Enlarging Your World

Enlarging Your World

David knew what it was like to be in a pit of his own creation. He wrote Psalm 51 when Nathan pointed out David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba and planning her husband’s death. David’s first words in this psalm are “Have mercy on me.” When we understand the issues in our lives, we recognize our need for mercy. Mercy means “to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior.” When we ask God for mercy, we are asking Him to leave His throne and come to us.

Christ did this for us when He died on the cross. He stooped on this earth in humbleness to provide mercy for our sins. (See John 3:16.) David called on God’s unchanging character to provide this mercy. He said, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgression” (Psalm 51:1 NIV).           

When we understand the character of God, we understand the love of God as He extends His arms toward us.His great big arms in our small world give us the ability to drop all the sins from our hands and live more fully in the great big world God created. In Psalm 51:6, David allows God to look even further into his small world. He says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place” (NIV).

When God asks us to examine our innermost being and consider the issues that keep us from living a life of freedom, He doesn’t do this as a punishment; He does this to enlarge our world. Without truth in our inner parts, God’s laws may seem confining or intolerant. We may think that having the “freedom” to go to the bars and drink alcohol excessively is part of a great big world. But when we allow God to paint the beautiful picture called life, we find freedom in doing His will. God’s truth expands our world by giving us freedom in our innermost parts.

God’s Word says, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV). When you have rest and freedom from the anxieties of this world, you have expanded your world. Your world no longer revolves around the issues held in your hand. You turn those issues over to the loving arms of a great big God.

In Psalm 51 we see that David understood the value of allowing God to examine his heart. He asked God to point out untruths, falsehoods, and lies inflicted on him. As adults or children, death words can stunt our growth as human beings.

When you were a child, did an adult ever say to you, “You’ll never amount to much”? Did you believe this in your innermost being? God wants to wipe away not only your sin, but the sins of others that have stunted your growth in Christ.

In Psalm 51:7, David writes, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.”

David feels the weight of his sin. It’s crushing. He understands the need to be cleansed. The weight of our sin not only affects us, but others as well. Each of us has been crushed by the weight of someone’s sin. God wants to bring gladness and rejoicing to the bones of all who feel the weight of sin. He wants to allow us to see ourselves as God sees us. Not as one crushed by weighty words or destroyed by the sinful actions of others, but as blood-bought children of God.

Paul acknowledges in 1 Corinthians that once we were slaves to sin, but now we are free. He admonishes, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” (7:23 NIV).

When we allow God to cleanse us, to examine our innermost parts, we are no longer slaves to the words of men. The actions of others cannot hold us in bondage. God controls our comings and goings. We are bound to Him alone. We relinquish our desire for freedom, letting it drop from our hands, and freely give it to Christ. He returns our freedom a thousand fold by freeing us from sin and an unjust world.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 NIV).This verb translated “create” (Bara in Hebrew) has no subject in the entire Bible other than God. Only God can create the heavens and the earth. Only God can create a pure heart.

God, I am nothing, and only you living in me can make me something. I admit my insignificance and can hardly begin to mouth the word mercy. I have sinned and don’t deserve a God who is willing to come to earth and forgive. I don’t deserve a God whose character is steadfast and unchanging. But I know that only you can create in me a pure heart. So I come on bended knee and with a bent spirit, begging forgiveness. I ask for the truth in the innermost parts that will set me free. 

Stepping into God’s Big Arms

Living with open hands doesn’t mean perfection. In fact, open hands allow for imperfection, because God created us that way. That sure takes the pressure off! I can grow more freely when I realize that God expects me to toddle like a baby learning how to walk.

When I stumble, the key is having the courage to get up. That courage comes when we place our trust in God. When I stumble, I can worry that someone will notice, or I can worry that no one will notice and help me up. Or I can rest in the assurance that God is there with his trustworthy, outstretched, open hands, ready to grab mine

I need those hands. But sometimes they seem far away and I wonder how I can find them. In those moments, I reach for a favorite Christian book for a word of encouragement, listen to an inspirational CD, or send an e-mail to a Christian friend.

Sometimes I’ve reached without finding. But I keep searching because I know I need God’s hands to pull me up. I shed some tears, say some prayers, and reach for my Bible. As I read, I feel like a baby again. Beginning anew, building my trust and my confidence. I must allow myself to stumble and be helped up.

A baby takes his first steps when he puts courage and trust together. In his brave little heart he trusts that Mom and Dad will keep him from harm. That the loving, open hands toward which he stretches his tiny hands will be there to catch him or to help him stand back up if he falls.

Hanging on to the open-hands life with Christ requires trust. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7 NIV).

Trust in God’s faithfulness. Let yourself be imperfect. Believe that He will be there when you fall.

A friend once told me, “I don’t think it’s good that you cry so much.” But crying is the beginning of healing. I’ve fallen over and over again. And it hurts. So I cry out to God.
God, I pray, I need a fresh start, and I know that you’re an expert at new beginnings. I’m coming to you because I don’t have anyone else to talk to. No one else wants to listen. I recognize that in myself I’m inadequate; I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. Take my hands, which are so full of hurts and pains, and help me release them. Let them fall on the floor. Allow me a new beginning.

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