By Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews)— "Every single one of you here has a call from God on your life, [and] whether or not you live that out [will] depend on whether this psalm becomes an unfortunate reality in your life," said Chris Osborne, senior pastor at Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas. Osborne spoke March 29 at Truett-McConnell's weekly chapel.
Expounding from Psalm 139, Osborne deemed the psalm "a little unusual," and wanted students to understand it as a "warning psalm."
In the pivotal decisions in life that you're going to make in college, there is an enemy who wants to ruin what God wants to do in your life, Osborne said.
Reading from Psalm 28, Osborne said, "Lord I call to you, my rock, do not be deaf to me. If you're silent, I will become like those who are down in the pit."
"Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry to you for help, when I lift my hands toward your Holy Sanctuary," said Osborne, noting King David's uneasiness in the passage.
Referring to verses six through nine, Osborne said the king ends the psalm assured that God will take care of him. However, "it's the middle that makes absolutely no sense," added Osborne, who cited verse three, "Don't drag me away with the wicked and those who work iniquity."
"That is a prayer," said Osborne, who added that David's plea seems misplaced because in Psalm 16, he highlights two things: "I love believers [and] I don't love unbelievers."
If David does not assemble with unbelievers, why is he afraid that God will drag him away with the wicked in Psalm 28? Osborne asked. The pastor attributed David's prayer to his definition of people who work iniquity: "Those who speak peace with their neighbor while evil is in their hearts."
"What he begged, he knew was wrong," said Osborne, who listed three people in David's life that fit the category: Joab, Amnon, and Absalom.
A blood thirsty general, Joab killed Abner in revenge. Amnon, David's son, raped his half-sister, Tamar; therefore, Absalom, David's other son, murdered Amnon in revenge and incited rebellion in Israel.
Ignoring Old Testament law, David spared Joab's and Amnon's lives, and only exiled Absalom for Amnon's murder. Years later, Joab convinced David to bring his son out of exile, and when Absalom returned, he slowly won the favor of many Israelites, formed a huge army, and made war against his father.
David knew he should have dealt with Absalom, Amnon, and Joab, Osborne said. "But, he had one little flaw in his life. He couldn't discipline people close in his life."
"In other words, David prays in Psalm 28, 'God, I know I didn't obey you, I know I didn't know what you told me to do. I know I didn't do what my responsibilities lead me to do, but I'm asking you to overcome my disobedience,'" Osborne said.
"Listen to me, you cannot pray your way out of disobedience with Jesus Christ," Osborne said. "When he comes to you and tells you to do something [and] you ignore it, you've got a flaw in your life."
"Jesus Christ knows your vulnerability [and] so does Satan. What God wants to do is fix it so Satan can't use it," said Osborne, who added that the enemy "wants to take you down in the highest point of your ministry so he can get as many casualties out of your failure as he can."
Osborne recounted the story of a pastor friend who was having an affair. Osborne had just moved from Midland, Texas, to Bryan, Texas, when God instructed him to return and confront the friend. He did.
The friend "had a singular flaw in his life," Osborne said. "He had a brother that was this brilliant engineer. His dad doted on the brother and didn't dote on [the friend so he] grew up with this great flaw in his life, he needed people's approval. We had talked about it several times and I said, 'You've got to ultimately get approval from Jesus Christ, not people.'"
Almost three years later, the friend's children were begging Osborne to convince their father to stay with their mother. Involved in yet another affair, the friend later divorced his wife and left the ministry.
"I don't care who you are, God's got a call on your life. Jesus is bigger than any vulnerability you've got. Let him have your life," said Osborne, who related the story of a deacon in his church who was honored as an outstanding alumnus at a nearby university.
While presenting the deacon's accomplishment, the dean at this secular institution suddenly presented a picture of Central Baptist Church. The dean began to elaborate on how several students on campus approached her saying that she was honoring their Sunday school teacher.
"When [the deacon] stood up, the first statement out of his mouth was, 'I want you to know that I thank Jesus, my Savior,'" said Osborne, who added that on that very day, the deacon also marked the seventh anniversary his wife's death.
"No matter what his pain, no matter what his problem, at the end of his career, he had done it so well, that in a secular environment, they were honoring who he was in Jesus as much as they were honoring what he did in radiation oncology," Osborne said.
"Let me tell you something, God has an enormous calling for you," Osborne said. "My prayer for you is one simple thing today. Don't let Satan interrupt what God wants to do through you."
Vicky Kaniaru is senior staff writer at Truett-McConnell College.