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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
When we feel far from God and wonder whether He has cast us off or forsaken us, we just need encouragement. When we are broken in the pain of it all, embroiled in turmoil, up against ungodliness and injustice, our hearts cry out for a deliverer; we need a real God. Such is the case for the writer of Psalm 43; he's in a situation and struggling in his response.
Judge [vindicate] me, O God, and plead my cause against
An ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful
And unjust man. For You are the God of my strength:
Why do You cast me off? Why go I mourning
Because of the oppression of the enemy? (v. 1, 2)
The psalmist wants God to vindicate him, take up his defense, change the circumstances. He wants to be rescued and cries out for a deliverer. He's like a lot of us right now, believers and unbelievers alike. He's oppressed but taking refuge in God; and yet he feels like God is forsaking him. He's miserable, questioning God on the issues of life. His soul is divided. He's in a struggle between faith and feelings, between circumstances and the constancy of God, between pain and patient endurance. We've all been there.
Our psalmist wants God to deliver him from the slander of men. He wants God to break the lonely silence, rescue him from looming dangers, loose him from his sorrow of heart. He has a plan. He has a goal. He will overcome. Unlike unbelievers, he believes but has gnawing unbelief. He will remember the Lord his God with God's grace and help.
1. He speaks to God. He breaks the silence with an appeal born out of his brokenness, housed in humility.
O send out Your light and Your truth:
Let them lead me; let them bring me unto Your holy hill,
And to Your tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God,
Unto God my exceeding joy; yes, upon the harp
Will I praise You, O God, my God. (v. 3, 4)
2. He seeks God for His light and truth. He appeals to his God to lead him to God's holy hill, to God's resting place, His dwelling place. He's in the darkness of the dungeons of life and knows God must lead him out. He knows what it will take. He declares God His exceeding joy. He desires to praise God. He wants not only peace with God and the peace of God, but peace in God. He wants not only the rest of salvation and the rest of submission, but that Sabbath rest remaining. The Word will be the way to true worship. He's got to get there; he's got to go to God.
His goal is centered in God above his circumstances, out of this world. He needs to escape into Reality. He knows sanctuary; he's familiar with it. He knows the joy; he expects joy as the outcome. He lives with God and knows God. He wants God above all.
So in the dark, in the oppression of the moment, he prays for God's light and truth. He knows, but he's not feeling it. He knows God is his refuge, but he's feeling forsaken. Is he blind to something? Is he missing something? He will find out; he knows it takes light to get to the truth. With God's light and truth, he can get to the sanctuary and altar of God.
The altar is the place of blood atonement, the place of sacrifice. He can get there and have his needs met. Is it forgiveness he needs? Is it the power to forgive he needs? Is it an encounter with the Holy One, the One True and Living God that he needs?
The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4) leads us to the atoning work of Christ, to the altar, to the cross, to the ground of all forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32. The altar is also that place where we lay it all down before the Lord. We surrender to a Sovereign Creator/Redeemer who dwells in unapproachable light. 1 Timothy 6:16.
Now God is his exceeding joy, the gladness of his joy. Our psalmist experiences it; he's feeling it. This moves beyond forgiveness to the dominion anointing of joy. He wants to express the experience of exceeding joy, gladness of heart, in his praise. He wants purpose in his life, the purpose of God for his life. Today we say that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. He wants that.
3. He speaks to his own soul. He's talking to himself, folks. His soul is dragging him down in a downward spiral. His flesh is taking over. He is saying, "Listen up, soul. I have something to say to you!"
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him,
Who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (v. 5)
He exhorts himself. He speaks the truth to himself. God is the health of his countenance. God is his salvation, the source of wholeness and well being. With health the countenance [the face] is lifted up. This, too, will pass. (Something my mother always said to me.) Hope in God. God is faithful. He is a strong Deliverer. The Oppressor may have his day, but Jesus will show up, shine forth, shoot down His enemies, and strengthen faith. "I shall yet praise Him." And so will you.
I have written a prayer, "Seeking God for the True Light." You can find it on our web site. Or, you can write me, and I'll mail you a copy.
In January an MCM team traveled to Central America. This mission concerned the Mayan peoples, Mayan prophecies, and the plan of God for the region. Strategic spiritual warfare is just that: coming against the enemies of the Living God with the weapons He has given us. It is fought in the spirit realm, like an air strike precedes ground troops. It is our calling, to go to the nations where God sends us to call them to repentance, to resurrection, and to restoration; to deliver the prophetic word. If you do not believe in the power of prayer and in the power of God's Word and in God having a heavenly host over which He is Jehovah Nissi, Lord of Hosts, it will not make sense to you; but if you know where battles are truly fought and won, it will. MCM world missions has taken teams to 75 nations on all seven continents over the past 18 years. We praise God for the work He is doing through this ministry, touching and transforming lives.
We are called back to Israel and to Northern Africa. People are being saved, healed, and delivered as the gospel of Christ is preached and taught freely and faithfully. Help us go…in His Name, by His grace, for His glory. We sincerely thank you for giving.
Praising God Most High,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for the latest articles and words received. Order books from our catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. Mc Nab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1993. Federal ID 65-0429517.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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