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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Psalm 139:23-24

 
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

A humble and contrite heart is a precious thing to God, but it has become a very rare virtue in our American culture which makes much of self-assertiveness and disconnects self-esteem from the integrity, godly character, and hard work that once produced it. The Bible says that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6).

A good antidote for the pride that so easily besets us is to authentically and humbly pray this prayer of David. Pray it every day, and then read the Word expecting the Spirit to help you see your own blind spots and unknown weaknesses. The greatest temptation for anyone who has experienced success is to take credit for it and/or to become addicted to men's praise for it. David was tested by stunning success. The greatest was perhaps the best, which gained him instant renown when he took down the great Philistine giant, Goliath, with a single rock from a slingshot. Songs were sung in his honor.

But success is a hard thing to take, and there are few who can navigate its pitfalls. It was at the peak of his success that David fell. He stopped praying his own prayer, became proud, self-sufficient, and forgot that God was the source of all blessing in his life.

Until the day we die, or the Lord Jesus comes, we will have to contend with our sinful flesh. We need God to answer this prayer, so we need to humble ourselves in the sight of God and pray it earnestly.

Tom Day

 

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