Sunday, February 10, 2008

God Moves For His Name's Sake

What a valuable morning today at church! Dr. Michael Easley of Moody Bible Institute spoke on Psalm 25. This psalm speaks of David's desire for God to come near him in his hour of distress, particularly that from his sin, and from the enemy without. Easley's main point was that God may not grant our prayers right away, but he will enlarge our capacity to wait. He used the example of how White Fence Farm in Denver constructed a waiting facility with many amenities--simply for those waiting to get a table at the oft-busy restaurant.

Another valuable lesson relates to the portion of Isaiah 58 I have been memorizing. Consider the following verses:

"According to your steadfast love remember me for the sake of your goodness O Lord! (v. 7).

Verse 11: "For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, for it is great."

Two verses in the middle of the "what" David wanted that give the "why." David is concerned with the name of the Lord being glorified. And in that spirit, he will receive the help he so desperately needs from God.
What is this leading to? Just that God seems to close the windows of heaven so long as we are still preoccupied with our own name and our own kingdom (contrast the Lord's prayer). In short, our prayers will not avail with God if we are self-preoccupied.

What are the personal implications? Years and years I prayed and never had peace. I received nothing I asked for. I was double-minded. What is the cure? Desperation and brokenness before God (see Psalm 51:17).
It also reminds me of James 4: "Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and wail."

This is a most blessed work indeed--when God moves and changes our orientation from self to God. It is consistent with the miraculous nature of faith. Faith is supernatural. We are not born with it. Man cannot manufacture it. GOD gives it! And he does so for the sake of his name. "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my name's sake, and will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25).

Once you begin this life of faith, you will know that there is no earthly joy to compare to it. Sometimes, I get deceived, and go to hang around Egypt's shore, but I know I can never get too far. God will call me back. May he do the same blessed work in your life as you meditate on Scripture.

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