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A month or two ago, I had a disappointing day. No plans were going quite like I hoped (including two cancelled outings with girlfriends), so there I was mopping the dining room at 4 p.m. and trying not to cry. I desperately asked God to help me have a good attitude anyway, and my prayer turned into a cry for help: Jesus, please save me from myself! It's all I could manage to pray. The disappointment was overtaking me and I couldn't fix my angry heart by effort alone. That tearful prayer turned into victory: He really did help me to calm down (i.e. not sulk & not give the silent treatment for the rest of the day) and to end the day in joy.
What I really wanted to pray that day:
save me from this mess
save me from these annoying children
save me from this day
save me from these dirty floors
save me from this list
save me from my life
Isn't that what we sometimes actually mean when we pray: "Jesus, please come and save"? But I don't need saving from all those things because most of them are God-given, actual blessings. He didn't come to save me from my life. Instead, Jesus came to save me from all of the sin inside that fights against living life as He would ask me to live--like a servant and denying myself. Jesus came to save the world: yes, praise the Lord! But He also came as a Savior outside of myself to save me from myself and the sin in my own heart.
. . . you [are in] grave danger, because of the danger you are to yourself. . . . you have no ability whatsoever to escape yourself. You and I simply have no ability to rescue ourselves from the greatest danger in our lives. Paul David Tripp
And that danger is MYSELF.
"God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I will call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to the Rock that is high above me, for You have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. I will dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings" (Psalm 61:1-4).
What if one of my greatest enemy's is myself? After honest introspection, I admit I am stubborn, lazy, hard-hearted, and prideful--in a word: sinful. And what if my heart is without strength to handle myself? It feels like I am the ends-of-the-earth away from the holy life I'm supposed to be living and I have no strength to come back. So I cry out, I pray and I call to Jesus. God, please hear me! I ache to be rescued from me.
So I imagine literally climbing onto the Rock of Jesus that is high above myself. There I find a refuge and a strong tower from the enemy. There is a sheltering, comforting and protecting wing to huddle underneath and I am safe. I want to live with you, Jesus--not with me. Oh, would You please save me from myself!
. . . save me, and I will be saved . . . Jeremiah 17:14
. . . I will save you . . . Judges 7:7
Read more: Don't Trust Your Heart . . . "My heart is not trustworthy, but I can trust Him. His presence is where I need to stay and where my heart can be at rest."