My God Enlarges Me

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Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 4 – one of the wonderful prayers of a Prayer Warrior and King named simply “David”.

Psalm 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

One of the greatest weapons that a Christian has is the weapon of prayer. One of the great prayer warriors of yesteryear, E.M. Bounds said:

God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. … Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid … Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labor are required to be a skillful tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other trades, makes perfect.”

Sadly, rather than pray too many of us sit at home and watch a worldly and demon influenced television, a screen that spews out incessant hopelessness, gloom and doom.

As a nation we underwent two years of a worldwide pandemic called the Coronavirus. During that period many Americans allowed the government to strip them of their God given rights in order to “protect” the populace. We were imprisoned in our homes, businesses and churches were shut down, and the American economy horribly disfigured by “stimulus” packages that only promoted laziness and a dependency on the government as if it were God Almighty. Neither government nor politicians are God Almighty. There is but One God – and He still reigns supreme over the universe! Rather than panic, obsess, or withdraw from society when afflicted, do what King David did.

King David Called On God First When Tried By Life

Psalm 4:1-2 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

The Psalms are not only songs that the Hebrews sang, but they are prayers that God recorded for our blessing. When David was afflicted, he did not cry out against the affliction first. Notice the first thing David did was call upon God. No panic. No “oh is me”. He calls upon God.

  • Notice that David does not ASK God to hear his prayer. David COMMANDS God to hear him.

Word Study: “Hear me” is the Qal Imperative of עָנָה ʿānâ (pronounced aw-naw’), or “Pay attention to me!”

Have mercy upon me is the Qal Imperative of חָנַן ḥānan (pronounced khaw-nan’), or “be gracious to me, bend down and bestow kindness or grace”.

Hear my prayer” is the Qal Imperative of שָׁמַע šāmaʿ (pronounced shaw-mah) + תְּפִלָּה tᵊp̄illâ (pronounced tef-il-law’). This means not just to “hear or take heed of”, but it also means “to obey”.

As we read this, we think, “How dare David – or anyone – command God to do anything!?” But if you think this, you miss the point. David is commanding God not as a god himself, but as a child would cry out to a parent. Notice that David calls God …

Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call,O God of my righteousness:

David calls God the God of my righteousness. The Bible tells us that “God is righteous”. What God does and is is ALWAYS right. When the Prophet Daniel acknowledged the sins of Israel, he said:

Daniel 9:14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

God is righteous, God is just. The Angel declares:

Revelation 16:5 … Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be

God always does the right thing. God’s way is always right.

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

There is no error in God. Any error is in MAN, in US. God is pure, and righteous, and holy. And we are fallen creatures so far away from God by nature, that we infinitely fall short of His glory. But to those who receive the Lord as Savior, to them God credits righteousness. To those who seek God

Titus 1:2 … in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began

… those who “call upon the Lord for salvation”, these people are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. What does the Scripture promise?

John 1:12 But as many as received {God}, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

  • God is the “God of MY righteousness” because He credits righteousness to our spiritual account when we receive and believe in Him.

We cannot be righteous enough to be acceptable to God on our own. But when we call upon God, call upon Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, when we believe that He and He alone is the payment for our sins, our High Priest, our Lord …. we become sons of God. God is the God of my righteousness. I am “righteous” because I have believed in and received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Believing in Him, God has IMPUTED or CREDITED righteousness to my life. The Apostle said:

Philippians 3:8-10 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Because of God and His faithfulness the believer is marked “righteous” simply because we have trusted in and responded to Him in our weakness. Because God is faithful, and David called out to the lord to be His Savior, David is marked as righteous.

The Christian properly understood is one whom – upon believing on Christ – God has marked us RIGHTEOUS, and adopted us into His family through the operation of the Holy Spirit.

We are predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to God the Father, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:5). We have received the Holy Spirit of Adoption, by which we cry out, ABBA, FATHER (Romans 8:15).

  • The true Christian belongs to God, and God belongs to him. God is our Parent because of our relationship to Jesus Christ.

Illustrate: When David commands God in prayer, he is commanding as a child would command a Parent. My children have the power to command me when they are in affliction. Years ago, after a long day of work in the Air Force, I came home to rest. Having just settled down I heard the cry of my eldest son. “Daddy, I need you!” Immediately I jumped up, and ran to where my son was, ministering to him in his need (he had broken both arms in a freak accident). If I as a broken and fallible parent can be mobilized by the call of my sons, how much more can God be mobilized when we cry out to Him as His children?

David Reminded Himself That Pain Has A Purpose

Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…

If you are a child of God by faith in Christ,

and if God is infinitely in control of all things,
and if God loves you as His child
if all these things are true …

then pain has a purpose. David reminds himself this great truth.

  • Pain drives us into God’s arms.

Just as a child with a skint knee runs to its parent, pain drives us into the arms of God. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

The GREAT I AM, Yahweh, is near to the sufferer, because pain breaks away our false bravado and disingenuous faith. Pain makes us realize that we desperately need the Savior. Pain casts down all the false gods and goddesses that we as Americans have engineered to take the place of God. The Prophet, afflicted and hurting, cried out:

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) Casting all your anxieties on him, because (God) cares for you.

Rather than worry and fret, God tells us to trust Him, to cast our anxieties and uncertainties on Him. In this confusing and uncertain world, our Heavenly Father cares for you.

