There are many good, caring people, where I live, who at their own expense help others; however, I’ve also seen my share of those who aren’t satisfied until they have what they want, even if it comes at the expense of themselves or others. This latter predisposition is at the heart of all sin and exemplified by Adam and Eve. The LORD knows how destructive this tendency can be and graciously and consistently cautions us against it and promises us a way out through Christ.
I’ve found it profitable to meditate on and pray through the Ten Commandments, seasonally making them a part of my morning devotional time. Here’s my prayer based on the Tenth commandment: “You shall not covet.”
LORD, as you all too well know,[tweet_dis]I live within a discontent culture that increasingly is turned either in on itself or towards things and shamelessly puts self above all else, even if it means violating another person or their property.[/tweet_dis]In this context, somebody sees something and is not satisfied until they have it, creating enemies, ugliness, and hurt in the process. Here, life is filled with people who “gain the whole world yet forfeit their souls.” God, may I be on my guard against all kinds of greed and covetousness and be ever mindful that my life doesn’t consist of the abundance of my possessions or getting my way. “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.”
You are my LORD, who sanctifies. You graciously give us all things – riches, renown, power, skill, position … and any other good gift of yours – as it fits within both your purposes and pleasure and our individual lives and callings. Keep me ever mindful that what I gain in my own strength I will loose and that [tweet_dis]what I do and own is not as important as who I am and who/what owns me – both actions and passions matter.[/tweet_dis]May I also not take up the ways of this age, even for a good cause. Purge from me selfish ambition that is cloaked in religiosity and manifested by an insatiable appetite to be greater or to do greater things.[tweet_dis]Lead me from the tempter, who promises, as he did to Jesus, “attained godly goals,” for those who embrace his methodology.[/tweet_dis]May I peacefully and restfully hunger most of all for you to be glorified and for me to be useful in your hands; may my life be captured by how great you are and how you are more real and incomparably valuable than anything in this world. God, I will always fail in these areas minus your support. “Save me, for I am yours.”
You are my God of Peace! Fill my heart with contentment, gratitude, and love. May I not be envious of any good that comes to my neighbor. Instead, may godliness with contentment exude from me so that my inward thoughts and outward actions towards both neighbor and self are always life giving and love filled.[tweet_dis]How can I be dissatisfied with your provision and guidance and timing, when I consider your infinite wisdom and love for me in Christ?[/tweet_dis]”I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
Spirit of Truth and Counselor of my soul, may I keep Paul’s perspective in mind, who distilled all sin to covetousness and therefore saw this sin as touching all others – starting with the First Commandment that insists the LORD God be my chief desire and object of worship. May I also adhere to your counsel:[tweet_dis]James insisted that love for this world was adultery against you and that coveting was the source of conflict in the community.[/tweet_dis]Lord Jesus, I do believe with you that all sin can be reduced to the motives of the heart, but my intentions are such a mixed bag, not typically nor easily discernible by me. Help! On a good day, in the quietness of a fleeting moment without the pressures of life, “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion.'” At other times, I know I need assistance in this area and therefore ask today that I foundationally find my satisfaction in you and from you and for you. This day, please illuminate my pathway forward. “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
You are my LORD, who provides. “Apart from you I have no good thing.” Thank you for good things in my life and for teaching me that it’s not wrong to desire and labor for what is good, whether daily provisions, a family … the good of my neighbor, or that you fulfill your good purposes for me and through me. I honor you LORD; you alone are good and allow me to enjoy, without guilt, every good thing that comes from your hand. Like Christ, who “went around doing good,” help me to be passionate about what is good and to be known as your “good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to live either for or by bread alone nor store up treasures on earth at the expense of storing up treasures in heaven. In the quietness of this moment, I realize that it’s fruitless to be anxious, worrisome … and unable to rest until something is settled, known … or obtained. But, as you know, today will present me with temptations to believe and resultantly act otherwise. Aid, me this day! Be my Sabbath rest and chief desire of my heart.[tweet_dis]May things in my life be joyfully realized and thankfully sustained, because I understand that they are from you and for you.[/tweet_dis]May I hold my belongings loosely so that I can properly respond to your desire to hold me tightly; may I be willing to “give up what I cannot keep in order to gain what I cannot lose.”
As concerning all these things, Author and Perfecter of my faith, you alone really know my frailties, my temptations … and how the cravings of my old nature, yoked with the spirit of this age, have and still can cause me to stumble in the dark. “Lord, I believe [in your ways], help my unbelief.” Thank you for your mercy in the midst of my disobedience and weakness. This day, may I continue to grow in faith and be empowered by your Spirit, so I don’t gratify the cravings of my sinful man;[tweet_dis]may I run freely and fearlessly upon your highway of holiness, keeping foremost in mind that Day I’ll stand before you[/tweet_dis] – my pathway there always illuminated by your light, may it be as you promised: level and smooth. I worship you! You are not only the God who faithfully guides, and provides but also the LORD who patiently and mercifully sanctifies, satisfies, and sustains! “The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever — do not abandon the works of your hands.”
(Gen 16:13; Ex 31:13; Deut 5:21; Isa 26:9; Ps 16:1-3; 19:12–14; 42:1-2; 73:25-26; 78:18-19; 101:5; 119:32, 36, 94; 138:8; Lam 3:24; Isa 26:7–9; Hab 3:17; Matt 4:1-10; 6:19-24; 7:15-23; 16:24-28; 19:17; 25:21; Mark 7:20-21; 8:34-37; 9:24; Luke 3:14; 12:13-21; 16:1-9; John 6:26-27; Acts 10:38; Rom 7:7ff; 8:31-32; 12:3-8; 1 Cor 3:9; 8:6; 15:9-10; 2 Cor 6:1; 8:9; 9:6-8; Gal 3:1-3; 5:16; Phil 1:15-18; 2:12-13; 4:11-13; Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:6-10; Heb 12:1-3; 13:5; Ja 4:1-6; Jim Elliot)
Peter Dubbelman says
Thanks, Michele; however, if the truth be known, your life is way more of an inspiration to me: in the midst of a great challenge you and John did not sink but swam, and are still swimming … and have launched two precious young ladies! Keep up the great work.
Claire Goodwin says
Thank you I just needed to be refreshed with God’s words and promises!!!
Peter Dubbelman says
My pleasure; thanks for being a refreshing presence to your mom and doing so even while you are in the midst of …