"Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man!'"
II Samuel 12: 7
"The Undeceiving of Ourselves"
"Before God can deliver us we must undeceive ourselves."
Augustine of Hippo
Have I ever deceived myself about something I have done?
If I asked God to open my eyes to the faults in my actions, what do I believe I would see?
"One of the most fundamental marks of true repentance is a disposition to see our sins as God sees them."
INSPIRATION "And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, ‘Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?' But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'"
Matthew 9: 10-13
Definition of Deceive: To cause to believe what is not true.
He sat on the throne of Israel. A man appointed by God to be the king of Israel.
But on this particular day, a friendly visitor came into the throne-room of the palace. This was not some crumpets and tea type of visit. Nathan had a message from God. While at first it appeared this prophet came with a simple story about a stolen ewe lamb, it didn't take long for Nathan to get to the heart of the situation.
As David, in anger responded to the lack of pity the rich man had for the poor man, another voice was heard above David's fury, "David, you are the man." In some of the most unforgettable words in the Bible, Nathan "undeceived" the powerful king by opening his vision to the reality of his evil behavior.
Throughout the Scriptures, God uses different ways to get the attention of His children. And still today, God reaches out to draw us to Him. But when we stop and consider the enormity of David's sin, it gives us pause as to the Divine capacity for forgiveness.
As I thought about how I would have felt had I been in David's shoes with God's prophet calling out, "You are the one. This story is about you Dorothy," I came to recognize how I would have felt. I would have wanted to slink away and hide in shame, just like Adam and Eve did when they hid in the garden after disobeying their Father.
Furthermore, I might have thought my Father would treat me like sometimes I have treated others who have fallen or as others have treated me when I fell.
I might have expected my heavenly Dad to put me on probation and watch me for a bit to see if I really would change my ways. However, there's a beautiful French proverb that taps into the message God's Son, Jesus, brought to earth which states "Years of repentance are necessary in order to blot out a sin in the eyes of men, but one tear of repentance suffices with God."
To better understand this statement we need look no farther than an experience Jesus had when the holy men in His day, the Pharisees, asked His disciples why Jesus ate and associated with publicans (tax collectors) and sinners. Upon hearing these words Jesus responded that healthy folk don't need a healer but sick ones do. And then He used two interesting words when He said that He "called" us to make us "whole." In the Greek language this phrase would be translated from the New Testament words in this way: Jesus calls us aloud by our name, making us whole and strong, transforming us into individuals who will prevail.
Now, let's take our Father's way of calling us back and apply this to the life of David, a man who at one point in his life had been referred to by God as an individual who had a "heart after God's." At this time in his young life, David was so in step with his Father in heaven that their hearts beat in unison. They were one. They were unified in longing and desire.
But then, as so frequently happens in all our lives, David began to rely on his own power, wealth and strength. He thought he could "be good" by himself. He could, in our modern-day terminology, pull himself up by his own bootstraps. However, there are, in all our lives, those moments when temptation can overwhelm our best intentions and before we know it, like David, we are overcome by some longing that draws us into a web of heartache and pain. If it weren't for the unlimited mercy of our Father, we would be sunk. However, instead of letting us live a life of self-deception, our Father calls out, maybe in the voice of a friend or pastor or loved-one or our own conscience, and says, "You are the one. I am calling you by name so I can make you whole. In My strength, you will prevail."
The author, Thomas Carlyle, wrote, "The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none." This is the self-deceit that can lead us to believe we are above and beyond the faults that can undermine the foundation of our life.
As Nathan called out, "Thou art the man," it was a call of personal repentance to David. And it is a call that still rings loud and clear today.
Our response to our Father's call, as William Taylor so eloquently writes, will not be just because we hate sin and its penalty, but because we have "discovered and felt God's love."
"To (she) who still remains in this world, no repentance is too late. The approach to God's mercy is open, and the access is easy to those who seek and apprehend the truth."
AFFIRMATION "May Thy grace, O Lord, make that possible to me which seems impossible to me by nature."
Forgive the Prodigal Heart"Behold the prodigal! To Thee I come,
To hail my Father and to seek my home.
Nor refuge could I find not friend abroad,
Straying in vice and destitute of God.
I let (my) terrors and my anguish end!
Be Thou my refuge and be Thou my friend:
Receive the (child) Thou didst so long reprove,
Thou that art the God of love!"
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.