Are Your Pleas for Mercy Genuine?

Psalms 143:1-4 ESV

“Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

“For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.”

Our enemy Satan is pursuing the souls of all people in many different ways, but one of the biggest ways is via deception, via lies, trickery, and manipulation. And he uses other human beings to propagate his lies, deception, trickery, and manipulation of truth, too. For, he has messengers who disguise themselves as servants of righteousness to fool the foolish.

Those who are living in sin, in self-indulgence, who are intoxicated to sin, who are hardheaded, selfish, and prideful, but who also claim Jesus as their Savior, and heaven as their eternal destiny, are easy targets for Satan and for his deceptions. For, they have very relaxed morals and controls, so it is easy for Satan and for sin to enter into their lives and to consume them.

For, these professers of faith in Jesus Christ are living hypocritical lifestyles. They profess one thing with their lips while they live another. They are adulterers, liars, haters, self-indulgent, prideful, and unforgiving, while they put on a show that they love God and that they love his word. When things don’t go their way, though, they “medicate” themselves with sin.

But when confronted, they attack, they blame others for their sins, they don’t take responsibility for their actions, even if they do confess, for they minimize the sin to something far less than what it is by calling it something else that doesn’t sound as bad. And then they make excuses for why they are still trapped in sin and for why they have not changed.

So, when asked to change, and when asked to confront their sins head on, and to clean the filth out of their hearts, and to block all passageways for sin to reenter their lives, they hesitate, they medicate, and they wait and hope someone else will do the job for them. They always have an excuse for why they are still living in cyclical sin, doing the same sins over and over.

So, again, they are easy targets for Satan and for his deceptions, and so they readily embrace a gospel message with relaxed morals and controls, with relaxed boundaries, which does not insist on purity, righteous living, holiness, honesty, faithfulness, or obedience to the Lord. And so sin is able to consume them time and time again.

But then they become impervious to truth and to righteousness, and they become callous and unfeeling, lacking in compassion or in sympathy towards those who they are sinning against, even blaming the ones they sin against for their continued sin. For, they have seared their consciences through repeated offenses and via their lies to cover up the offenses.

And this is becoming the norm, not just among the people of the world, but among those professing faith in Jesus Christ who are claiming heaven as their eternal home. And it is heartbreaking that this is where so many have gone who know the truth, and some of whom were or are teachers of the word of God, for many pastors have gone this route, too.

Psalms 143:5-8 ESV

“I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

“Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.”

Some of those who are in the condition mentioned above, but who profess faith in Jesus Christ, will claim that they are calling on God for help, and that they are praying for his mercy, and that they are meditating on his word, but their habitual, deliberate, and premeditated ongoing sin gives evidence that this is not the case, for they are not listening to God.

They usually follow a cyclical pattern of behavior and part of that cycle is to call on God for help. And even though God has spoken to them in the past, and he has shown them the way of righteousness, and the way out from under their sinful addiction, they have refused to listen to the Lord and to do what he says, so they keep returning to their sin.

And so they keep coming back, claiming they don’t know what to do, or “if only,” then things will be different, but they never are. They never change. They just keep recycling the same addictive sinful behavior patterns that they have been practicing for a long time with all the same lies, excuses, justifications, and minimizing their sin, and they continue in their sin.

Psalms 143:9-12 ESV

“Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

“For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.”

Now, there are Christians who have sinned against the Lord, who gave way to the enemy in a moment of weakness, who then called out to God in their distress over their sin, and in full humility, and in genuine sorrow and repentance, they turned from the sin, and they turned to walk in obedience to the Lord. They wanted true deliverance, and deliverance came.

They listened to the Lord. They acknowledged that they have an enemy who is pursuing them, and so they pleaded with the Lord that he would preserve their lives and that they would be taught of the Lord to do his will. They were sincere, and God answered them. They wanted to walk in holiness and in righteousness, and the Lord knew it, because he knows our hearts.

But the sad reality today is that they are in the minority, not the majority. The majority are like I described above who are just “playing church,” and “playing Christianity,” and pretending that they have a relationship with the Lord and that they are sincere in their desire to change. But they don’t really want to change, which is obvious by their continuing to live in sin.

So, instead of being sincere about wanting to be delivered from their enemies, they are “playing footsie” with the enemy. They are leaving holes for the enemy to enter into their hearts and lives and to influence their behaviors. For, they are living like they are following the cheap grace gospel which leaves the door wide open for continuing in sinful practices.

For, if we are sincere in heart and mind about following the ways of the Lord and doing his will, we will surrender our lives to Jesus, and we will submit to his purposes for our lives, and if we do sin, we will own up to our sin, and we will repent, and we will turn, and we will go the opposite direction of that sin by God’s grace and in the strength and power of God’s Spirit.

Edelweiss

By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me

Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever

The word Edelweiss literally translates to ‘noble white’.

Noble means honorable, moral, decent, upright.
White means clean, pure, unblemished, dirt-free.

So, based off the song “Edelweiss”

Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
Every morning you greet me.
Meek and pure, truth and light,
You look pleased now to meet me.

Flourishing, growing in Him each day,
Live with Him forever.
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
Blessed to know Him forever.

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