Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Raise your hand, all of you who in your bedtime prayers last night kept asking God to forgive you because you failed Him during the day? How many of you felt guilty and unworthy of even asking Him to answer your petitions, possibly even hearing an inner or distant voice accusing you of being a hypocrite? If you answered “yes”, I congratulate you for your honesty and although you couldn't see me, I raised my hand too. I hope you’re not one who thought “Ooh, Brother Joe!” Have you forgotten that Jesus saved us because we were sinful and could not save ourselves? And have you forgotten that, although we now have a new nature, the old sin nature still lives within us? If we were not worthy of being forgiven when we came to Christ, do you think we are worthy now? Paul wrote: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18) As you can see, my dear fellow saints, if there is any good thing in us, it is because of God’s mercy and grace.
Actually, today’s blog was inspired when I read Psalm 143 this morning. In it, I saw David experiencing the same thoughts we all get during our nighttime prayers from time to time. He wanted God to hear his prayer even though he realized he had failed Him. He spoke of an enemy that was persecuting him and made him feel overwhelmed and empty. Is that not how we feel when our sinful nature has gotten the best of us? In that state, it made him recall the good times when he enjoyed sweet fellowship with God’s Spirit and expressed his desire to return to it. Is that not also what we feel and desire, for our fellowship with Him to be restored? That is why he prayed in verse 10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
Yes, my fellow child of God, if you had this troubling experience last night, or even recently, you are not going through something no other believer has not gone through. In fact, if David and the Apostle Paul were familiar with this situation, you are in pretty good company. Perhaps this is your time to pray David’s prayer. (Psalm 143:10) The truth is that we can all benefit by asking God to help us not to fail Him as often as we have, to make us wiser and stronger in our faith. If we keep having these disturbing experiences in the future, we will survive because God is faithful and merciful, but the less we have them, the happier we will be.
Memory verse for the week: (Proverbs 27:2) “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”
Note: If you know of anybody you think might be interested in reading these blogs in Spanish, please let me know.