Prayer Focus: China, PRC

Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 6, Psalms 36,39,77,78

Scripture

I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.  In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.  (Psalm 36:1-2)

Observation

I read this and I just can’t get over the phrasing “they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin”.  To say it boldly like that, it’s easy to brush it off and not look at it too closely, thinking that the ego-centric verbage doesn’t really apply to us.  But if you can bear with me for a moment and hold that squirming puppy down, I’d like to look at it for a moment. 

We are constantly bombarded, with messages designed to flatter us into buying some product or service that will make us feel fulfilled and happy.  In fact, the secular world would have us believe that our happiness should take priority, the American Dream is all about the pursuit of happiness.  Even our mothers “only want us to be happy”, right? 

But while we are busy making ourselves comfortable I wonder if we can hear that still small voice that calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.  (Luke 9:23-24)  What happens to service, submission and sacrifice when we follow the siren call to follow our own happiness instead of seeking first after God?

Application

As much as I’d like to gloss over that verse and think that it applies to other people, and not me, I am fully aware that my heart is deceitful and able to put a spin on anything in order to justify my getting what I want. 

That’s why I need to study the word of God.  Because that’s where I am going to find the truth, learn the truth, and be transformed by the truth.  The only thing that separates me from the wicked mentioned in this verse above is the fear of God.  The bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  (Proverbs 9:10) 

I think I fall into the same trap that many of you might, the desire to be the hero in my own story.  To justify my actions, gain popular approval for my justifications and present myself in the most flattering light.  But when I do this, chase my own glory, then I am no longer able to detect, let alone hate, my sin.

Prayer

Father, the bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it”?  Therefore, I come to your son, who you said is the way the truth and the life.  I will fear your disapproval more than I fear the disapproval of others.  I ask that you strip my sins bare,  remove the disguise I dressed them in, let me see them for what they are, so that I might hate them the way I should. 

Amen.

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