“You have proved my heart; you have visited me in the night; you have tried me, and shall find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (Psalm 17:3).
Wow. I wonder how many of us can say, “God, You have proven my heart; You have tried me and found nothing to say against me.” How many would want God to look into the heart and see what He finds? I expect most people don’t even want to look into their own hearts let alone have God do so, the reason being that the majority do not purpose to not transgress.
This may be unique to me but I find that sin does not usually overtake me … unless it has to do with sugar. If I am brought face to face with something really sweet that looks delightful, I will often succumb instead of taking the way of escape by finding another treat that would better for me.
Most of the time, when I’m tempted to sin, I have a conscious choice to make: will I give in or will I not? For instance, if I were to watch an R-rated movie, it would be because I want to see it, not because it’s irresistible and I can’t help myself. That said, if I begin a habit of watching questionable movies, it probably wouldn’t take any time at all before it might be increasingly difficult to break myself of it, at which point, I would be a slave to that sin.
The world has no power to withstand temptation but, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit to convict you and enable you to say No. So why do so many give in? Why is there immorality, filthy language, gossip, and other such things in the Church? This is in part because a lot of churchgoers are Christian in name only. It does not affect their lives. I also realize that, if you are a new convert, some of these habits might take time to break. But you must keep praying to stop the things that do not please the Lord.
I think the main difference between a Christian and a nonChristian is that when a Christian sins, he or she falls to their knees, confessing the sin and asking God for forgiveness and for help to not commit that sin again. They then immerse themselves in the Word and in prayer so that they will be more prepared the next time they are tempted.
As I read Psalm 17 this afternoon, I began to pray once again, “God, let my heart be pure in Your sight. Show me the things that displease You so that I can rid myself of those things.” I hope this is your prayer as well.