Not too long ago, I was munching on my favorite chocolate: a York Peppermint Patty. The mini kind. I’m sure my facial expression exuded pure delight and deliciousness. My middle son noticed and said what I thought was:
How does that taste, Fatty?
Shocked, I tightened up and almost growled,
What. Did. You. Say?
Surprised, he cautiously uttered, Mom, I just asked:
How is that peppermint patty?
It’s easy to listen through our own broken filter of insecurity, resentment, and doubt. So too with God. Often, we lay out our emotions and face our reality yet only to hear God’s response through distrust, doubt, and entitlement.
Last week, we saw David cultivating a lifestyle of prayer, a consistent life of talking honestly to God. And in these conversations, he shows us today that there’s more, much more than simply holding the microphone.
An invaluable and sometimes overlooked aspect of prayer involves LISTENING. Listening to the truth of who God is and what He says. David’s prayer pivots with this:
But You… Psalm 3:3
Two very weighted words that reach beyond the mire of hopelessness, pivoting our eyes on the One who can handle our honesty, our reality, and our emotions.
David transitions with:
But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. Psalm 3:3-4
Listen to who God is in light of your emotions. For what David confesses to God in the previous verses, he now listens to who God is specific to that emotion.
- David may feel defenseless, BUT God protects (a shield).
- David may feel despised, BUT God exalts (bestows glory).
- David may feel doubtful, BUT God encourages and answers (lifts up and answers).
This is key. Don’t validate the power of your emotions by using them to define who God is. You may feel like you are unloved based on your emotions and reality. But, listen to the truth: you are loved by God (John 3:16). For every emotion you have and every situation you face, He offers the gift of Himself.
Listen and move forward in obedience confidently believing the truth of God. David does it so well:
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! Strive all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Psalm 3:5-8
- David may have felt defenseless BUT he believes God will protect him AND SO he sleeps. He is confident that he is safe.
- David may have felt despised, BUT he believes God will exalt him AND SO he believes he will be sustained and held by God.
- David may have felt doubtful, BUT he believes God will encourage and answer him AND SO he will be delivered by His help.
You don’t need to stay stuck in the hopelessness of your own messy facts and emotions. Listen and step out into your reality with confident obedience believing God and experiencing the adventurous life of freedom and faith. By doing this, your prayers will build a record of consistency and turn into genuine, life-giving conversations.
Where are you today? What’s going on in your life? In your heart?
Name your feeling. I feel…
Pivot your focus. But You…
Move forward believing. And so…