It is a privilege to listen in on David’s prayer life. By listening we learn what made him into a great man of God and how he survived constant and fierce opposition against him. In Psalm 25:15 he says, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare” (Psalm 25:15, NIV). Later he proclaims: “We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:7-8, NIV). David teaches us that freedom is impossible through our own efforts; it can only come from the merciful help of God. The problem is we are often like the man in the proverbial joke:
“There was a man lost at sea and in dire need of help. He prayed that the Lord would have mercy and save him. Someone soon came by in a ship and said, “Can I help you?” But the man answered, ‘No, the Lord will save me!’ This happened two more times and the man’s response was always the same–’No, the Lord will save me!”–such was his confidence in God. Soon the man drowned and went to heaven. He was upset with God and asked him, “Why didn’t you save me? Why did you let me drown?” The Lord answered, “I sent you help three times but each time you refused it!”
Isn’t it true that we often are looking for God to save us in a way that is different from how he wants to save us? The Jews would cry out for the Messiah day and night. When he came many rejected him because he came in a way they did not expect. Similarly, God has ordained us to be set free through his Word (which is himself) but we are often looking for something more spectacular or “miraculous.” Jesus went on to say to his brothers, “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word” (vv. 37).
Christ is our freedom! But even when we have been set free by his mercy we need to be careful that we do not fall into bondage again. There is always some type of threat to our freedom and the enemy is constantly laying snares for our destruction (Psalm 119:110, 140:5, 141:9, 142:3). There are other gospels that are not the true Gospel (Gal. 1:6). There are people who desire to enslave and exploit us (2 Cor. 11:20). There are also inward temptations and outward enticements. And this is why Paul warns the Galatians: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Only as we allow God’s perfect and pure Word to continually renew us, will we be protected from the yoke of slavery. Now we can understand more fully why Jesus said to the Jews who believed: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32, NKJV).
Prayer: Father, I want to know your true freedom. Let me see your deliverance; save me from being blind to what you have already given. Help me to stand firm in the freedom you have already given me in Christ. Today, I make room for your Word.