Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.” For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous. Psalm 38:15-19
God doesn’t move in your life when you struggle, God moves when you pray!
The Lord brought Psalm 38 to heart, and this Psalm is special because it tells God to remember His merciful ways. Although God is angered by sin, and expects us to change our ways: we also know sin brings with it consequences. In the case of David we saw how he suffered through different means. David experienced sickness and family issues from these consequences, but he also faced persecution from his enemies who attempted to take advantage of this trying time for David.
Going through so much, David felt as if he had been forgotten by the Lord. So David reminded God of His own word (don’t you love the word?). God honors His word, above His name! David asked God for deliverance, not exactly from sin but from the suffering. Deliverance means salvation, which means to make safe! While forgiven of sin, like David, we will still suffer consequences but He can keep us safe.
Before I continue, I do want to emphasize that sin is anything that falls below God’s standard. Some sins are in the heart, like becoming angry with God, being ungrateful, comparison, envy, gossip, rebellion, arrogance, etc. And other sins are in the flesh, like drunkenness, smoking, stealing, sexual sin, reveling (enjoying oneself in a lively and noisy way, especially with drinking and dancing) and other unrestricted excesses. Consequences can look like many things including illness, disappointment, loss of focus, confusion, restlessness, etc. through which demonic assignments could easily manipulate and use as a gateway to overcome us.
According to the Psalm David felt that God’s hand was pressing him, and that he has sent arrows to attack him. Reminds me of the burdens we feel when we are overwhelmed by guilt (self condemnation), despair and discouragement. And the arrows remind me of the demonic attacks we get from the enemy camp which are as fiery darts, spoken of in Ephesians 6. We must wear our Spiritual armor, the shield of faith in specific in order to quench the fiery darts of Satan. And we must also use the belt of Truth to pray for mercy, wisdom and discernment to perceive the traps which Satan has laid for us to be destroyed.
David had his shield of faith ready and in use, He called out to God believing God’s character was trustworthy. He expressed his pain to the Lord, demonstrating he could be transparent before his God. And he expressed his hope in God, believing that the Lord hears Him and that the Lord would act. Towards the middle of the Psalm David did something interesting, he reasoned with God: ‘my enemies hate that I serve you Lord, they are multiplying, and if you let them overcome me they will rejoice and exalt themselves … what will that say of you God?’. I hope this Psalm helps you in your prayer life.
Most High God, Lord of Heaven’s armies, we confess our wrongs to you, our sins and iniquities. We confess that sin troubles our souls, and the burden is heavy for us to carry. I pray you would correct the misaligned of our hearts and our flesh, by your Spirit. May we grow in holiness, according to your word. Let us not fall, and do not forsake us Jesus. We know that you are closer to us than a brother, and even if mother and father forsake us You will remain with us; we thank you for your faithfulness Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.