Years ago, while I was still a rather new Christian, I was at a prayer meeting with a few people. Since it was a prayer meeting, I shared a few issues and struggles I was currently encountering. All of a sudden, one of my closest friends who was present at the prayer meeting said, somewhat sarcastically, “Wow! Jon Bricker struggles?”
My first thought was, “Of course I do! Don’t you know me at all?” But then, I began to realize something about myself that I just didn’t see before…
It’s hard for me to ask for help.
It’s hard for me to be seen in my weakness. It’s hard for me admit my need. I am MUCH more comfortable asking others how they are doing and identifying ways I may be able to help them. I would much rather help than ask for help myself.
Psalm 51 was written by King David, a man who had become aware of his sin and who knew he needed help.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
This is a needy, needy man. This is a man in great need of God’s mercy. He is a man in great need of God’s forgiveness. He is a man in great need of being washed, being cleansed, having his soul and spirit renewed and refreshed.
He is a man like me.
David’s need for mercy and forgiveness and cleansing is what we all need! His need doesn’t make him unique. What makes him unique is his awareness and confession of great need. What makes him unique is his humility and honesty about his desperate condition.And here is the great news of the Gospel...
Not only are WE needy, but GOD is merciful.
David honestly confessed his sin to the Lord and asked the Lord for help because of God’s mercy and grace. Because God is merciful, we can be honest about our need. Because we know that God is merciful and gracious, full of compassion, ready to forgive, ready to help, let’s ask him!
A primary way God regularly communicates his grace and mercy is through his people. That is why James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
How are you doing at asking for help? How are you doing at confessing your sin to God and others? How are you doing at asking for prayer and counsel? If you are like me, there is room to grow.
Because of God’s steadfast love and mercy, let’s open our lives up to him and to each other. Let’s ask God for help, and let’s ask each other for help.
Gospel Communities are designed to help us learn to ask for help, and be used of God to help others. If you are not in a Gospel Community, please prayerfully consider joining up with one this week. You can learn more about GC’s in Charis here - http://charischurch.com/gospel-communities/.
And, you can listen to last Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 51 and our neediness here - http://charischurch.com/resources/sermons/series/needy-and-needed/