I'm Not Where I Need To Be

Bible Book: Psalms  143 : 1-12
Subject: Life, Overwhelmed with; Faith; Surrender; Submission

David is struggling; his immediate family (son-Absalom) had turned on him. His wish was not just hatred, but death. He had had his best friend turn on him also. He is in a crisis. He is persecuted, crushed, in death’s darkness, overwhelmed, and distressed. His crisis is actually working for him and not against him. He is thirsty for God, His spirit fails, hounded by enemies; he needs deliverance. His soul is in trouble and afflicted.


In the context of all his trials, how should he pray? Where should his focus be?
Is anything too hard for the Lord?
What do you remember when you can’t forget? .5

MAJOR TRUTH IN THIS TEXT: He wants God to act on his behalf.

ANSWER: Since he has a big God, he prays big prayers. He wants answers .7, deliverance .9,

revival .11. He wants God to bring his soul out of trouble and destroy his enemies .11-12.

BOTTOM LINE: Bring me out of trouble into a life of productive service for “Your name sake.”

He perceives that deliverance will require the destruction of enemies (something in his life, the enemies of his victory)

PRIMARY INTERPRETATION: David is fleeing from his son Absalom; it’s the last of Penitential Psalms

PROPHETIC INTERPRETATION: Seen as the cry of the godly remnant of Israel at last to realize the impossibility of self- justification before God. This knowledge is reached through the experience of unparalleled sufferings. It boasts of the benefit of suffering.

PERSONAL INTERPRETATION: It sometimes takes physical peril to produce penitence. In our prayers we cannot plead merit; we may plead our need; we may even plead our trust, but it is best to plead the attributes of God Himself. God is our refuge from God.

In this Psalm, you find one of the most relevant of our personal experiences. I’m sure I am not alone as one who sometimes goes through times of spiritual dryness. There are times I don’t feel an intimacy with God, and there is a lack of joy and sense of victory day by day. Doubts plague my mind and I find that I am vulnerable to carnal attitudes.

Why do we often feel that the flow of living water has been extinguished and the vitality of our faith has vanished? The Psalmist lets us in on his solution.


Note the ACTS Prayer acrostic

A. Adoration 1

C. Confession 2-.4

T. Thanksgiving 5

S. Supplication 6-.12

v. 1 David is aware that it is upon God’s righteousness and what He has done that he can expect God to answer.

v. 2 It is not by his works, his merit, that he expects God to answer. If justice was the basis of their relationship, he would only be condemned, since no one is righteous before God. The basis for his prayers is God’s faithfulness and righteousness.

STRONG GOSPEL STATEMENT: It is only on the basis of God’s mercy made known to us in Christ that we can come to God. We are righteous before God in the righteousness of His Son. This is the New Covenant in His blood, which cleanses us and makes us whole.

Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”


v. 3 He is in a “dark place”

“who have long been dead” – dead, buried, and forgotten

Robbed of life; abandoned by man and God

v. 4 Speaks of deep depression; desolate

Pictures a totally broken man: soul, spirit, life, and heart

QUESTION: What Can He Do?


Verse 5 Think about when God worked in your life before. Recall how He has blessed and reached out to you, proving His power and faithfulness in the past. Memory builds faith. We see what God has done, our hearts cry out, “Do it again, Lord!”

Valley of Elah

1 Samuel 17:37, “Moreover David said, ‘The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you!’"

Remember, meditate, muse (to talk with oneself); to study.

Song: “He’ll Do It Again”

You may be down and feel like God
Has somehow forgotten
That you are faced with circumstances
You can’t get through
But now it seems that there’s no way out
And you’re going under
God’s proven time and time again
He’ll take care of you

God knows the things you’re going through
And He knows how you’re hurting
You see he knows just how your heart
Has been broken in two
But He’s the God of the stars, of the sun and the sea
And He is your Father
You see He can calm the storm
And He’ll find some way to fix it for you

Oh He’s still God and He will not fail you
Oh He’s still God and He will not change
Know, Know that He’s God and He’s fighting for you
Yes, just like Moses, just like Daniel,
And just like Shadrach and Meshach, Abednego

And He’ll do it again
He’ll do it again
If you’ll just take a look
At where you are now
And where you’ve been
Well hasn’t He always come through for you
He’s the same now as then
You may not know how
You may not know when
But He’ll do it again

Verse 6: There is movement in this text, the Psalmist is changing his focus from his needs to his God. “I spread out my hands to You” – he’s moving from being overwhelmed to expectant.

EXAMPLE: Sometimes we allow our Expectors to Expire

The longing of his heart is not just for relief from his distress; his longing is for God Himself.

Psalms 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God?”

Psalms 63:1, “ O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.”

The Psalmist is about to begin his recovery.


Verse 7: Not just satisfied with granted endurance, his major concern is to get some answers.

“answer me speedily” – he needs to know that God is there for him.

7b - .8 He wants to hear the affirmation of God’s lovingkindness “in the morning.” This represents the passing of the “dark night.”

“for in You do I trust” – the rising of the sun of faith (he feels secure in God)

8b David needs to know what to do, how to deal with his crisis. He needs direction. It is out of this surrender, lifting his soul in worship, that he will know God’s way.

9 David flees to God. In God Himself his crushed life will be restored, darkness will be dispelled, his depression will be broken, and he will be secure. “in You I take shelter”

Psalms 90:1, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”

“dwelling place” – refuge

v.10 “for You are my God”

“Your Spirit is good”

Doing God’s will is simply a proper act of submission.

v.10 “land of uprightness” (on level ground) smooth

v.11 The Psalmist’s big prayer is for revival; make me alive again, not for my sake, but for God’s sake, for God’s glory (His Name)

As God rescues him, He will vindicate His faithfulness to His covenant and prove Himself righteous.

v.12 David is enslaved to a mighty King, therefore, he will trust Him to deal with his enemies.

As David, in submission, surrenders to His sovereign Lord, He becomes his shelter and makes his way smooth.