Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack.
In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
(Psalm 56: 1, 11, 13)
If you have a moment, you should really read all of Psalm 56. It's not very long. But I pulled out these three verses because they tell the general story of the Psalm: David is being attacked by his enemies without rest, but yet he is not afraid because of his trust in the God who delivers him and helps him to walk in the light of life.
How often do we say that first line, and then stop? How often do you pray "God this is happening, and that is happening, and no one likes me or wants me to succeed and..." but you never move to "But God I place my faith in you and I know that you will see me through this time, because you have already saved me from an eternity without you."
It's a little sad how easy it is to forget the message of the cross. Which, by the way, is the Good News of the Bible. God resurrected Jesus, so that even death has no hold over us, because He will bring us back to life as well. As David said, "for you have delivered me from death." He wasn't speaking only to the fact that he was still alive despite having men chase after him. No, I believe that he is also speaking to the fact that God saves us from an eternal separation from Him.
But how does he? That is something not really covered in this psalm. Why did God save him from death? Why will He save us? What do we have to do?
Well, if you've read any of my posts from last week, I was working my way through 1 John 1:5-9, which speaks to the fact that we will receive redemption from all of our sins if we confess them, and that if we walk in the light of God, we will have community with Him and with others.
I believe that Psalm 56 is a practical application of this. David was "a man after God's own heart" and even though he sinned big time, he always came back to God in repentance and sought God's wisdom and guidance constantly. He wasn't perfect, but He knew who was. And so David trusted in God. Trusted for protection. Trusted for life.
And he saw that the point of life is to walk it, to walk it in the light of life. To walk in God's light which sees everything about us. But we can only do this when we let go of our life, let go of those things which hold us back. Sin holds us back. Sin keeps us from walking in the light.
Can we stop sinning by ourselves? No. Not even if you promise yourself, God and the Easter Bunny that you'll never ever do "it" again. It is by God's grace, and with God's strength that you will stop. It is God who keeps our "feet from stumbling."
So be like David. Lift up your problems to the Lord. Tell him how you are being attacked and put down. But then, be sure to recognize that God is the one who will give you strength and redeem you. Open yourself up to God's work in your life by letting go of that which holds you back. Your sin hold you back.
And if you let go, you will see that you are a new creation over whom death itself has no hold. You will walk in the light of life, and you will be a light to others.