Psalms 69:29-33 NLT
I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
For this will please the lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
For the lord hears the cries of the needy;
he does not despise his imprisoned people.
It is so encouraging to see that David, in the Old Testament, even before the full revelation of Christ Jesus, that this “man after God’s heart” knew that a life praising and honoring and being thankful was what God desired. He understood and demonstrated that the letter of the law, the sacrifices – that they are a shadow of the more important things like faithfulness, mercy, love, and forgiveness. He knew that the law is necessary for those trapped in lawlessness to realize that they are imprisoned – but that living a life of praise and thanksgiving and honor to God is what He desires FOR us.
And I say that He desires this FOR us and not that He expects this FROM us, because God, the creator of the cosmos, the author of our existence, the authority over all things – He has the wisdom and understanding to know what is best for our lives. If anyone is in a position to give us valuable advice and guidance, isn’t it God!
So He doesn’t sit on His holy mountain waiting to throw lightning bolts at us if we don’t follow His rules. No, He offers us help if we will accept it, hope if we will believe it, guidance if we will follow it, righteousness if we will wear it, favor if we will share it, and power if we can bear it.
It comes down to who I trust. Do I believe and trust God? Or do I trust myself and my own ways and what this world tells me and tries to sell me that is a poor substitute for wisdom?
Do I surrender my life into the authority and guidance of my Lord and Savior, or am I satisfied doing it “my way”?
Yes, God gives us the opportunity to choose. And in this freedom, once we trust Him, we can begin to see that what we once thought was freedom from rules is actually imprisonment to those things that bring us pain and disease and death – but that when we follow Him, He will prove to us daily that He is faithful and trustworthy and that His guidance is true and just and valuable.
I don’t praise God because “a good Christian is supposed to”.
I don’t love others because “a good Christian is supposed to”.
I don’t avoid sin because “a good Christian is supposed to”.
No, I live my life praising and thanking God because He continues to bless my life and prove His words and His guidance true and faithful when I follow it. He is tested and true, proven and trustworthy, and I am blessed to know Him and love Him.
Yes, He reached out and touched this black sheep, this sinner of sinners, this lover of pleasures, this prisoner of temptations – and He changed my life, and He is proving to me that His Word is faithful and true.
Praise God for His mercy, love, forgiveness, power, glory and honor. He is the Lord of Lords, heavenly God Almighty, who came fully revealed as Jesus Christ to show us the way, the truth, and the life.
He hears our cries, He knows our need even better than we do ourselves – and He is faithful.
Our choice comes down to –
Who do I trust today with my life?