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The almighty, unchanging, all powerful, creator of the universe – God Himself - cares about you! In Psalm 8:4 David asks of God, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” In other words, How can the Holy, Almighty, Perfect and Sinless God of the Universe possibly care about me when I am such a screw-up?
As hard as that may be to grasp, the fact is: God loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and God demonstrated that love for you when He “gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Welcome to episode #24 of The Point of Purity Podcast as we take our first look into Psalm 27. Today’s episode answers the question “Does God Really Care about Me?”
David opens Psalm 27 with these words from verse 1: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
I find it very significant that David starts this particular Psalm with the words “The LORD is.” Let me explain. David is using the name Jehovah here. This name (Jehovah - “The LORD”) intentionally identifies God as the almighty, unchanging, all powerful creator of the Universe who keeps His promises and provides for you.
The point David is making by using God’s name Jehovah here is to draw your attention to the fact that the Almighty, all-powerful, most Holy God of the universe cares about you. Don’t miss this. Don’t skip over this name in verse one thinking you need to find some other great, significant, powerful truth in this text.
I want to intentionally park here on this name for God. I want us to let the weight of its meaning and the power of its message sink deep into the nooks and crannies of our heart. I strongly submit that the first two words of Psalm 27 are vitally important. The almighty, unchanging, all-powerful God (Jehovah – The LORD) CARES ABOUT YOU! He keeps His promises to you, and He provides daily for you because He loves you! He is ... “The LORD”
In Psalm 24:8, as he’s thinking and contemplating who God is, David asks, “Who is this King of glory?” He then answers by saying: “The LORD (Jehovah), strong and mighty, the LORD (Jehovah), mighty in battle!” You see, this is who cares deeply about you, my friend. David cries out, (Psalm 8:9) “O LORD (Jehovah), our LORD (our Jehovah), how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Here in Psalm 27:1, David is declaring to the world that it is Jehovah, it is “the LORD” that is your light and your salvation. It is “Jehovah” - it is “the LORD” - who is the stronghold of your life. It is because of “the God who cares about you” (Jehovah) that you have nothing and no one to fear. Only “the LORD” (only Jehovah) can be (and is) your light and your salvation, the stronghold of your life.
Still focusing our full attention on the first two words of Psalm 27:1, I want you to specifically zero in on the fact that “the LORD” (Jehovah) cares for you. Do you believe that?
1 Peter 5:7 instructs you to “Cast all your anxieties on him.” Why? “Because he cares for you.” Think about that. God cares about you, so cast all your anxieties upon Him. Cast them. Don’t just show them to Him as if they were on display in a high-security vault. Don’t just casually mention them to Him as if they were the end credits to a movie. Cast them, throw them, utterly and totally get rid of them. Willingly choose, voluntarily place all of your anxieties upon the God who cares for you!
How many of them? ALL (A-L-L all) of them. Each and every one of them. The whole and totality of them. All. Cast ALL your anxieties upon The Lord / upon Jehovah. Why? Because he cares for you.
Understand this my friend: You, and everything about you are of high importance to the Almighty, all-powerful, most Holy, sovereign designer and creator of the universe. You and your thoughts, your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations, your fears, your anxieties – everything about you is of greatest concern and interest to Him
This is why Psalm 55:22 commands you to “Give your burdens to the LORD (to Jehovah), and he (Jehovah) will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
Think about that my friend. The LORD, Jehovah, cares about you! Now I admit, sometimes that can be a bit hard to wrap your brain around! Am I right? David ponders that point in Psalm 8:4 when he asks, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” In other words, “How can the Holy, Almighty, Perfect and Sinless God of the Universe possibly care about dirty, rotten, ugly, sinful me when I am such a screw-up?” Can you relate? “Why would God, why would The LORD, why would Jehovah want to have anything to do with me when I tend to turn my back on Him almost daily?”
As hard as that may be to grasp, the fact is: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) That phrase, “The church,” includes you, my friend! Yes, you! God says, (Jeremiah 31:3) “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” John 3:16 reminds us that God demonstrated that love for you when He “gave his only Son, that whoever (that includes you - whoever) believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The LORD cares about YOU and He wants you to “cast all your anxieties on Him.” So, I ask you, why are you carrying the heavy load of your sinful habits? Why are you trudging through life with the 3-headed dragon of lust, porn, and masturbation clinging to your back? You are urged, you are challenged, you are commanded in Scripture to “cast your burdens” upon the LORD.
