Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Psalms 60:1 You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry—now restore us!
Some people make messes; some people clean up messes. I’ve been told I’m good at both. However, my heart is most fulfilled when broken things get fixed.
I was always looking for creative ways to make things work better or even work differently. When I was in 6th grade I wanted to play golf, but we had no golf clubs. I took my dad’s saber saw and cut off the ends of all our croquet mallets at different angles and made my own clubs. Dad said I was destructive. I thought I was creative.
The desire to fix and restore things has never ended. In my younger days, so very long ago, I was a manager of retail clothing stores. I was specifically transferred from North Dakota to Iowa to clean up a mess in a store and get it back on the profit track.
The first three churches I pastored were struggling ministries that needed restoration. It is so fulfilling to watch God take what was declared dead and resurrect it to life. It is so humbling to be called to be the instrument of his grace.
Such was the call of David to succeed Saul as the King of Israel. Saul had made a mess. David was asked to clean it up. Because of Saul’s rejection of God, God had withdrawn His power and protection from Israel. In the latter days of Saul’s reign the nation of Israel was decimated by sin and military defeats. The people were despondent. Trouble was overwhelming them. Their hope was severely dimmed.
Then David arrives on the scene to begin the restoration process. The steps he takes can be applied to our personal and business lives as well as we seek to restore broken things or people.
First, evaluate the situation and look for a cause. Don’t allow this to become a blame game, but there are real reasons why things break and unless we know the cause we can never really fix anything. The cause of Israel’s mess was their own sin which resulted in God’s rejection.
David first addresses the cause of Israel’s brokenness in Psalm 60, and then proclaims the truth that for those who fear God, He has raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. They were not being victorious over their enemies because they had stopped fearing God. Humbly returning to God would restore their national dignity.
When things are going bad in your own life or business, evaluate the presence of sin in your life as the first potential cause.
Second, David calls out to God in prayer and confesses the nation’s need of His intervention. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. David didn’t try to be the super hero. He didn’t arrogantly proclaim that he was the savior sent to rescue and restore the people. He humbly called out to God.
As you develop your strategies for fixing the broken things in your life, make sure God is the source of all your information. Saul’s pride is what caused Israel’s mess. David says in verse 11 that the help of man is worthless. David made sure that God was the source of all wisdom for the restoration project. The mess you have to clean up in your life has been caused by pride and self-sufficiency. Don’t multiply the problem with prideful motivations. Make sure God gets all the credit and not you.
Third, David looks outside of the nation and evaluates what forces are working against them that need to be handled. Shechem, Gilead, Manasseh, Ephraim, Judah, Moab, Edom, and Philistia were all evaluated based on their positive or negative influences upon the people, and their fate was determined accordingly. Tough decisions had to be made, but the negative outside influences had to be eliminated.
We need to consider what outside negative influences are hurting our lives or businesses and then eliminate them.
Finally, David casts an achievable vision for the people to grasp and pursue. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies. David understood the importance of keeping people’s eyes focused on the finish line and not on all of the hurdles in the way.
Satan loves to send us sprawling by overwhelming us with obstacles. We don’t make much progress while we are laid out on the ground, and we don’t feel like getting up when all we can see from down there is the next hurdle and everybody else running past us. We must realize that God goes before us in every race and has already personally approved every hurdle and verifies that we can jump it.
We’ve made some pretty big messes of our lives in some areas, haven’t we? It’s time to clean them up. You don’t have to stay in your current situation. Cry out to God and surrender to His plan. He will restore you.