Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dependence on God to not sin

I read Psalm 141 the other day and was struck by how the Psalmist relies on God so that he would not succumb to temptation:

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies!
5 Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me--it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.

This Psalm reminds me of Jesus' advice in Matthew 6,

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The emphasis is so much on God that it is even worded "lead us not". This helps me to see that avoiding sin is not something that I do on my own, and it's not even something I can do with a little bit of help from God. But it's actually something that I am totally dependent on God for.
The psalmist shows this by saying "Do not let my heart incline to any evil", which shows that he did not think he could control his heart, but he knew that God could.

What I also found interesting was that the Psalmist goes so far as to actually ask for someone to rebuke him!

There are 2 major lessons I draw from this:

1) Pray that God could not let my heart incline to any evil.
2) Pray that God would send people to rebuke me when I do.

The second prayer is harder to pray than the 1st! Maybe that's why the psalmist prayed the first one before he prayed the second one?