Today after a chiropractor appointed, I made it to the fitness center for a workout. I has been a long hiatus and my waist line is showing it. I was almost beginning to feel the same way about my devotional blogs. Last week I was in Washington D.C. for some meetings with elected officials and administration personnel and struggled with my focus and schedule. But I have developed my list of verses to serve as the subject of my thoughts, so…. “I’m back!”
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” Psalm 19:13 NLT
“Will the Lord forgive me for what I am about to do?” The question set me back on my heels as a pastor. Fortunately the anticipated act was not one of violence or a great crime, but nonetheless the question was a challenging one to hear and respond to.
In the past few days our attention has been riveted on horrific scenes from Las Vegas. If the death toll and number injured had occurred from an intense battle between two armies it would have been shocking. But to consider this the act of a lone gun man, one without obvious motivation, the shock and bewilderment is magnified an hundred fold.
As I read Psalm 19, these words above caught my attention. We often speak of sins of “omission” and sins of “commission.” We don’t speak of sins of “premeditation.” Are there times that we know that our action is “sin” yet go ahead? Sadly that can be the case. It seemed to be something that David could related to and was aware of the struggle.
Our wills, our desires, our lusts can provide great motivation and create great pain and poor choices. When we yield to natural inclinations instead of relying supernatural strength the end result is guilt and facing the we have committed a “great” sin.
David knew that to be the case when he took a night time stroll on his balcony and saw a “bathing Bathsheba.” We see something else in David’s plea. Giving in, can result in us being “taken over.” What we think we have control over, we find has instead control over us.
The insight this verse gives into David’s heart is revealing not just from the point of the potential for failure, but it provides the key to victory. We must find our strength in that which the Lord alone can provide. We must realize that freedom can be fragile, so we must contend to keep it. We need to learn that maintaining innocence is the best option in the long run.
Some acts the lead to sin are ones that we “discover.” Some may take place when we are “seized” by a temptation. However, the most insidious and dangerous are those that we plan, ponder and wrestle with in our hearts and minds.
It is good that the later are the more rare ones. But the Lord is able to “keep us strong” and be our lifeline as we cry out to Him.
Prayer for today…. Lord may the meditation of our hearts and the words of our mouth and the focus of our thoughts and the actions we take be pleasing to You.