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S.A.D.

When I first began my ministry as a youth pastor, and later as a camp director, I was surprised at the number of campers that took ritilan—a drug used to help you focus or calm down hyper active kids. It’s prescribed for people that suffer from things like ADD.  For years the number of kids taking this increased, and now it’s evolved into many other drugs to treat ADD disorders, among other disorders.


ADD refers to an “Attention Deficit Disorder”.  People with this disorder might have a hard time keeping focused, or forget what they were just told to do, or get very animated and perhaps unable to keep up the top at times. And I am not giving it all the proper definition that you could find on google. But suffice it to say that a lot of kids and a adults from ADD. We all have some residual effects from the fall of mankind. I have my own disorders.


Some of us are “OCD”.  I’ve been told by that I am OCD by many, many people.  I assumed that this meant I was “old. cranky and demented”. But it really means you have an obsessive, compulsive disorder. You have to have things organized, in order and neat.  But after hearing about what it is to be OCD, I have determined that I am not OCD, I am CDO, which is in “OCD”, in alphabetical order, as it should be.


But today I want to share with you a disorder that many of Christians share, even if we are ADD or OCD, I have termed the disorder SAD. “Spiritual Deficit Disorder”.  And by that I am referring to those of us who know the right thing to do….or the proper attitude to have….or the correct mindset of faith and confidence in God to manifest—and yet somehow forget !!!  You know that God can be trusted, you’ve seen Him intervene 1000 times, you believe in all His goodness, and yet you find yourself doubting Him and His love all the time—-it’s SAD—it’s a spiritual deficit disorder!


This message is a confession, and I hope a testimony that will encourage you this coming week. I read these words from David, in Psalm 40, and it spoke to me and reminded me of how often I am SAD——that is I fall into spiritual attention disorder!


“I waited patiently for the Lord;  he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,  out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

 

He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lordand put their trust in him.  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud,  to those who turn aside to false gods.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

For troubles without number surround me,  my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.They are more than the hairs of my head,  and my heart fails within me.


Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me.  May all who want to take my life

be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”  be appalled at their own shame.


But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”

 

But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.”   Psalm 40, NIV


These are the words of a man who was near to the heart of God, and yet a man that was ever aware of how perilous and unpredictable his was life is without God. I appreciate David more and more as I read the Psalms and identify with what he said and what he was going through.  Never was life easy for David. He made his own blunders, to be sure, but at other times God permitted heartache into his life.  It was sometimes God testing him—and I appreciate that—as one who has also had some set-backs, sorrows and disappointments.


But through it all, David held on. He failed morally, a time or two, but he never turned his back or denied his God.


So let me ask you, are you trusting God and humbling yourself before Him like David did—and as this psalm records?  Right now, are you in trouble? Is your heart unsettled and disturbed? Do you think that you are on the brink of disaster or at the end of your rope? David knew all of this, and yet he said, ““I waited patiently for the Lord;  he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,  out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”   God did it for David—-He will do it for you.  Are you asking Him and believing that He will?


And when He does rescue you from you present challenge and test, what will you do? Will you tell your friend that you’re pretty lucky….will you pat yourself on the back and remind yourself how brave and smart you were….or, like David will give God all the glory and tell everyone you know, “He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God.”   

And because of your praise to Him and because you give Him the credit, what will happen?  David said that, “Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud,  to those who turn aside to false gods.”


This week, when you’re up to your neck with your family issues, the challenges of being in falling in love—-or staying in love, when your work is driving you insane, or your campers are pushing every nerve in your body, why not find the confidence and trust to pray this prayer: "Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me,  my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head,  and my heart fails within me.”


David’s life was just as demanding as any of ours—and a LOT more people wanted him dead and out of the way—-even his handsome son, Absalom wanted to kill him!  But he drew his courage and strength from God—-his heart panted for God—God was David’s source of peace, joy, wisdom, inspiration, confidence, courage and all that makes David one of the most beloved and renown men in history.


But to be sure, David had many, many desperate times in his life.  He made urgent prayers to God when things got really scary! He knew that his life was being held by a thread, at times. Some of those he trust the most betrayed him.


Do you know betrayal?  Have you become sick on your stomach to learn that some you have trusted to take a bullet for you wa actually lying to you and using you? David came to know this, and worse and it crushed him.  And what did he do? He cried out to God!


“Be pleased to save me, Lord; come quickly, Lord, to help me.  May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.  May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”  be appalled at their own shame.”


David knew that only God could fix some things.  Frankly, I have learned from David’s example, and his Psalms  the need to go to God first, when things get bad—-not as a last resort!  Trust in the Lord with all your might, my friends! Don’t trust your own experience, understanding or wisdom!  In all that you try to accomplish, take it to Him—-acknowledge that He holds the answers….the means of success…victory in HIS hands, and He will direct you in what you should do.


What follows, when we trust Him, is that He, by His holy nature, rescues and restores us. And then He gets the glory and our spirits are lifted! David said, “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”


That’s the purpose, to a large part, of God allowing misfortune, disappointments and even betrayal to occur in our lives—-that we might fall on our knees and humbly seek His cover and protection—and He gets the glory and honor for doing it!  Jesus was disappointed, saddened by unbelief He saw, a man that witnessed betrayal, denial and abandonment from those He loved and trusted the most! You’re not alone or unusual if you experience these things—-in fact you’re highly favored.


But when you do come to Him, as David did, remember your place before an Almighty God. He owes us nothing and, our lives and behavior merit no reward from God.  The prayers that touches God’s heart are the humble ones. Pray like David, soberly, contritely, humbly,  “O Lord, as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.”   Psalm 40, NIV


But ask yourself, why did David have access to God? Why did God answer his prayers and choose to bless him?


Well, David obeyed God, most of the time, and when he sinned up he confessed and offered blood sacrifices to pay for his sins. He humbled himself and earnestly looked for God’s favor and realized that his only hope was in God. God likes this! In fact, David stole God’s heart, so to speak.  Have you?


Friends, we have it much better than David. A perpetual, eternal, and perfect blood offering has been made for us for all eternity. David had to offer sheep, lambs, goats, bulls, etc. to atone for his sins and get passed the blackness of his sins.  But Jesus paid for my sins—and yours—2000 years ago when He gave his blood.  We have God’s favor, just as David did, not because of our actions or our goodness or the blood we spill from our livestock, but because Jesus Christ has made us holy and acceptable to God—all we need to do is admit our sins, accept the forgiveness and turn away from sin.  God, through Jesus, has done all the heavy lifting!

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