Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 203

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Possessing a steadfast spirit goes beyond having the boldness to stand one’s ground against the enemy. When we possess a steadfast spirit, we are not swayed by new winds of doctrine and teaching as so many seem to be, but rather, we stand on the rock that is Christ, unmoved, unshaken, unperturbed and undistracted by the countless voices attempting to lead us astray.

It is because so few possess steadfastness that so many go from one doctrine to another ever searching but never finding what they are searching for.

We have the word of God as the final authority in matters concerning the spiritual, and when we are steadfast we defer to the Bible rather than to our denominations, and remain on the narrow path of faith regardless of how many voices would attempt to beguile us to the contrary.

Rather than learn to be dependent upon the guidance, inspiration and urging of the Holy Spirit as David had, we are taught by men who ought to know better that our opinions, feelings and preferences supersede the Holy Spirit’s leadings, and as such He can readily be ignored and marginalized.

David understood the importance of having the Spirit of God ever present in his life. He understood the importance of walking led by the Spirit and prayed in earnest that God would not remove His Spirit from him.

Psalm 51:11-13, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”

The presence of the Holy Spirit in his life was foremost on David’s mind and heart. He realized the one thing he could not live without, and so prayed that God would not take it from him. David knew he could live without his crown, his kingdom, his wealth, his accolades, his army and his reputation, but he could not live without the Holy Spirit, and so prayed this sobering prayer.

David also realizes what God desires of those who call themselves His children, and confirms the reality that bringing forth sacrifice would be a far easier task than walking in the will of God as He commands we do.

We can offer up tokens, we can offer up trinkets, we can offer up things men would prize and see as valuable, but as long as we do not offer up our hearts, as long as we do not offer up ourselves in our entirety, we fall short of doing what is pleasing in the sight of God.

I realize full well that those who would have your coin and your possessions far outnumber those who would have you surrender your heart to God, but the truth doesn’t always lie with the majority, nor does righteousness or wisdom for that matter.

Psalm 51:16-17, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.”

David had realized the futility of half measures when it came to the things of God. He realized that men of unclean hands bringing sacrifice before God was something He despised, but also that God would honor a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.

Imperfect as David might have been, he loved the Lord, he loved the house of the Lord, and he loved the way of the Lord. It is this burning love for God that must motivate us, drive us, and compel us to seek His will in all we do.

Although he had reached the heights of power, although there was not a man with more authority than him in the entire kingdom, David still humbled himself and acknowledged his need for God, His Holy Spirit, and his continued guidance.

Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation on You I wait all day.”

Pray for God’s revelation and you shall have it. Pray that He show you His ways, and He will. Pray that He teaches you His paths, and you will see Him illuminate the way, for He is a good and loving God whose desire is always a more sanctified you.

God’s promises remain ever true, and He promised that if we asked to be led in His truth and taught by Him, He would teach us and lead us.

Isaiah 30:21, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”

As David’s knowledge of God grew his trust and dependence upon God grew in equal proportion. The more of God we come to know, the more we come to realize just how fragile, powerless and small we really are, and how great, omnipotent and all-encompassing our God is.

When we come to know God, we do not spend less time in His presence but more, we do not desire less of Him, but more. Knowledge of God only fuels a desire for more of Him in our lives, and eventually we come to that place as David did so long ago, where we realize absent His presence in our lives and hearts it will be impossible for us to breathe one more breath.

We have learned much from the prayer of David, and my hope is that we apply what we have learned to our daily time of devotion and fellowship in the presence of God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I don't think you can model your prayer life after someone else's. David was a unique person and what he felt like praying might not be what someone else feels. God honors a broken spirit and a contrite heart but you can't fake something like that just to pray correctly. If you are driven down to that point and call out to God, he will be there. If you stay down he will get tired of you and ignore you again. He expects you to get up and walk in victory at some point.

His followers have a problem because they refuse to listen and obey. They think their own ideas and suggestions are better. I would pray that I be able to find a way to listen and obey what God asks even if I don't want to. I think this is the hardest thing.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The more you feed your flesh instead of your spirit, the more tempted you will be to follow your flesh instead of what feeds your spirit.

We live in an ever more carnal world where people are focussed on sex, food, entertainment, personal appearance, and popular opinion. If you follow these pursuits you come up empty without oil to keep your spirit fresh. Fasting refreshes your spirit, sexual purity guards your spirit, soberness edifies your spirit, integrity purifies your spirit and faithfulness helps grow your spirit.

Living a clean life day to day attracts God to you more.