In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31:1-5)David had been anointed King of Israel, but the current king, Saul, was not about to give up his throne. Instead, he hunted David like a wild animal. Many times David had opportunity to retaliate, but refused. He trusted God and when he was in danger, he depended on God to keep him safe.
His appeal wasn’t based on his merit. He never asked God to be fair or to consider him because he was supposed to be the king. He didn’t appeal to God on the basis of Saul being mean to him either. Instead, he asked God to deliver him “for Your name’s sake.”
God promises to protect, lead, and guide His people. If I am in trouble, I can go to Him and rely on Him to take care of me because He said that He would. My appeal ought to be based on His character and integrity, His name and reputation. He will do it because He is God and because He acts according to who He is.
This seems a simple concept, yet many times I’ve come to God with requests based on my own supposed worth or need. Instead of exalting God in my prayers, I’m trying to persuade Him to do what I want because my name or reputation is at stake, or because someone or something has threatened me and I don’t like it. David had it right. I often do not.
Appealing to God on the basis of self is futile, yet I persist. However, the power of selfishness can only be broken by delivering it to the Cross. The Bible affirms that there I have been crucified with Christ. I know that is true, but it often seems that I take a long time to die.
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