(Psalms 17:6) “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.”
In Psalm 17, David begins by entreating God in Prayer. David invokes God to “…give ear unto my prayer.” David does this on the basis of his understanding of his position of Righteousness in Jehovah; which David proves by his statement, “…that goeth not out of feigned lips.” The position of understanding of The Righteousness of God, wherein David stood, was based on David’s knowledge of God’s examination of the truth in David’s heart, and based on David’s outward behavior before men in his daily walk; which David enumerates in (Psalms 17:2-5).
Beginning in (Psalms 17:6), David catches his second breath and repeats essentially Psalms 17:1; wherein David petitioned God to “…incline thine ear unto me and hear my speech…” However, in his second stanza, David adds a note of confidence in his petition to God: “I have called upon thee (not maybe; but I have called on You; not on some other so-called god; but on You, Jehovah), for thou wilt hear me, O God…” This statement reveals that David had called upon God (Jehovah) and none other; and David knew that God would hear his petition – this is True Confidence. David knew that he had petitioned the Only True and Living God; and he knew God would honor His Promises, because David knew for a fact that he was God’s child and that Jehovah was his God.
What a glorious attitude for any believer to have when petitioning God! What a wonderful peace and rest for the believer to have when speaking to God! What a supreme and precious confidence for the believer to carry with him to the Throne of Grace, knowing without doubt the he would find, “…that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to find help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
Before we enter the commentary on the remaining verses of Psalms 17; this verse allows a momentary pause to ponder the confidence David had when speaking to God. It is this author’s belief that many children of God do not have this confidence that David had when speaking to God in prayer for various reasons. There was no doubt in David that God would not hear his petition. There was no doubt, as with the Apostle John in (1Jn 5:14-15) “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” The key is to know the Will of God; and God’s Will is according to His Written Word.
The questions that arise from this verse are, ‘Do you, as a believer, have confidence that when you petition God He hears you, and you will receive the petitions that you desire of God? If not, why not?’
The answer can be found in the answers to the following questions:
I. Do you know for certain that you are Child of God?
David said in (Ps. 17:3a) “…Thou hast proved mine heart…” (Refer to Devotion Three in this series.) David knew for certain that he was God’s child. There should be complete confidence in your standing in Christ as a Child of God if you are truly a child of God because;
1). You will have an internal witness from the Holy Spirit that dwells within the spirit of a child of God:
(Rom. 8:14-16) (14) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
(15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
(16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
Also, if you are a child of God;
2). You will have “an understanding” that Jesus is the Son of God; and He hath given His children an understanding:
(1 Jn 5:20) “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding,
- that we may know him that is true,
- and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.
- This is the true God, and eternal life”
3). You will walk in holiness:
David said in (Psalms 17:4c), “….I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” This practice belongs only to the child of God by God Himself, Who is the Protector of all His children. The true child of God has been made a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17); whereby he is given a new will to please God and not his flesh.
Reader, if you have this internal “witness” by the Holy Spirit; and if you have this “understanding of the above three things; and your desire is to walk in “holiness” – then this is your First Step to Confidence.
II. Are you Clean before God? (This speaks of endurance in holiness)
The child of Child of God has a responsibility to keep himself free from daily fleshly defilements by daily confession of any sins of the flesh he has committed. The key word is fellowship, or communion. The believer must be clean before God when he comes to God in prayer if he expects God to hear him. The Prophet Isaiah makes this very clear in (Isa 59:2), “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Therefore, the believer must exercise (1 Jn. 1:9); that is, to be clean before God, he must make confession of his sin before God. Confession leads to a heart that does not condemn us.
(1Jn 3:19-21) (19) “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
(20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
(21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”
Reader, if you stay confessed up of any sin of the flesh and are not trying to hide any sin of the flesh; then, here is your Second Step to Confidence.
III. Do you keep His Commandments? (This speaks of Submission to the Will of God and Obedience to the Word of God)
1). It is a matter of Submission:
When your sole desire and motive is Surrender to the Sovereignty of God, and Submission to the Will of God for your life – then it means you have humbled yourself before Almighty God to say, “Not my will, but, thine be done.” You have come to the place to not question God, ‘Why?’ But to say, ‘By Your power, I shall overcome.’
2). It is a matter of Obedience:
The pathway of Confidence that God hears your petitions is found in the keeping of His commandments and doing those things which please Him: (1Jn 3:22) “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” You must be a (Jas 1:22) “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
3). It is a matter of Love:
(Gal 5:6) “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”
(Joh 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The matter is relatively simple: Do you love God more than the flesh? Is your will to please God more than self? The answer to these two questions is easy to answer. If you love God more than self; you will prove it by keeping His commandments. If you love God more than self; you will do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Someone may ask, ‘What are those things that please God?’ Again, the answer is simple, (1Jn 2:6) “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” This verse answers all questions; for when the believer walks as Christ walked, he proves he is in Love with God; proves not only to himself, but to others also.
Believer, if you keep the commandments of Christ, it means you love God. If you love God, this is the Third Step to Confidence in God.
IV. Do you Trust His Promises?
Trusting the Promises of God is paramount, or vital, in having Confidence that God hears you and will answer your petition:
1). His Promises are a Gift to the Believer:
(2Pe 1:3-4) “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
(4) “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:”
Salvation is a Gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9); and in this process, God gives His children exceeding and precious promises; for all Promises are in Christ Jesus and Amen.
2). The Promises – the means to be a Partaker of Divine Nature:
(4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
When the believer trusts in; believes on; rests his case on; and depends on the Promises of God – this means, the believer has been granted a perception of God, Who dwells within the believer. That is, the believer grows (or matures) in grace and in the knowledge of the Person, Presence, Power, Protection, and Provision of God, to and for the believer. The believer comes, through experience, to know who he is, and Who God is in him, and to know of the Oneness of Christ and him. The reward of walking by The Faith (Who is Christ) is (Heb. 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
When the believer walks by faith, or by Christ, Who is the Faith (Gal. 2:20); then, he can say with the Apostle Paul: (Php 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” And (Php 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Reader, when you eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood – this means you feed on the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that He is God in the flesh, your Sacrifice for your sin debt, your Substitute for the penalty and punishment of your sin debt; and He is your Savior; He is your Redeemer from the slave market of sin, its power, its penalty, its punishment, and from sin’s practice.
If this is where you are; then, Reader, you are on the Fourth Step of True Confidence in God.
David said with no doubt, no hesitation, (Psalms 17:6) “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.”
Believer, can you say this with David? If you can; then you have the Confidence of Faith; which confidence says, “…for thou wilt hear me, O God.” It is not maybe; but “…for thou wilt hear me, O God.” There is only complete dependence upon the Promises of God; and you can say with the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 1:7-12) “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
This, dear Reader, is True Confidence.