Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Judge Me, LORD

Vindicate me, O LORD,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the LORD;
I shall not slip.
(Psalm 26:1)
“Vindicate me, O LORD.” That’s how the NKJV renders it. The good old KJV has, “Judge me, O LORD.” The Message says, “Clear my name, GOD.”

Though David believes himself to be in the right, he is willing, even desiring, for God to come and weigh his heart. There is a sort of ambivalence or apathy here. He hopes to be proven in the right, but he is willing to be found in the wrong, so that he may be corrected.

The judgment of God is not a bad thing. It is a very good thing. For one thing, God Himself is good, so all He does is good. For another, the judgment of God is what comes and sets thing right.

I don’t know about you, but I want God to come and set my heart right. It often gets out of whack — in fact, I was born with my heart out of whack — and I want it to function properly, so I can walk in fellowship with God, in the inheritance and destiny He has always had for me.

So I want God to judge my heart, but I want Him to do it according to His mercy. You see, it is the judgment of God that comes and sets things right, but it is His mercy that sets me on the right side of His judgment. When God finds something wrong in my life, I don’t want Him to get rid of me, I want Him to get rid of it. In other words, His judgment deals with the sin in my life, but His mercy holds on to me. His mercy is the flip side of His judgment.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Here is both the justice and mercy of God. I don’t want God to simply forgive my sin; I want Him to cleanse me from it, to remove it from my life altogether. I want Him to deal with my heart and bring into line with His heart, which is nothing but good. That is the only effective way I know of dealing with the issues of my heart—bring them to the Lord. I seek no other way, for my trust is solely in Him.

So this morning I have cried out to the LORD, as David did, “Judge me, O LORD — if my heart is wrong, then set it right. If my heart is right, then back me up.”

I had already planned, as part of my devotional time this morning, to partake of the Table of the Lord. The elements were laid out before me and as I thought on “Judge me, O LORD,“ I began to remember again that I was seated before the divinely instituted sign of that very thing. God judged me, and vindicated me many years ago on the Cross. Jesus gave His body and shed His blood to bring forgiveness and cleansing — to set my heart right with God. The Table of the Lord ministers the reality of that to my soul.

So I took the bread and the cup, and with each bite and each draft (I don’t do just a little dab and sip), I began welcoming and receiving the vindication God has for me — forgiveness, cleansing, healing, deliverance, freedom, blessing, favor, prosperity of soul and in all other things — the fullness of salvation.

If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you have already been judged and set right. Now let the reality of that work through you like leaven. Let Him judge your heart and set it free from the darkness that encroaches, to bring you into a joy-filled life and a world-changing walk with Him.