Tuesday, January 16, 2007

on hold

Did you ever feel like your life is going nowhere? That you're treading ground, maybe even losing ground? Because there is some sin issue in your life that you're not addressing well?

We all have. In reading Philip Yancey's new book on prayer, last evening, I was kind of struck by his reference to Psalm 51, as well as the testimony of a woman in how making that Psalm her own prayer, helped her address the sin issue in her life.

When we struggle with a sin issue, be it anger, lust, envy, pride, not forgiving, not caring, anxiety etc., we often find ourselves experiencing misery, fear, guilt, heaviness, etc. Often people, in spite of this experience, find it impossible, or at least more than they're able to do, to let go of their sin.

I think an important and helpful place for us to begin is to turn to this Psalm from Scripture, and begin to make it our own prayer to God. Regardless of whether we feel like it or not. As we meditate on the words, and pray them to God, we can, in time, more and more be making these words, truly our own.

David could only move on before God, and before people (though with difficulty and trials to come) after addressing his sin. First he was confronted by Nathan, the prophet. Then, after acknowledging his guilt and sin, he had to begin to work through his confession to God. It was not an easy and quick fix. It took time. It took effort. It took an open heart before God. Only God could forgive him. Only God could cleanse him. And make him whole again. So that he could serve God and humankind acceptably, in love, again.

Do we have any sin issue that has been entangling us? Does it seem like we're making no headway in it, and that our lives are on hold? Then we must learn to deal with it. In God's prescribed way. Even as David did. Not watering down our sinful heart attitude. Or sinful act. But bringing it before God. In Christ we have forgiveness and cleansing. And new life. But we must receive it in such a way that, more and more, we are leaving the old behind, and entering into the new from God.

What might you like to share with us on this, as to your thoughts or experience?


L.L. Barkat said...

I like adopting certain portions of scripture as my prayers. God's words, back to God, with the shape of my voice. It's comforting, challenging, and powerful.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I thought you might like reading the integrating motif of my sem-studies.


Ted Gossard said...

Thanks for sharing that, L.L. I too like to hear Scripture, and that is the way I read it, even if in my mind. I miss hearing it read.

Yancey has written a good book on prayer, and I thought this section was helpful for us, when we struggle with a sin issue or any issue. And he talks at some length there about praying the psalms, as well as other passages.

I'm more the spontaneous kind, who struggles (ha) to pray something put in front of me. But I'm more and more seeing the value of doing that.

Ted Gossard said...

dlw, I left a comment on your post. Your post in reference to this post has a similarity when you mention ecclessial fallibilism. How we must go out by faith, and if we err, deal with it according to God's prescribed way, then go on.


Kim Aliczi said...

great post - lots of truth here. God cares about who we are - not so much what we can do for Him.

Ted Gossard said...

Kim, Thanks so much!

Yes, David's vocation, in a sense needed to be set aside. So that he could really get right with God again. As you well say, God cares about who we are, not as much what we do, even for him.