He Knows The Way - David
Psalm 142:3 says: When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.
This verse was the prayer of David during one of the darkest hours in his life.
Psalm 142 paints a picture of King David hiding in a cave because his enemies were pursuing him.
He was in a terrible situation. He was hunted to be killed. The people who pursued him were far too strong for him.
Snares had been hidden for him…
He was alone…
No one was concerned for him…
He had no refuge…
No one cared for him…
And he was in desperate need.
Imagine that situation for a moment.
We even panic over small, trivial things — how much more David!
He dreaded the horror of what might happen.
I can imagine David had difficulty breathing.
Thoughts of being captured, tortured, and killed must have crossed his mind.
In his loneliness and desperation, David noticed that his spirit was fainting little by little.
His courage was fading away.
He couldn’t think of a way to escape.
He was helpless.
We know that David was a strong and courageous man.
He was king…
He was a man after God’s own heart…
His faith was strong…He killed Goliath…
He killed lions…
He was a commander of soldiers…
He was experienced in battle…
And he was anointed by the Lord.
Who would expect that his spirit would faint or become weak?
A. No One is Exempt.
The NIV says, “when my spirit grows faint within me.”
It doesn’t say “if my spirit grows faint within me.”
The word “when” signifies certainty.
There will come a time when our spirits will faint for different reasons.
No human being is exempt whether strong or not, young or old, rich or poor.
Even Jesus experienced it at Gethsemane before he was crucified.
He told his disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38).
Jesus also prayed, “My Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
In his extreme anguish, his sweat was like drops of blood.
I know how it feels to faint.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night with pain - When to the hospital and the pain was too much and I fainted.
My mother would faint - she had what is called Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee). It occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness.
What makes our spirit faint?
Loss of job…
Health and family problems…
The feeling that nobody cares…
Unanswered prayers and failures, to name a few.
We experience distress like David.
Like him, we faint too.
We feel helpless and hopeless at times.
B. Fainting Happens Within
Our verse also says, when my spirit grows faint “within me.”
Spiritual fainting takes place inside of us.
Aside from God, only you and I know how faint our spirits are.
Sometimes, we appear strong but deep inside we are getting weaker each day.
We fake it because we think that nobody else knows.
We are slow to address it.
We allow it to grow deeper until we fall out or backslide.
It could be that David tried to appear strong while inside the cave but deep within him, he was trembling with fear.
His spirit was fainting every minute.
But the good thing was that David acted without delay.
He immediately prayed “it is you who know my way.”
He surrendered his fate to the Lord right away.
In other words, David was saying, “whatever happens inside this cave or outside, whether I live or die, you know best Lord. Your will be done.”
If we will do what David did, we will be at peace no matter what life may throw at us.
This reminds me of the song titled “It Is Well With My Soul” which partly goes:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well…(Repeat) It is well…
With my soul…(Repeat) With my soul…
(Together) It is well, It is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
This blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
WHEN YOU FAINT HE KNOWS THE WAY
First, faint into the hands of the Lord.
When we are troubled, we tend to seek refuge in our abilities, education, strength, resources, and connections.
Sometimes, God is the last thing on our minds.
We go to him only after we have tried everything within our power and failed.
And we even blame him for not helping us out of our own mess!
At some point in our lives, our spirits will faint or even collapse.
We are human beings; we are limited.
If it’s meant to be, let it be.
But we must immediately faint in the hands of Jesus…
We must collapse at his feet in total surrender.
And right there, we have to wait for the Lord because they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Jesus is calling those who labor and are heavy laden for he will give them rest (Matthew 11:28).
God loves us so much.
His mercy is limitless.
Charles Spurgeon said it best: when we can do nothing, God can do everything.
Isaiah 40:28 says, The Lord does not faint or grow weary
What is it that we need that God cannot provide? Nothing.
David understood this principle that at the end of the day all we have is Jesus.
We should go to him right away.
He is our first and only option.
Second, the storms in our lives will bring us to a closer walk with God.
There are truths about God that we can only learn and discover when we are broken and in desperate need.
It is usually during these times that we tightly cling to the hand of the Lord, never letting go.
And as we walk closely with the Lord in the path that he knows, we can feel his comforting touch and his unconditional love.
He never blames us for what we have done.
Instead, he listens and forgives.
God does not only know the way, he chooses the way that is best for us.
The “best way” is not necessarily pleasant.
He may walk us through the valley of the shadow of death…
Through a narrow path…
Through a steep mountain…
Through the storm…
And maybe even through the camp of our enemies.
Just walk with him and look unto him.
At the end of the day, we will come out stronger in faith.
When David said, “it is you who know my way” he was saying in effect, “Lord, let me walk closer with you and learn your ways.”
Third, we are safe in God’s hands.
No one can snatch us from the hand of Jesus.
In him there is peace.
He is our hiding place…
He will protect us from trouble and surround us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7).
The Lord will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint (Jeremiah 31:25).
David knew that he was safe in God’s hand.
David did not die in the cave where he was hiding.
He died of old age.
He was delivered from his enemies because he had chosen to take safe refuge under the wings of the Almighty God.
We should too.
This is an amazing truth, when our spirits are fainting away and we call upon the Lord, our prayer is special and it goes directly to the Lord in his holy temple.
He acts right away.
That’s what happened to Jonah.
While inside the belly of the fish, he said, “when my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7).
The fish spat him out quickly.
It happened to Peter while he walked on water with Jesus.
When he heard the loud winds and saw the waves crashing around him, he was afraid. He began to sink, and he cried out: “Lord, save me, or I will drown” (Matthew 14:22-33).
God reached out to Peter instantly.
God will not waste a second rescuing his children.
It seems that nothing is happening, but God is doing something we couldn't see.
How about when our spirits are strong?
When all is going well?
Can we still say, Lord, it is you who know my way?
That’s the hard part.
When all is well, we must continue to strengthen our faith because we need it during times of great need.