As beloved sons and daughters of the Lord, we will all be enrolled in Cave School. Joseph, Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul, and even Jesus, all experienced God-orchestrated seasons of breaking, testing and separation.
The cave seasons of life, those marked by painful trials and overwhelming challenges, are used by the Lord to deepen our maturity and to reveal more of His greatness and glory.
David had his share of “cave time.” Psalm 34 is one of three psalms written by David from the bowels of the earth. This psalm gives us an “intelligence briefing” highlighting the lies our enemy, Satan, uses to demoralize and discourage us during our season of testing. We are admonished to be familiar with the tactics of our adversary so that he will not be able to outsmart us (2 Corinthians 10:11). Here’s five common lies he uses to get the upper hand on us.
5 Lies from the Pit
#1. God doesn’t see what is happening to you.
There’s nothing worse than feeling isolated and alone in the middle of your hot mess! Satan loves to attack God’s goodness. So he tells you that god is ignoring you. He’s not looking. His attention is elsewhere.
Here’s the truth: The Lord sees all we do; he watches over his friends day and night. (v. 15)
If you are a friend of His, His eyes are never off you! He watches over you and your circumstances day and night. He sees every detail of your life.
#2. God’s not listening to you.
In the midst of life’s storms, when the winds are raging, and the thunder is booming, we begin to believe the lie that God is not listening to our cries for help. After all, God must be really old. Perhaps He’s experiencing some hearing loss. Or worse, maybe He’s just ignoring my pain because He doesn’t care.
Here’s the truth: When holy lovers of God cry out to him with all their hearts, the Lord will hear them (v. 17)
My job is to love God and to cry out to Him with all my heart. No religion here. Real, authentic, passionate, heart-felt prayer to my God. His assurance to me: I am listening. I hear your cries. Not sometimes…all the time. Every time.
#3. God is far away and distant.
When we’re doing cave time, the worst fear is that we’re in this by ourselves. Even in prison, the worst sentence is solitary confinement. In our greatest moments of challenge, we long for the support of others. Just the physical presence of a friend provides untold emotional strength and comfort. Satan likes us to believe that God is AWOL! He skipped out when we needed Him the most.
Here’s the truth: The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one. (v. 18)
If you’ll turn your heart to the Lord in the midst of your pain, He will be close to you. In fact, He’s closer than your own breath. If your pain has been caused by your own sinful choices, He offers more good news. He is ready to restore you. He’ll forgive. He’ll heal. He’s near. In fact, He’ll never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
#4. God won’t protect me from danger.
Caves are dark and scary. David was hiding in a cave hoping to remain undiscovered by Saul’s 3000 special ops troops! Now that’s really scary. Would God protect him? Would he live to see another day? Most of our cave experiences pale by comparison. But the underlying question remains: Can I really trust God to protect me from harm?
Here’s the truth: Even when bad things happen to the good and godly ones, the Lord will save them and not let them be defeated by what they face. 20 God will be your bodyguard to protect you when trouble is near. (v. 19-20)
God is my bodyguard! What a comforting thought! And even when “bad things” happen to God’s people, His promise remains: “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). Life’s trials will not defeat us. We are more than conquerors with our Bodyguard at our side!
#5. God won’t forgive you. You are beyond help.
When Satan has used every lie in his arsenal, his silver bullet is aimed at your overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. He plays on your sense of unworthiness. He amplifies your failures. He rubs your face in shame. You are beyond help.
Here’s the truth: The Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants, and he will freely pardon those who love him. He will declare them free and innocent when they turn to hide themselves in him. (v. 22)
The payment required for your freedom has already been paid by Jesus. He took your sin, your guilt and your shame and placed it upon himself. He died in your place. If you hide in Him, he joyfully declares, “You are forgiven and free!” No pit is too deep to rescue you. No cave is too dark to find you. His love is too deep and too wide to miss you. Fall into the outstretched arms of Jesus and find the forgiveness and freedom you long for!