Watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. Gen. 4:7 (NLT)
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt. 26:41 (NIV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 (ESV)
Lord Jesus, there are moments (or longer) when emptiness feels like the Grand Canyon on steroids; when heartache can’t be ignored or medicated; when loneliness is magnified to the point we’ll look for any welcome embrace. Those are the days when you better be enough for us—when knowing you and your love are more compelling than anything else.
Sin isn’t just “crouching at our doors” to control us, it’s also whispers inside our hearts to destroy us, and shouts at us in our culture of entitlement and instant gratification. We need, you and we need each other.
We don’t need clichés, maxims, or sayings; we need a living Christ for the deadly perils. Like Cain angry with Abel (Gen. 4); David sighting a Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11); Esau smelling fresh cooking (Gen. 25:29-34); and Asaph envious of the arrogant (Psalm 73), we too are vulnerable to our longings, unresolved conflicts, and unguarded hearts.
You saved us from hell, Jesus, now save us from ourselves. Save us in the stretches when we lose our gospel-sanity. Don’t let us have to learn, yet again, sin only gives pleasure for a season—a very brief season. Don’t let us settle for stale oatmeal when you give us grace-manna from heaven. Don’t let us drink from mud puddles when you freely give us living water. Don’t let us look to people for what you alone can give us.
We make David’s cry our own: “O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Thank you for your welcome, mercy, and provision. So very Amen, we pray, in your powerful and grace-full name.