Emotional Baggage – Part 5
This is our last week and we talked about when “I Owe God”. If you are like me you have had a time when you sinned, you asked for forgiveness but you didn’t feel forgiven. As a student minister I can’t count the times I encounter people who feel like they owe God and that somehow He will not forgive them or they still feel burden with guilt and never feel forgiven. This usually results in us withdrawing from God. We avoid God, we quit talking to him, and we feel even guiltier. So how do I repay God when I hurt him? How do I feel forgiven and remove all this guilt?
King David was a man after God’s own heart. He wrote some of the most amazing praise hymns that we are still singing. But David had sin in his life namely the sin of committing adultery with Bathsheba and having one of his friends (Uriah was one of David 30 mighty warriors) and her husband killed. David is confronted about this by Nathan the prophet and realizes the gravity of his sin. David owes God big time. How do you get forgiveness of adultery and murder? But God does forgive and we gain a little insight through David’s prayer for forgiveness in Psalms 51.
Psalms 51:1-3 David asks God to remove his sin and guilt. Can you imagine the guilt he must have? You have a meeting with your 30 mighty warriors or 29 of them now. You walk up on Bathsheba crying because she missing her husband. David knows he sinned against God and owes him.
Psalms 51:4-6 David begins to spill the beans and tell God everything. He takes full blame for his actions. He doesn’t try to justify his sins. Have you ever done this? Lord I am sorry but you see.. David could have said Lord I committed adultery but you see I couldn’t help it. You created a beautiful woman and made me to where I get turned on by beautiful women. If you had made her ugly I wouldn’t have sinned. This may sound weird but Adam did this in the garden. God this woman that you gave me lead me to sin. David says that God desires honesty so he admits it was all him. We have to be honest with God. No excuses just tell God the truth. It is hard doing this, but if we want true forgiveness we need to be brutally honest with God and ourselves.
Psalms 51:7-12 David asks once again that God would remove his guilt and return his joy. David is heartbroken over his sin and knows he has hurt people and God. He also asks for God not to take his Holy Spirit from him. David saw this happen to Saul and doesn’t want this to happen to him.
Psalms 51:13-15 When I first read this section I couldn’t help but to think that David is bargaining with God. Do this and I will do that. Honestly, I have done this with God. But, I don’t think this is what David is doing. I think he is telling God what he plans to do to repay God. Let’s pause here. I can’t repay God; I can’t earn my salvation, thank God for grace. But if I am going to be forgiven I have to repent. How do you repent of murder? Can’t undo it. But you can tell people of what you have done and why they don’t need to be like you. David could tell his family, friends, rebels, and others of his sin and God’s love and grace. David basically tells God I will not try to hide my sin any longer but will come clean and use this moment to teach people about You.
Psalms 51:16-19 David finishes by stating the most critical things to help us feel forgiven. God doesn’t need more prayers, sacrifices, or you name what you have tried. He needs a broken heart that understands what I did and why this hurt God and others involved. Let’s be honest. Have you ever asked for forgiveness but you weren’t really sorry. Sometimes we don’t feel forgiven because deep down we know we are not sorry. I have apologized to people and what I really meant was that I was sorry I got caught, I am sorry I am uncomfortable now, I am sorry you are hurt, but not sorry that I did it. Paul calls this godly sorrow that will lead you away from sin and to salvation (2 Cor 7:10). We can’t lie to ourselves and sometimes we treat prayer like guilt remover. Pray a little prayer and the guilt is gone. But deep down we know that we were not sorry we just wanted to feel better.
When I owe God the payment is simple, He desires a humble, contrite, and broken heart. When we give this to God he erases our debt and removes our guilt.