Tell God to Deal With It! To Deal with What Lurks Within… A Sermon 19:12-14
Tell God to Deal With It…
To Deal with What Lurks within….
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus so fill your life that all is made new!
1. Does Only the Shadow know?
Most of us wouldn’t know the name of Frank Readick and may only have a vague recollection of the words he said in the past.
But I thought of them while reading verse 12 of today’s Psalm. It says there,
“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?”
Here is the line from Readick,
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows!”
Anyone remember those words? They are old, from the 1930s. More than that, they are incredibly inaccurate. God knows, and unlike the Shadow – God can do something about it and will!
The only question is, will we tell Him to deal with it, or will we keep what lurks within, deep within, burying it deeper and deeper.
Before we get there… we need to understand why evil lurks there….
2. Getting anxious
When I read the beginning of the Psalm, I get more than a little anxious because I become aware that stuff does lurk deep within our hearts.
I become more aware of it as I hear about the glory of God. As I consider the works, as I consider the praises. I am in awe, but like Moses and Isaiah, there is some fear there, too, because sin lurks there.
And the dissonance between the all powerlful, all-knowing, glorious God and my darkness is just overwhelming. The more I read how radiant that glory is, how the sky proclaims it, how and nothing can hide from it, I am at once warmed and yet frightened by it.
For the light of Jesus, the glory of God is so bright that there are no shadows allowed, for He is our light.
And that means my darkness will be revealed.
Sin can lurk deep within us, as the pain it causes dominates our hearts and minds. We know it’s there, but we try to bottle it in to stop it from being revealed. That pressure builds, as that sin that lurks breeds its guilt and shame. It may even be telling you that you don’t belong here in church, that you really don’t belong here at the altar.
The Shadow would convince you of that, for his closing line was, “”As you sow evil, so shall you reap evil! Crime does not pay…The Shadow knows!”
If the Shadow was correct and only he knew, you would be in trouble…for indeed, all you could gain would be evil in return.
3. The Answered prayer
But He isn’t the only one who knows. God knows. We have to learn that this is a great blessing. For when we cry out for Him to “just deal with it!” He is ready.
Hear King David’s prayer again,
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
That is where we need to be in life. We need to come to this point where our frustration with our lives, both individually and corporately, causes us to cry out to God.
God is there, ready to cleanse you from hidden faults!
God is there, ready to guard you against the sins that are so tempting. He is there to stop them from controlling you!
We need to know this, not just as individuals but as a community.
We need to see this community be cleansed of all sin, of rebellion against God, of all the ways in which we all don’t love our neighbor.
We need to help people see that God will help them deal with those deliberate sins they struggle with and help them break free of sin’s control over them. And we do this together; the glory of God is revealed more and more!
For only He can deal with the sin and temptation that assaults us from what is within.
He is the one Who breaks us free from the Shadow.
He can break us all free from that Shadow as we enter His glorious light.
That is what Lent is, this glorious time like the moments just before the dawn. When you know it is coming, the shadows that seem to lengthen even as they fade. And then there is nothing but glorious light, and we can come to the final part of the prayer.
4. Final prayer
Knowing you are free from that which lurks within, that God is dealing with the deliberate sin and its control, we find ourselves “free of guilt and innocent of great sin.”
Hear that again, you are, “”free of guilt and innocent of great sin.”
Hmm – maybe we need to say that together,,,
We are “free of guilt and innocent of great sin.”
Knowing that, and knowing that God has cleansed what lurked deep within, we can, with confidence pray this.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
Those words and meditations will be pleasing, for He knows what lurks in your heart… and when He is working, the answer is nothing. AMEN!