THE ONLY THINGS ALLOWED TO HUNT YOU DOWN

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THE ONLY THINGS ALLOWED TO HUNT YOU DOWN

In our lives, many things hunt us down. The tax man, the collections department, disease and even situation and circumstance all seem to hunt us down. Like a psychotic fan, these troubles never seem to go away, lurking in every corner and rearing their ugly heads every opportunity they get.

But when trouble comes knocking, when it jumps out at us, we can learn from the Psalmist and turn to our Father for refuge and rescue, for these are not the things that are supposed to hunt you down.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.” Psalm 143:1

I don’t think it would be far gone to say that the Psalmist was one of the major inspirations to this verse.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6

Indeed, when trouble arose, the first thing that the Psalmist did was to turn to our Father. He didn’t ring his consultant, nor call his manager. He turned to his Father and our Father. In fact, he did exactly as Paul prescribed and made petitions, definite requests, to God; instead of getting anxious.

And when he approached God, he appealed to two of our Father’s unchanging traits, His faithfulness toward us and His righteousness.

Now, when it comes to faithfulness, our Father’s actions speak louder than words. He promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the shore, and He made good on that promise. He promised Noah that He would keep his family safe during the flood, and He made good on that promise. He promised Moses that He would give him the words to say and lead Israel out of Egypt safely, and He made good on that promise. And I am sure that when you look back on your life, there was more than once when He made good on all His promises. So appealing to our Father’s faithfulness when making requests, good move.

But righteousness? Now there’s something not all of us are comfortable with.

Say you were behind the wheel one day and got a little bit too carried away and your right foot got a little too spirited and you got pulled over. Sure, God is faithful, but if He got you out of that speeding ticket, would He still be righteous? Or say you had a little too much to drink and because the alcohol has poisoned your blood, you are hugging the cistern like it was your teddy bear and puking your guts out. Sure, God is faithful, but if he got you out of that mess, would He still be righteous?

Now, I’m not saying that our sin is as simple as a speeding ticket or having a little too much to drink. Our sin is much worse. So would God still be righteous if He pulled us out of our mess? In a word beloved, yes,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Quoted many times. Used many times. But the impact that this reality has on our lives is never eroded. Beloved, this is not merely a verse, this a reality. Our rubbish excuse of a life has been exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus. We, who were once unclean, have now been made without blame or reproach. And because of this,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

I have a friend who could never get his head around this reality. He doesn’t understand why Jesus would sacrifice Himself and clear our debt of sin for us. And it seems, this friend of mine is not alone. There are many out there who feel the same. Perhaps even you do or once did.

But we need to realize that the reason why this is, the reason why Jesus would make this sacrifice for us, is because we are not simply ‘anyone’; we are not simply ‘people of the world’; for,

“…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

Would you hold your children’s sins against them? Would you meet out the full extent of your children’s sin on them? Would you allow your children to bear the full brunt of their consequences if there was something you could do about it?

So “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

When we seek our Father’s help in times of need, know that our Father is faithful because He loves us, and our Father has every righteous reason to help us out, because we have now been made righteous and blameless before our Father through Jesus’ sacrifice. And that is why this verse,

“Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no one living is righteous.” Psalm 143:2

Does not apply for us anymore. Indeed, no one was righteous in our Father’s sight back in the times of the Psalmist. But isn’t it such a comfort to know that because Jesus has completed the work for our salvation on the cross, we who believe are now righteous in His sight and there is therefore no need for our Father to enter into judgement with us because there is nothing left to judge?

So when you tell our Father that you are troubled

“For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in darkness,
Like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.” Psalm 143:3-4

The answer that you will never receive from our Father is ‘you deserve it’. For because of what Jesus did on the cross, you no longer deserve any more punishment from God. Instead,

“I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your works;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
I spread out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.” Psalm 143:5-6

Our Father has been faithful, hasn’t He? He has been good to you, hasn’t He? When you take in the full extent of His provision after the issue has been resolved, you mused at the work of His hands, didn’t you? So stretch out your hands to Him, for He is stretching out His hand of provision and protection to you right now.

And when times get rough,

“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.” Psalm 143:8

Listen to His words first thing in the morning and let His truths drown out the day’s troubles. Seek His direction first thing in the morning so that you will know the way in which you should spend the rest of your day walking. Indeed, ask Him to

“Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:10

Start seeing things from His perspective and you will learn just how to do the things you are tasked to do. For indeed,

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3

So beloved, have you figured it out yet? Yes, worry, anxiety, troubles and your mother-in-law are not the ones that are supposed to hunt you down. Yet, our Father has purposed that somethings are.

“Goodness and grace will pursue me
every day of my life;
and I will live in the house of Adonai
for years and years to come.” Psalm 23:6 [CJB]

That’s right, His goodness and His mercy, His grace and His unmerited favor, shall pursue you, hunt you down, for years and years to come, as you dwell in the house of our Father.

So troubles chasing behind you? Turn to Him and say,

“Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.” Psalm 143:11

His righteousness does not allow you to be punished anymore. His righteousness does not allow you to be wronged. His righteousness does not allow you to be manipulated by the world. So for His righteousness sake, He will bring you out of trouble.

Have faith.

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