Monday, January 28, 2008

My Daily Summit With the Living God:snares and pitfalls

I was reading Psalm 51 in my devotions today. It is my first time reading it in the New Living Translation. I have found one way to keep my daily devotions fresh and interesting, that is to go through my new daily reading plan by utilizing a different translation. The past two or three years I have been reading through the NIV. Now I am focusing my reading plan through the NLT and The Message.

As I was reading through Psalm 51, I began asking how this applies to my own daily summit with God. My journey with God I have begun to see as a daily summit. Not only am I walking with God, but it is an upward walk towards the summit of God's holy mountain, referred to often in Scripture as "Zion."

As we all know, Psalm 51 is David's famous prayer of confession and repentance, after Nathan the prophet spoke to him regarding his sinful acquisition of a woman named Bathsheba. David saw her and lusted for her, to the point where he plotted and schemed his way into her bedroom, by sending her husband to the front line of battle, where he was killed, therby making Bathsheba a widow and available for the taking.

In my own daily summit with God I had to ask myself where Psalm 51 fits into my upward climb. And here is where it applies:

Snares and pitfalls will pop up along the way, as we continue on our upward journey toward the summit of God's holy mountain; the devil will make sure of it. As the old saying goes, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Here David was the leader of Israel, a man after God's own heart. Yet, his own heart became consumed with unbridled lust.

As each of us reaches out towards Mount Zion, we will each face our own snares and pitfalls which may trip us up. In our daily walk with God there will be peaks and valleys. However, the snares that are set up by the devil will take us to places we had not anticipated on going to. That's the way sin and temptation work. David, in his position of power and authority was not immuned to the attacks of the devil; neither are you and I. Lust is a powerful weapon of the enemy, because it comes from within our own natural human make-up.

Most men can be swayed by the alluring, seductive advances of an attractive woman. Many men would say they would never allow themselves to get caught up in an adulterous affair. Yet, many good men have fallen because of their own ignorance to the reality of such lust and temptation and their failure to set-up and maintain a place to go to when such attacks occur. David often referred to God as his shelter, his fortress, his strongtower to run to and hide in times of dangerous trials. Yet, even David allowed lust too get the best of him, but it was not the end for David.

If a poll were taken, how many men would take a chance on an adulterous affair, even if there was a guarantee that no other person would find out? All it takes is one, "Yes, count me in," to trip a man up and cause him to fall deep into the pit of sin. The end result is a damaged reputation before God and men. David got more than he bargained for when he became consumed with lust and then gave into this hideous monster that had climbed onto his back. That is what can happen to me; to anyone who takes such a chance.

In Psalm 51, we see David moved with unbearable guilt before God. Even if no other person figured out what he had done in order to have the object of his lust, God saw it and spoke to him through Nathan the prophet. God took David to the proverbial woodshed.

In our daily, upward journey with Jesus Christ, dangers and pitfalls will come. There are times when we may get caught up. However, we need not let such falls defeat us. Like David, we can turn to God, repent of our sinful ways, and once again soar to new heights as the Holy Spirit guides us on the upward journey toward the summit of Mount Zion.