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leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
God’s love for you is not dependent upon your purity. It is not contingent upon your right behavior. His love endures your sin. His love endures your fickleness and your selfishness. His steadfast love endures ... not just for a time but forever!
In Psalm 25:7 David writes, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!”
Right off the bat I want to encourage you to not let the phrase “remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions” trip you up here. Simply put, David is asking God not to see him as the rotten, evil, wicked, sinful man that he has been (a man that is worthy of God’s holy wrath and righteous judgment); rather, David is pleading with God to see him through the eyes of God’s steadfast love and goodness. Eyes of mercy, grace, kindness and forgiveness.
Here is a question I’d like you to chew on - something to think about for a moment. Why was that so important to David? Why did David ask this of God? Better yet: Why should that be important ... to you? Why should it matter to you that God sees you through His lens of steadfast love and limitless goodness? Why should it be important to you that God not see your wickedness but rather see you through His eyes of mercy, grace, kindness and forgiveness?
Let me share with you my personal response to that question.
In the Old Testament book of Nahum, chapter 1 verses 2 and 6 we read, “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. ... Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.”
I submit that those verses, my friend, should send shivers up and down your spine. In today’s Christian circles we hear a lot about God’s Grace, as well as His Mercy, and Love / kindness and forgiveness – which is fantastic! Praise God for those attributes! However, we tend to put so much emphasis on those qualities that we neglect to also emphasize He is also Holy, Righteous, Pure and Just. As such, God’s holiness, God’s righteousness, God’s purity and justice demands that His judgment upon sin be executed and His wrath poured out because of your sinful behavior – and mine as well.
God is a jealous and avenging God. God keeps His wrath stored up for his enemies. No one – absolutely no one can stand before His indignation at their sin. No one can endure the heat of His anger. God hates sin. He doesn’t just dislike it – He hates it with a holy, righteous, powerfully perfect and pure hatred.
David reminds us in Psalm 7:11 that “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” OK, wait a minute. Did you truly hear what I just read? Did you catch what David is saying here? God “feels indignation every day.” God feels anger, outrage and fury over sin on a daily basis. Every time you and I choose to live for King Me, every time we choose to disobey His command to flee sexual immorality, every time we choose to lust after another person and commit adultery – every time we sin ... that angers God.
But understand this: It angers Him – not because He’s mad at you, not because He’s disappointed in you – no, He loves you unconditionally. He loves you with a perfect and holy love. He loves you so much that He chose to execute all of that wrath and all of that righteous anger – not upon you, but on His one and only Son who volunteered to take your place and pay the ultimate price for your sin.
So, God is not angry at you. He is angry at your sin. He is angry at the effects and the ramifications that your sinful choices have ravaged upon your heart, your health, your spirit, your family, your worship, your life. You see, God is angry because (as Isaiah 59:2 says) “your iniquities (your sins) have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) He’s angry at your sin because it drives a wedge of division between you and the One who lovingly sacrificed it all for you. He is angry because (as Jeremiah 5:25 says) “your sins have kept good from you.”
Oh, my friend, there is so much that God wants to do in your life. So many blessings He wants to pour out upon you. So much good He wants to lavish upon you – if you would only choose to daily deny yourself, die to yourself, picking up your cross and saying NO to the wicked, evil, selfish, sinful desires of King Me and yes to all that God is and wants to be in your life.
When you and I fully understand this ... when we truly begin to grasp the fact that God hates it when we choose to sin, when we choose to turn our backs on Him – when we willfully choose to worship self – that ought to lead us to what Scripture calls “the fear of the Lord.”
Oh, how we have misunderstood the Biblical teaching about fearing God. Fearing the Lord is a good thing! In Psalm 112:1 David exclaims, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments.” In Psalm 128:1 he writes, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.” And 3 verses later he says, “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.” (Psalm 128:4)
The fear of the Lord isn’t a bad thing. Just the opposite. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (Psalm 19:9)
The fear of the Lord is not cowering in a corner, living in absolute terror that if I do something wrong, God is gonna zap me. No. The fear of the Lord is the realization that I am not King – He is. I am not lord of my life – He is. This life is not mine to live however I want. This life is NOT about me. I am answerable to no one else but my designer and creator, the Savior of my soul.
Proverbs 8:13 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.” We have seen in previous episodes that living with King Me on the throne of my heart is evil. I should hate that, just like God does.
Proverbs 14:2 says, “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord.” The person who is going throughout the day with God on the throne of their heart; the one who is walking in worship of God – not self, and walking in obedience to His will – not yours ... that is the person who is fearing God.
No matter how you slice it, “the fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” (Proverbs 19:23). “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, (enabling you to) turn away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27).
The fact is, “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) You can cover your sin and hide it from everyone - except God.
God already knows each and every sin and transgression – past, present, and future. David acknowledged this when he prayed, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and (you) are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
God already knows that you “have sinned and fall(en) short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) You can deny it all you want. You can try to hide it and cover it up. You can try to excuse it away. Go all the way back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve sure tried! It didn’t work for them then; it’s not going to work for you or me now.
