Monday, August 23, 2010
Just Like That!
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. — Psalm 118:5, ESV
I wrote these three words next to this verse in my Bible this morning: "Just like that!" Look at the "simplicity" of the writer here: He was freaking out because of some situation he was facing. So, he called out to God. God answered and set him free. Here's my question: how can I sign up for direct and rapid response messages from God? How do I get that included in my service agreement with him? It was that easy. He was struggling so he called out to God. God answered and set him free.
Now, if you're like me in any way (like being human), you may be thinking, "It can't be that easy because I haven't experienced stuff change that quickly. I've gone to the Lord in my times of trial and those times continued. Nothing changed. I wasn't delivered from the situation. In fact, it felt like it got worse." However, maybe the situation didn't change the psalmist. Rather, may only his perspective did. Look at Psalm 118:6 (the next verse): "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
I see 118:6 being the reason for being "set free" in 118:5. It could very well be that God totally changed the circumstances and everything got better. Honestly, that's what most people see as deliverance (myself included). If this is the case, the circumstances changed and the quick fix happened. But here's the thing: say that the circumstance didn't change. Imagine just for a moment that everything in the writer's life stayed the same, or maybe even got worse, but his perspective changed. His perspective was changed because he called on God. When he did that, God answered him. When God answers, we're reminded of who he is (read Job 38-42 to see this played out). When I compare that with who/what I am facing, I can cry out that I have been set free.
Satan may continue to attack, leaving me feeling "up against the ropes." The doctor may come out with a tough diagnosis. The bills may continue to increase while the bank account seems to be diminishing. The world may vomit on my lap, leaving me to try to clean up it's mess. And my response: Cry out to God. Hear his answer. Be reminded of his majesty. Be encouraged in his glory. Be loved by God. The perspective will change, even if the circumstances don't, resulting in being set free. Of course we can still cry out for deliverance from the circumstances, but what a place to be with Jesus when the circumstances never affect my being free in Christ because of the perspective that he has given to me.
Wow - I've got a lot to learn.