Psalm 40: Redeemed life

Do you know what it's like to have your life saved and rescued by God, into relationship with him through Jesus... and yet still have troubles each day that you wish he would rescue you from?

Christians know what this is like!

And so did David, the writer of this psalm.  He says God has already rescued him... and yet asks God to rescue him again!

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

David knew God's salvation and rescue.  He pictures God lifting him from a slimy pit.  For anyone who trusts and follows Jesus today, they can say - "ME TOO!  Through Jesus, God rescued me from my pit of sin and shame and has lifted me up and out of it, forgiving me and bringing me into relationship with him through Jesus!"

David continues...

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Two things here...

1.  There's is only one true God and nothing else deserves to be in his place.  Everyone puts something or someone first in their lives and makes sacrifices for it.  This is worship.  But nothing or no-one but God deserves to be first in our lives.  And anything or anyone other than God buckles under the pressure of being in the position of God to us anyway.

2. The one true God is GOOD!  He's powerful but kind too and wants good things for us.  Those who know him have stories of his kindness and blessing, even if their lives are difficult!

David's first and most important sacrifice to God is himself...   

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire –
    but my ears you have opened; –
    burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, ‘Here I am, I have come –
    it is written about me in the scroll.

There is something God wants more than religion.  More than your church attendance.  More than your good deeds.  More than your songs.

He wants YOU!

This starts with repentance - turning from sin and trusting in Jesus who saves us from sin and brings us forgiveness.  Giving your sin and yourself to Jesus to begin a relationship with God.

But this is only the beginning.  It continues with giving yourself to God every day.  Every moment.  Every decision.  Every thought, word and deed.  Everything for God.  

Like David, our first and most important sacrifice to God is ourselves... every day...
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.’

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

I've had the privilege of being involved in the writing and production of something called LIVING AND TELLING.  It's a training course to help Christians share their faith in Jesus as way of life.

Long before 'Living and Telling' was a snazzy course, David knew what it was to LIVE for God and TELL others about him and the words above describe this beautifully.  This is what he was all about when he was really in tune with God (he wasn't always!).

If you're a Christian, could you pray verses 8-10 to God honestly?  Or do you need to repent if you've taken your eye off the ball and ask him to help you have the same heart, words and actions David did so you can LIVE for Jesus and TELL others about him?

And if you're not a Christian, who do you know that IS?  How about asking them to tell you about how God has been faithful to them?  Don't take no for an answer!  Every Christian has a story to tell!

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 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.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    ‘The Lord is great!’

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

David is grateful to God for saving him and lifting him from the pit and yet he still faces trouble in his life.  He still cries out to God to save him and help him in his present situation.

There's nothing wrong with being a Christian and crying out to God for help.  This is what Christians do when life is hard.  They can have confidence that God is listening and able to help them in their time of need because he is the one who lifted their life from the pit of sin and shame and brought them into relationship with him and gave them a hope and an eternal future in a world without sickness, suffering and death!!

And so I can keep talking to him about whatever's on my mind - the good, the bad and the ugly.  Every day.

God has redeemed David's life from the pit and so David calls him, "MY God".

Is he yours?