Summary: Grow Up, Christian! 1) Cry more; 2) Rely more Mature children of God don’t run less to God, they run to God more...
“Grow up!” Did anyone say that to you this week? If so, why? My parents often told me to grow up when I became frustrated and started crying about something I should have been able to do by myself like tie my shoes or zip up my jacket. Parents regularly tell their children to grow up because they want them to become independent. They don’t want their children to turn into 30 year olds who still need Mommy and Daddy to accompany them to a job interview.
While we expect our children to become more independent and to run to us parents less and less for help as they mature, God wants just the opposite of his children. A mature child of God is not someone who runs less to God; a mature Christian runs to God more. So today God tells us to grow up. We do this when we cry more, and when we rely more.
If our text were to be made into a music video (a Psalm is, after all, a song), the opening scene would be a dark room with a person huddled in the corner crying. As the camera would zoom in on this individual the music for Psalm 130 would crescendo into the opening verses: “1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; 2 O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1, 2).
Parents don’t mind when their children ask for help but they become irritated when their children cry for help, especially when the parent is trying to get supper on the table or some work done in the garage. God, on the other hand, loves it when his children cry for help. He doesn’t care what time of night it is for he is never too busy to listen. He doesn’t even mind when we cry to him about the same thing over and over again. The fact is God commands us to pray this way.
So how often do we cry to the Lord? Do we cry to him only when all else has failed? Do we treat prayer like a fire extinguisher, only to be used in case of emergency? Martin Luther once said the fact that God has to command us to pray shows just how sinful we are. Why should a God who loves us, a God who can do all things have to command us to pray? If a billionaire gave us his cell number and told us to call him whenever we needed anything, would we hesitate to call? I think we would. I don’t think we would call the billionaire if we wanted help mowing the lawn. I don’t think we would feel comfortable asking for such a “small” favor – something we should be able to do on our own. This attitude of self-sufficiency carries over into our prayer-life but it’s not the attitude of a mature Christian. A mature Christian is someone who cries more to God, not less. So grow up and turn to God with all your concerns, not just the “big” ones. If we think that our concerns are too small to take to the Lord in prayer, then those concerns should be too small to worry about. And don’t just cry to the Lord once or twice about something, pray again and again.
We won’t cry more, however, until we rely more on the Lord. Is our God reliable? Is he a friend to us? Psalm 130 assures us that he is. After the opening verses the Psalmist went on to sing: “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3, 4).
There is no reason that God should be a friend to us for we have sinned against him. The word “sin” in our text means “twisting” or “perversion.” Sinners are nothing less than perverts. How perverted are we? Well if we commit one sin per minute, we will have committed over 42 million sins by the time we are 80 years old. Let’s put that number into perspective with a football analogy. If for each sin we commit we received a five-yard penalty, how far away from the goal line do you think we would be after 42 million penalties? We would be 210 billion yards (119,400 miles or 192,024 km) short of scoring a touchdown. 210 billion yards is roughly half the distance from the earth to the moon! If we’re going to get into heaven, it’s going to take more than a “hail Mary,” indeed it will take a divine Savior. That’s who Jesus is. Whenever Jesus did something good, God gave us credit for it; he put us down for a score. And whenever we did something wrong, the penalty went against Jesus even though he was innocent of the infraction. It’s because of Jesus that the Psalmist can say that God keeps no record of sins for he gave our sinful record to Jesus who destroyed the record with his death and resurrection.