From Giggles to Guilt and Back Again
Psalms 38:4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
Today’s Psalm is quite a contrast to the 37th Psalm we studied last Thursday. We’ve gone from giggles to guilt. David has moved from delight to despair. But before we just brush it off as emotional instability, let’s consider the reality of what is happening. David has sinned. We are not told what the sin is, and that’s probably good or we would find reason to exclude ourselves from the message of this Psalm. His sin has resulted in health problems (vs. 3), heaviness of heart (vs. 8), hopelessness (vs. 10), and broken relationships (vs. 11). His guilt has overwhelmed him. He compares the weight of the guilt to a burden too heavy to bear.
I have been deeply convicted for the past few weeks that revival is necessary for the church. But I believe it can only come if it begins with me…and you. Revival starts with prayer – specifically prayers of repentance.
We must pause to consider that we may not take seriously enough the guilt of our sin. I see an “easy believism” in our modern-day evangelical movement that is leading people to a false sense of security. By that I mean that far too many people believe that they are saved from their sin because of their head knowledge of the facts of Christianity yet have never experienced the death of their flesh and the resurrection of the life of Christ in their hearts which transforms their lives. They reject the idea of repentance. They conform God to an image of their own making, and attempt to use Him as nothing more than a blessing machine for their lives.
The reality of this was demonstrated to me several years ago during a conversation I was having with a young man. He was telling me about some friends of his who profess to be Christians and were even involved in a Bible Study with him. They fell in love and decided to get married. After the engagement they moved in together. When confronted with this by a Christian friend, they rejected his “opinion” of what he told them was sin, and they said, “What right do you have to judge us. We will be judged by God alone.”
Your reaction to that statement will indicate your true beliefs about God. You will either agree with that couple and claim your rights to live according to your own opinions, or you will fall on your face with a righteous and healthy fear of God and consider the grace He has granted you to remain pure and blameless in the midst of this corrupt generation, praying the whole time that you will not fall into the same complacency and self-serving attitude about sin.
How great is the deception of Satan in the lives of people when they can proclaim their right to sin with an understanding that God will judge them, and yet not fear the judgment. Who do they really think God is? And why do they really believe they are truly saved when they think that way? How can people claim to be taking delight in the Lord while they are taking delight in their sin?
When we delight in the Lord, we will hate sin! When we walk in fellowship with the Lord, sin offends us because it interferes with the delight of our fellowship. When we are in love with the Lord we cannot be in love with the world. When anything threatens to interfere with our relationship with Jesus, we are to reject it and willfully turn from it. We must want nothing to interfere with the beauty of our relationship with Christ. That is the test of true love. True love immediately and forcefully rebels against anything that threatens the love relationship.
That’s how your marriage should be. Your spouse should see you immediately and forcefully rejecting anything that comes into your field of vision or sphere of influence that could threaten your intimacy. If your spouse can’t see that, then how are they supposed to trust your love for them? Anything that threatens intimacy with the one you claim to love should overwhelm you with guilt and a burden that is too heavy to bear.
So it is with Christ. No matter how we have humanly qualified sin as small or justified it as necessary for some personal fulfillment, that sin should immediately overwhelm us with guilt and Godly sorrow that drives us to repentance. I think we as Christians have quenched the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to such a degree that “little” sins no longer affect us. Maybe the reason the power is gone from the church today is because the lives of the people of God are filled with sin that is excused as insignificant.
Let us prove that we take delight in the Lord by not taking delight in sin. Let us fall on our knees today and confess our deception and repent of our sin. Let us cry out to God for forgiveness. Let us proclaim with David, O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.
Then, and only then, will the giggles return.