Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Getting Gut Level Real With God

“The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.” (Psalm 143:3) 

Man, the psalms are just GLR, Gut-Level-Real. No candy coating, pie in the sky here! This is a prayer to God. The psalmist is praying, “My life is really super hard right now. My enemies _______(you can insert yours in the blank) are crushing me! I’m dyin’ here!”

The psalmist teaches us how to pray unedited prayers—straight from the heart; honest, authentic, Gut-Level-Real.

I’m going to share a personal observation. This isn’t Bible, this is just me, but I truly don’t believe you can have a real relationship, with God, or anyone for that matter, if you never get Gut-Level-Real with them.

Probably much like you, my list of acquaintances is long, but my list of close, heart-to-heart-core friends is pretty short. And as I reflect on both lists—do you know what one of the primary distinctions is?  I’ve been through some fire with my close friends. We’ve had it out with one another. We’ve walked through a valley or two together.

I’ve never fought in a military battle, but I’ve heard many stories about foxhole friendships; two soldiers, who may never have met before that battle—fought sided by side—against a common enemy—from a foxhole and as a result a bond of friendship was formed that nothing in life could ever break.

Life is a battle. Our enemies are very real. Our flesh (sin nature) is a slave to its appetites and it’s never satisfied. (Gal. 5:17)  And the dark forces within the spirit realm (Eph. 6:12) would love nothing better than to KILL, STEAL & DESTORY our lives (John 10:10) But if you have received Christ as Savior and Lord, God is in the foxhole with you! He's not only by your side, He is in your heart! He has already demonstrated His willingness to lay down his life for you. (Rom. 5:1-8) He will never leave you hanging or abandon you. (Heb. 13:5) He’s already crushed the head (the power) of our greatest enemy the devil (Gen. 3:15) and death no longer has any claim on us in Him because He has conquered the grave!

I love how Eugene Peterson translates the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians.

“Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now? It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!” (1 Cor. 15:55-57, The Msg.) 

The Battles we face are real and they are scary. And God knows that we are weak mortals trapped in bodies of clay (Ps. 103:14, 2 Cor. 4:7). Our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak (Mat. 26:41) So never be afraid to get Gut-Level-Real with God in your prayers. Pour it out, dump it in His lap. He’s right there in the foxhole with you. Crying out doesn’t mean you don’t believe. It just means you’re human and you’re hurting and you need your Heavenly Father to hear you and respond! We’ve all been there.  And God knows it.  That's why He sent Jesus and why He had the writer of Hebrews write these words,

“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Heb. 4:14-16, The Msg.)

Run to Him today!

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Until next time...