I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as You know, O LORD. I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal Your love and Your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold Your mercy from me, O LORD; may Your love and Your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quick to help me. May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!" be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!" Yet I am poor and needy; may the LORD think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. (Psalm 40:9-17)
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The sun was setting and I was running. My jaws were clenched, my annoyance was heightened, and my music was blaring. It was one of those days where everything felt dark and gray, and all I wanted to do was get outside - away from everything and everyone - and clear my mind.
For weeks, I had felt the negative pressure of life, like intense baggage weighing down on my shoulders. I was tired, angry, bitter, and prideful. Though I had been outwardly proclaiming my love for Christ, inwardly, I kept finding myself in a dull and dark place; a dull and dark mood. I wanted to step out of this, but my mood felt habitual and my feelings felt so real.
And as I ran, my physical surroundings blurred, my eyes started to open, and I realized the trouble that I was in.
I believe that this is exactly where David was when he wrote today's psalm: "Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD...for troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me." (40:11-12)
David was stuck in a rut of habitual sin. Though his mouth professed God in public - though he spoke of God's faithfulness and love in "the great assembly" - he was still met with inner temptations and selfish desires.
But instead of staying overwhelmed, dull, and overtaken, he begged the Lord for help and assistance: "Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quick to help me..."
And I love how he ends the Psalm: "'The LORD be exalted!' Yet I am poor and needy; may the LORD think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay."
What David is not doing is passively remaining in both his sinful habits and his dull and dark places. Instead, he is choosing to see himself with humility and go to the Lord for deliverance.
Take a look at the words that he used: poor and needy. King David - without a doubt - was neither "poor" nor "needy." He had everything, yet he professed having nothing.
His "neediness" was seen in comparison to God and the "spiritual richness" that he was called to embrace. Spiritually, he was very needy; very poor.
And this is exactly where I found myself at that night while running.
I had a decision to make: I could let my life remain in a passive downward spiral, staying dull in my gray-toned mood... or... I could humble myself, recognize my neediness, and ask God for deliverance; for help.
Wherever you find yourself at today - or this weekend - realize the "spiritual richness" that God's calls you to embrace. Stop allowing emotions to cloud your day, sinful habits to own you, or troublesome thoughts to overtake you.
Instead, call on the Lord with humility.
David says: "May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation always say, 'The LORD be exalted!'"
Let this be true of us today. Tomorrow. And forever. Have a great day.
Greg, Declare Glory