Never lose sight (my friend) of the fact that Jesus already bore the load for you. After all, 1 Peter 2:24 tells us He bore all of your sins (did you catch that – ALL of your sins He bore) in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live for what is right. Why then - why are you daily choosing to carry that burden? Why are you choosing to continue to live for what is wrong?
Isaiah 53:4-5 reminds us that Jesus “took up our pain and (He) bore our suffering ... he was pierced for our transgressions.” Jesus already bore your load. He already paid the ultimate price for your sin – for your freedom from that sin! This is why He cares so much about your struggle with sexual temptation. This is why He cares so much about your battle against the 3-headed dragon. This is why He cares about your sexual purity!
Jesus reminds us (in Luke 12:7) that God cares so much about you that “even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Some of you listening to this episode have known this truth for years. To others of you this is a new concept. The fact is, God even cares about all the little things in your life. And I submit that if God cares enough to keep a running tally of how many hairs are attached to your head each day, He certainly cares about your battle against the beast of sexual impurity.
After all (Jesus says in Matthew 6:26), “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Think about that. If God meets the needs of birds who are not made in His image, who have no individual, volitional will to choose to worship Him or reject Him, how much more will He care for your needs?
Philippians 4:6 encourages you to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”
Jesus said in Matthew 6:30, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” This is precisely why David declares in Psalm 23:1 that “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Don’t be apprehensive about surrendering your ability to fight the battle over to God. Don’t be hesitant to trust Him in the midst of your struggle. As we saw in our study of Psalm 25, you are to daily lift up your soul to God and trust Him completely to work amazing things in your life! You will never regret that decision. (By the way, if you’re just joining this podcast, I strongly encourage you to invest the time to listen to our previous episodes. I promise, you won’t regret it!)
I want you to notice that in our current text of Psalm 27:1, David uses the present tense when he says, “The Lord IS my light, and He IS my salvation.” You see, David’s not saying that the LORD was my light and my salvation (as if it happened sometime in the past), nor that the LORD will be my light and my salvation (as if it was going to happen somewhere down the line in the near – or far future). David’s not saying the LORD could be my light and my salvation (as if it’s only a mere possibility), nor that He should be (as if He may choose not to be). Nope. He’s crystal clear that the LORD IS (present tense – right here and right now – He IS) my light and He IS my salvation.
Let’s take a quick walk through some of the Psalms and discover together a few of the times when the Psalmist uses this particular phrase, “The LORD IS.” As you listen to these verses, please be sure to do two things. First, note that in each of these verses, the word LORD is in reference to Jehovah (the almighty God who cares for you); and second, hear me place the emphasis up the word “is.” The almighty, all-powerful, most holy, sovereign Creator of the universe who cares about you always IS _____.
These are just a few of the verses found all throughout Scripture telling us what the LORD (what Jehovah) IS to you and me! Hopefully you can begin to see and understand just how powerful those three little words are in our base text of Psalm 27:1 “The LORD IS my light and my salvation.” Hopefully you can begin to appreciate the point that David is making here. The LORD, Jehovah, the almighty, all-powerful, most holy, sovereign creator of the universe who deeply cares about you IS (right here and right now, forevermore He IS) my light and my salvation!
Let me take another brief moment here to draw your attention to yet another small but powerful word in this verse. David writes, “The LORD is my light and my salvation.”
Here’s the point I’m wanting to make here: David is making this personal. He’s not saying that the LORD is “A light,” not even that He is “THE light” but rather He is “my light and my salvation.” Remember, we are talking about Jehovah here – the almighty God who cares about YOU!
Ok, now let’s take a few moments to focus on the words “The LORD is my light.” (Psalm 27:1)
God warns us in Isaiah 59:2 that when you choose King Me over God, “your iniquities (your sinful choice, makes) a separation between you and your God, and your sins (hide) his face from you so that he does not hear.” In other words, when King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, you have chosen to turn away from God’s pure and holy light toward sin’s evil and wicked darkness. You have chosen the way of the wicked. A way that (as Proverbs 4:19 says) “is like deep darkness; (and when choosing to walk in that darkness you) do not know over what (you) stumble.”
On the flip side, when you choose to daily (moment-by-moment) follow the Lordship and leadership of God in your life, you are also choosing to turn your back on the darkness of sin and instead walk in the light of God’s glorious presence.