Understand this (as Proverbs 24:12 says): “If you say, ‘Behold, (I) did not know this,’ (in other words: I’m just human, I didn’t know what I was doing, it’s not my fault, or any of a thousand excuses – the verse goes on to say) ... does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”
Think for a moment about all of the sins you’ve ever committed over the span of your life. God says, “the wages of (each and every one of those) sin(s) is death.” (Romans 6:23) In other words, what is due you (your “wage”) because of each and every choice to sin – that wage, that paycheck, is separation from God.
This is why David cries out (Psalm 25:7) “remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions.” He understood (the truth of Romans 1:18) that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” He also understood (as Psalm 86:5 says) that God is “good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon (Him).” In 2 Samuel 24:14 David says, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great.”
Can you see the application to you and your particular battle with the specific sinful desires of your flesh? Jesus warns in Matthew 10:28 - do “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” In other words, fear the Lord!
It is critical that we daily walk in obedience to the command of 1 John 1:9 and “confess our sins, (why? because – as the verse goes on to say - God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Oh, my friend, you and I have something David did not. “The blood of Jesus (God’s) Son cleanses (you) from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
1 Peter 1:3 says this: “According to his great mercy, he has caused (you) to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
What does that mean? That means that you can, “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that (you) may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) This is why you can pray (right along with David in Psalm 25:7), “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!”
OK, now let’s focus our attention on the words “according to your steadfast love remember me” (Psalm 25:7)
Think with me for a few moments about God’s “steadfast love.” I have a question for you: What if God were fickle? What if God’s love for you had limits? What if there came a point where God said, “that’s it! I’ve had enough of your shenanigans; I’m done with you!”? Thankfully, that is not who God is, nor is it what God does. Exodus 34:6 tells us that He is “The LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Praise God He “abounds in steadfast love!” Can I get an “Amen!”?
1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Did you hear the command given to us in that verse? Let me repeat it: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
I’m afraid that all too often we ignore this command and totally dismiss it out of hand. We are to daily thank God for his steadfast love! How many times a day do you sin? How many times in any given day do you turn your back on God in favor of King Me? How many times each and every day are you guilty of idolatry? How many times a day does God extend to you His mercy, His grace, and His steadfast love? “O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
In this study of Psalm 25, we have talked about the shame and the guilt of our sin. You and I are positionally guilty before a holy and righteous God. We are experientially filled with shame because we have chosen to turn our back on God – we have willfully chosen to worship King Me as lord of our life instead of the One who alone is King of kings and Lord of lords. You and I have experienced both guilt and shame because we have chosen to reject God’s unlimited and Divine power to BE holy even as He is holy ... in favor of our own frail and feeble weaknesses - all so we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
In spite of all of that, Job 10:12 tells us that “(God has) granted me life and steadfast love, and (God’s) care has preserved my spirit.” My friend, God’s love for you reached the ultimate crescendo on the cross of Calvary. It was His steadfast love that motivated Him to offer His Son as the atoning sacrifice for your rebellion against Him. And it is His steadfast love that keeps you from becoming a greasy smear on the pavement right here and right now.
“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1)
God’s love for you is steadfast. God’s love for you endures. God’s love for you stands true forever. Do you understand the depths of what this is saying? I said earlier in this episode, and I repeat once again: God’s love for you is not dependent upon your purity. His love for you is not contingent upon your right behavior. His love endures your sin. His love endures your fickleness, it endures your selfishness, it endures your humanness - not just for a time but forever!
Don’t miss this: It is God’s steadfast love that you can trust in no matter your circumstances, no matter your choices, no matter your screw-ups! God not only practices steadfast love, He IS steadfast love. His love for you is steadfast, not because He wants to, or chooses to, or even because He’s somehow forced to. It is because it is His character. It’s who God is!
In our text of Psalm 25:7, not only does David talk about God’s steadfast love, but he also says: “for the sake of your goodness”
A few years ago, there was a popular chorus sung in many churches across the nation that included the words, “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.” The goodness of God is often sung about, spoken of, and even used in response to when good or bad things happen in our lives. In fact, you have probably expressed this truth yourself. Someone avoids a horrific accident due to car trouble or a delayed flight and we respond, “Isn’t God good!” Or a family member is blessed with a financial gift in a time of need and we talk about how good God is.
God is indeed good! In Mark 10:18 Jesus declared, “No one is good except God alone.” In Psalm 34:8 David exclaims, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
God’s goodness, however, is something that – all too often - we tend to take for granted. We don’t fully understand it, so we don’t fully appreciate it. God doesn’t just do good things, He IS good. God’s goodness is part of His character. He cannot ... not be good.
I want you to give careful, serious consideration to this next question: Even in the midst of your battle for purity, how has God been good to you?
Think about this: even though you have repeatedly turned your back on God, even though you have consistently chosen to live for King Me instead, God has been good to you. Even though you have worshiped yourself over and over again, even though you don’t fully trust your Creator – your Heavenly Father, still – as Psalm 25:8 declares - “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.”
Even now, in the midst of your battle for purity, you can cry out to Him “Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.” (Psalm 69:16)
Well I look forward to getting together with you again next week for Episode #17 of The Point of Purity Podcast. Until then, may God continue to bless you – as you continue to serve Him!