We have an enemy far greater and more fearful than all of David’s enemies combined (1 Peter 5:8).
You were saved, and you are being saved every day (1 Corinthians 15:2). Each day is another new confident plea for protection and keeping:
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1.24–25″ data-version=”esv” data-purpose=”bible-reference”>Jude 1:24–25)
3. Make my heart happy in you.
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4)
Humans were not created just to be rescued from sin, but to be flooded with joy in the Rescuer. Sin disrupted God’s ultimate plan for you; it didn’t create it. Jesus is not only a get-out-of-jail card, but a get-into-eternal-joy Savior and Treasure. God made you to demonstrate his worth by making you happy in him—not just by placing you in heaven, but by giving you himself.
God commands us to have that kind of joy in him (Psalm 32:11). But any of us who have tried know we cannot put on joy like we put on a pair of pants. Something supernatural has to happen in our hearts, and the supernatural only happens one way: with God’s help.
No matter what you’re going through or how far away happiness feels, never settle for anything less than joy in the Christian life, and never assume you’ll find it without asking God for it.
4. Teach me your ways.
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth. (Psalm 86:11)
Knowing the truth is not the end of God’s plans for everything you learn about him. He wants to see the truth come alive in you—in your priorities, in your relationships and in your heart. A Christian is saved apart from our doing (Ephesians 2:8).
But the dots between what we know and what it means for our daily lives are not always clear. The dots between the One we love and the way we should live can often be foggy at best.
As un-American as it may seem, God doesn’t expect us to just figure it out on our own. He wants us to ask him for wisdom and guidance—“God, teach me your way”—and he wants to do the work himself, by his Spirit, through our working. Paul says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12–13).
5. Give me your strength.
Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant. (Psalm 86:16)
Some of us do not need to be convinced to work. We wake up ready to tackle our to-do list and take on the world. We just forget to ask for help, or to serve in anyone’s strength but our own. That kind of effort may work for a while, but eventually we are out of gas and left with small, short-lived returns. “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil” (Psalm 127:2).
Along with our prayers for guidance and direction, we need the physical and spiritual resources to walk and work well. Nothing of any real, spiritual, lasting value happens in our strength. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
Work hard, but never in your own strength. Work in the strength that he supplies (1 Peter 4:11), and let him have all the glory he deserves. God will not lend his own strength to selfish or materialistic dreams, but he will supernaturally empower you to serve. He will give you the courage and resolve to lay down your life for others in the name of Jesus.