Solomon writes (Ecclesiastes 10:2), “A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right.” In other words, a wise man will turn his heart toward God and the light. “But (the verse goes on to say) a fool’s heart (inclines him) to the left.” In other words, the fool will always turn away from God toward King Me and utter darkness.
Here’s my point: when you choose to turn your back on King Me, you are choosing to walk in the light. When you choose to walk in the light, you will not walk in darkness, you will not stumble, you will not fall, you will not sin! Oh, my friend, don’t let this truth slip by without stopping long enough to notice it and truly comprehend it. When you keep your focus on God, walking in His light, you will not lust. Choose to walk in God’s light and you will not look at porn. Keep God on the throne of your heart and you will not masturbate, you will not commit adultery, you will not be involved in any sexual impurity. It just won’t happen!
So, David begins Psalm 27 by declaring “The LORD - the Almighty, All-Powerful, Most Holy and Sovereign One who cares about me - is my light, and He is the only one I choose to follow!” That simple statement declared to the world David’s willful, intentional, purposeful decision to daily turn his back on King Me and follow the only One who can show him how to navigate through life in a way that truly glorifies his creator. What about you? Are you willing, are you able, are you ready to make that same declaration?
1 John 1:5 declares, “God IS light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
And Ephesians 5:8 says, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
Again, I ask, what about you? Are you boldly declaring, as David did, that the Lord IS your light? Let me put it to you this way: Are you claiming to be a follower of Christ? Assuming your answer to be “yes!” I now ask this: as a Christian, are you still walking in darkness? By that I mean, are you still daily choosing to live for King Me? Remember, to choose King Me over God is to choose darkness over light; to choose sin over salvation. For the Christian, there must be no room for darkness. No spot in your life reserved for King Me. If you claim to be a Christ-follower yet continue to live for King me – you’re a liar. You are not practicing the truth.
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:5 that as a born-again believer, as a child of God “you are all children of light, children of the day. (You) are not of the night or of the darkness.”
And (1 Peter 2:9) Peter says, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Let me repeat that. John 8:12. Jesus IS “the light of the world.” When you choose to follow Christ, when you daily choose to deny self and takes up your cross; when you choose daily to turn your back on King Me and worship and serve only God – the promise Jesus gives in John 8:12 is that you will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
When you walk in darkness, choosing to give in to the 3-headed dragon of lust, porn and masturbation; when you allow the beast of sexual impurity to thrive in your heart - you are not following Jesus; instead, you’re letting King Me call the shots. Oh, you may be a Christian, but in that moment – as you choose to give in to your temptation, you are not a Christ-follower, you are a King Me worshipper – you’re an idolater. As we saw in Matthew 6:24, it’s not possible to serve two masters at the same time. Either you will love the one and hate the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other; you cannot serve both.
Philippians 2:15 says we are to always “be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom (we are to) shine as lights in the world.” So, I challenge you to think about this: when you are living for King Me, when you are choosing to walk in darkness, it is impossible for you to “shine as lights in the world.” When you are dark, you cannot be light. It just cannot be done.
So, I have a question for you to seriously consider here. As a Christian, you are to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Here’s my question: How are you doing with that?
You see, the only way shining for Christ will consistently happen in your life is when you faithfully choose to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14) For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” The answer? None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The big goose egg. You see (1 Corinthians 15:33), “bad company ruins good morals.” Lust, Porn, Masturbation ... that’s bad company my friend – bad company. You cannot, you must not play around with it, ever. As Romans 13:14 puts it, don’t even entertain the thought.
Even “just a little” lust, and “just a little” porn, and masturbation “just this once” has an impact on your Christian walk. That choice has a powerful influence on your ability (or inability as it were) to shine for Christ. This is why God’s word warns (Galatians 5:9) that “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” A little sexual impurity is still sexual impurity. In Matthew 24:4 Jesus says, “See that no one leads you astray.” And I submit – listen to me now – I submit that includes things like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Sports Illustrated, and on I could go.
The only way to get your shine on, the only way to let your light shine before others is for you to be in the light yourself; daily walking in the light as He is in the light. In other words, turn your back on King Me, turn away from the darkness of your sinful choices and focus completely, focus entirely, focus unreservedly upon God. Always God.
