doesn't consider it too much to go out on the line and tell it like it is. Maybe that is one way we know when we have been given a 'real friend' in our lives. David's confession is a hard one for him to make to God, much less have anyone else in humanity know what he has been dealing with. He has been "out of step" with God for a long time. He has let time pass, making the shame and guilt he has experienced about his sin simply mount to almost insurmountable levels. In fact,  he is sinking deeper and deeper into depression. His body aches, he cannot sleep, he feels like his bones are withering away inside. He needs deliverance - and God prepares the messenger - Nathan. The time is right, the message is true, and the messenger has been prepared.

We may not know the exact one God will use to point us in the right direction again when we most need that redirection. The truth remains - God cares too much about us for him to leave us wallowing in our self-pity and sin for very long. He will send a faithful friend - one who will bring the message of forgiveness and restoration we so desperately need. Whenever we are faced with the choice between self-pity and total restoration, the choice should be simple, right? But...how many times do we reject the words of restoration simply because we don't "feel" forgiven? David said it well, "What you are after is truth from the inside out." How this is accomplished is in the very next sentence: "Enter me and conceive a new life - one that is true." No amount of self-help will do what God intends to do himself. The faithfulness of Nathan's message of forgiveness opens David's heart to the possibility of God's touch. Change is possible - but it will require the exchange of our self-pity for this truth of forgiveness. 

As long as we "wallow", we never allow God to enter into us afresh. Self-pity is really just doubt disguised in some way that means we really doubt God's willingness to forgive us and our inability to move beyond the consequences of our sin. When we "wallow", we are moving kind of clumsily, floundering about as best we can, but never really enjoying the journey. When we yield our "wallowing", we find deliverance. A faithful friend opened the door for David to realize the fact he needed God to "enter him" - taking over his doubt and self-pity, erasing his guilt, eliminating his shame, and righting him on solid ground. It is not so much about us "entering" into God - it is much more about God entering into us! We often get this backward - we want to wash away our own guilt and shame. God reminds David (through a faithful friend) - the washing is HIS business! In entering in, God makes all things new. Figures, doesn't it - the Creator knows the creation best! Who can make "new" better than the one who made it in the first place? Just askin!

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