  • Our response to pain proves our salvation.

There are many alleged “Christians” in the world that have little to no relationship with God in Christ. They believe they are saved because they,

said a sinner’s prayer
shook the Pastor’s hand
had a clerk put their name on a church roll
had holy water sprinkled on them as a child

Pain cuts through the plastic and the fake Christian credentials. Peter told the suffering early Church Christian:

1 Peter 1:6-9 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The genuine Christian stands with Jesus, though all the world hate him, and all the demons of hell attack. The genuine believer in Christ has this characteristic: THEY OVERCOME. This is what the Apostle says:

1 John 5:4-5 (ESV) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The end time Church (and we ARE the end time Church) will be plagued with false and plastic “Christians”. Yet God says this:

Revelation 2:7 … To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:11 … He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation 3:5 … He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 3:21 … To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 21:7 … He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Do you get the scriptural point? The faith that does not abandon Jesus in the midst of pain and trial is the genuine, God pleasing faith. Life is pain. God gives us the power to overcome all things for His name’s sake!

David Acknowledged His Suffering,
But
RESTED In The Fatherhood Of God

Psalm 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

Word Study: The word leasing is the Hebrewכָּזָב kâzâb, (pronounced kaw-zawb’), which means “falsehood, lying, deceit”. The sons of Adam will attack the Sons of God, telling lies about them. The world pursues vanity, the Hebrew רִיק rîyq, {pronounced reek}, which means “the worthless thing”. The world is constantly seeking the worthless thing, or whatever “reeks”.

The world pursues that which REEKS. We as believers in Christ are to shun the reeking, the stinking, the useless, the vile, the empty, the foolish.

As David acknowledges the worthless ways of the sons of Adam, rather than be discouraged, he says,

Selah!

Word Study: The word SELAH!” means “to pause or rest, so as the exalt”. It means that David commanded himself to turn his attention from the ways of the lost, to pause, and to look upward, to focus entirely on His Heavenly Father.

  • Control where you focus your spiritual eye. SELAH. Rest in Christ. Rest in the love and fatherhood of God.

David speaks to his own soul, his spiritual heart directing his spiritual eyes to look godward. David prays:

Psalm 4:3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.

If you belong to God, you are set apart for God, by God. God’s eye is on you – ALWAYS. Jesus told us that – if we are saved – we are to be distinctively different from the lost world.

The lost world can be described in one word: ANXIOUS

Look up the word “ANXIOUS” in the dictionary. To be “ANXIOUS” is to be:

worriedconcernedapprehensive
fearfultroubledbothered
disturbeddistressedfretful

If any of those words apply to your life, you are not where God wants you to be. As believers in Christ, we are set apart by and belong to God. Jesus told us:

Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV) … do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

If you are “ANXIOUS”, then do what Jesus said. Turn off the television and radio. Turn off the computer. Get off of social media. Leave your smart phone on silent. DO the things that help build the Kingdom of God. DO the things that please your Heavenly Father. Love God. Show love toward others. DO RIGHTEOUSNESS. Command your soul:

Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

  • Rather than being led by your heart, direct your heart. Command your soul to focus on the goodness of God.

If you give way to your emotions, your life will be like a chicken with its head cut off.

David refused to let his emotions rule him. He often commanded himself. Consider …

Psalm 103:1-3 (ESV) Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases …

or as in Psalm 42:5 (ESV) Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation

David spoke to his soul, commanding and reminding himself that God is faithful, powerful, truthful, and most importantly, his loving Father. This is what made David “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Pastor Ryan Griffith (Cities Church, Saint Paul, Mn) writes:

When you are fearful, do you command your soul to trust in the Lord? When your affections are low, do you command your heart to bless the Lord? As Paul Tripp is fond of saying, “no one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.” In the particularly difficult moments of the day, how do you talk to yourself?… do you specifically exhort yourself to hope in God?”

In the Law of Moses, God told His people that when they went to battle the enemy, “you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 20:1). God commanded that Israel NOT be afraid, but that they remember that God is in control, and God is with them. God told the officers of Israel’s Army:

Deuteronomy 20:8 (ESV) … the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.

The fearful and fainthearted were not needed in the midst of battle. Anxiety is like a cancer. See how anxiety afflicted Israel when Goliath was on the battlefield (1 Samuel 17:11). “Saul and all Israel … were dismayed and greatly afraid”.

To Israel and Saul, Goliath was too big to kill. But when David came along, he saw a loud mouthed giant who was too big to MISS.

What was the difference between David and Israel at that moment? David’s focus was on the God Who saved him. Israel’s focus was on a loudmouthed giant. Beloved, remember that:

2 Timothy 1:7 … God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Christians, Let Us Offer The Sacrifices
Of Righteousness

Psalm 4:5-8 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

God saved us so that we might serve Him. Let us offer the sacrifices of righteousness. What does this mean? The Apostle tells us:

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Dedicate yourselves in living for the Lord Who saved you, and keeps on saving you. Do not “freak out”, but faith up. Look for God in whatever you are going through in your life. When Satan whispers treason in your ear, rebuke him in the name of Jesus. “I don’t belong to you, you old devil. I belong to God, your Creator, and my Father. Get thee behind me!” God is in control. Trust Him. For thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

May God the Holy Spirit draw you close to Him this very day, and every day, for the glory of Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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