Now listen closely as I quote to you Psalm 34:5. “Those who look to him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.” Let me repeat that. Psalm 34:5. “Those who look to him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.”
Remember, only God is light. In Him there is no darkness. To let His light shine through you, you must be in continuous fellowship with the Light – God Himself. “Those who look to him are radiant.” You cannot radiate God’s glory when you are worshiping King Me. When you are choosing to stay in the dark, you have no light from which draw from to radiate. You must be constantly and consistently “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of (your) faith.” (Hebrews 12:2 addition mine) You must be looking to He who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12)
Think about the moon for a few moments. The reason you are able to look up into the night sky and see the moon is not because that hunk of space rock has the ability to shine on its own. It is impossible for the moon to generate its own light. To be seen by others, it must first “see” (if you will) the sun. It has to be “looking” directly at the sun. The moon radiates the light it receives from the sun. A full moon means there is nothing standing between the moon and the sun. Nothing is blocking the ability of the moon to reflect the light it sees.
However, when you see only part of the moon, it is because the Earth is coming between the moon and the sun, casting a “shadow” against the moon thereby hindering it’s ability to fully reflect the sun. The more of the Earth that is in the way, the less of the moon you will see. In the same way, as we saw a moment ago, “Those who look to him (those who look to the Son, those who place their full attention and focus upon God alone) are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” (Psalm 34:5)
Now let me draw your attention to an interesting text of Scripture found in Exodus 34:29-35. Here’s what it says: “So (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. ... When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. ... And Moses put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out ... the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining.”
I submit that Moses was a living example of the truth of Psalm 34:5. “Those who look to him are radiant.” The time that Moses invested with God, the time he devoted to being in the light of God’s presence was reflected in the way he looked, the way he talked, and the way he behaved. He shone. He radiated God’s glory, “because he was talking with God.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 says that “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord.”
“Those who look to him are radiant.” When you walk in God’s light, when you invest time with your Heavenly Father daily, when you choose to turn your back on the darkness of King Me and devote yourself to living in constant communion in the light of God’s presence, you will radiate His glory. Others will see a drastic change in your behavior, your attitude, your words, your actions, in short – your life, all because your fellowship with God brought about a change in your heart.
One of the reasons you have failed to defeat the 3-headed dragon of lust, porn, and masturbation up to this point is simply because you have tried to change your behavior without first changing your heart. It’s like pinning paper wings on a worm expecting to have a butterfly.
As the prophet Samuel was in the process of interviewing Jesse’s eldest son (Eliab) in his search for the next king of Israel, God said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him.” In other words, God isn’t impressed by external behavior. God isn’t won over by the things you do. Why? God went on to explain to Samuel that “the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Mark 7:21-23 tells us that it’s “from within, out of the heart of man, (that) come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
God says in Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (He then answers His own question by saying) ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds’.”
This is why I continue to drive home the point: to change the behavior, you must first change the heart. Behavior modification may work as a temporary gap-fix, but it won’t last. Not until you get to the core of the problem – who is sitting on the throne of your heart.
As I mentioned in a previous episode, the issue you are struggling with is NOT lust. It is NOT pornography. It is NOT masturbation, or any of a number of sinful activities you are choosing to engage in. Each of those are the by-products of the real issue.
The real issue is a worship disorder. Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Whom are you worshiping? King Me or Jesus? The answer to that question is the answer as to why you are still struggling and cannot get free.
God’s Word commands you to, “above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV) What goes on in your heart is daily revealed in everything you say and everything you do. This is why God says, “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26) It is also why David prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Scripture makes it crystal clear (Ephesians 4:22-24) that you are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and (you are daily) to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Why? Why must I daily do this? Because God wants you to “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29) so that His light shines brightly upon you and through you.
Remember my friend – The Lord, (Jehovah), the almighty, all-powerful, most holy, sovereign creator of the universe cares about you ... and He IS your light. So walk in the light as He is in the light!
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com
Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast. If this has ministered to you, if this has blessed you, challenged you, or encouraged you I ask you to do two things. First of all – would you please let your friends know about The Point of Purity Podcast. Help us help men and women across the globe win their war for sexual purity and live in freedom.
Then second, and this is so important, please take 30 seconds right now to go over to Apple Podcast and rate our program and this episode – why? because every time you do, your rating lets Apple know this podcast is important, it is valuable, and your ratings helps us get this program and this ministry into the ears and hearts of people just like you. So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.