This type of prayer will lead us into right standing with God.
By Shawn A. Akers
Throughout his adventurous and very interesting life, King David endured incidents of intense persecution and danger. But what was most impressive about David is that he not only prayed for protection from his attackers during these perilous times, he also prayed about protection from sin.
“Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. … Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. (Psalm 25:4-5, 20-21, MEV)
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies” (Psalm 141:3-4)
So what are we talking about here? We’re talking about living a life of righteousness–or right standing with God. As believers, shouldn’t we hate sin more than suffering?
Our relationship with Christ not only allows it, but it also presents us with an obligation to become a person of deep moral commitment. Jesus, to whom we owe everything and to whom the believer is supposed to surrender everything, gives us guidelines by which we are to live a happy and respectable life.Our relationship with Christ not only allows it, but it also presents us with an obligation to become a person of deep moral commitment.
The first chapter of James tells us that we are to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” We are to “lay aside all filthiness and remaining wickedness and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.” We are to be “doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Our relationship with Christ not only allows it, but it also presents us with an obligation to become a person of deep moral commitment.
When we fall into trials and tribulations, which James assures us we will in this life, our temptation to sin can accelerate. When we face trials in our relationships, our jobs, our finances, etc., be extra careful about sin’s pull on your mind and your flesh. Satan will work overtime to get you do to something you don’t want to do and he will try to convince you that you will feel better during these tough times if you just give in. Don’t allow that lie to penetrate your heart.
Remember, “when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death” (James 1:15). But also remember that, because you have been given life in Christ, you are now to live the righteous life that God desires.
Living righteously suggests a thriving, spiritual relationship with God that leads to freedom. Living righteously is always a genuine decision one makes to remain attentive to the presence and power of God. It is motivated by love and reverence for the One who created us and cares for us.
- “Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth” (Col. 3:2)
- “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
- “Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cleave to what is good” (Rom. 12:9).
- “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
As always, remember to do something today to rise up higher in your kingdom calling.
Step Out of the Boat is a ministry created by Charisma Media Content Development Editor Shawn A. Akers and dedicated to help Christ followers to become spiritual champions and come to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. With its articles, podcasts and other forms of media, Step Out of the Boat encourages Christ followers to daily reach to a higher level in their calling. Shawn is a 35-year veteran sportswriter, a published poet and he published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network