By Benjamin H. Liles
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. ~ Psalm 103:2, New King James
I look at the course of my life so far and see how far the Lord Jesus and I have come since I first began. At first glance, it doesn't seem to be such a great distance from when I started walking with Him. Yet, on second glances when viewed almost as a timeline it seems so long. I look at the life I led before I met Him before I had that moment of clarity, just like the Prodigal Son, where I was so filthy and unclean by the muck and mire I was in. And He brought me out of it.
And then it dawns on me why Moses penned these words: "then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Deuteronomy 6:12, New American Standard). It is such a sobering reminder of how humble God wants us to be before Him. The fact that it is the Lord Himself who brings any and all who belong to Him out of sinful slavery to serving Him and blessing His name is awesome. But I'm getting away from what truly needs to be said.
If the Lord God, through the mercy and grace of His Son, Jesus the Messiah, condemned sin and death to the pit, then why would I any longer desire to live in it? Paul said, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking (an) opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire."
"For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Romans 7:7-12, New King James).
I find that the power of God is in His word. So, if His word (in this case, His law) exposes what goes against Him and who He is, then what "was to bring life, [that] I found to bring death" shows just how bad it is to live in error (or as Paul puts it "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me").
We need to be brought before the Son of God, Jesus, like those who came before Him. Like the woman who had a bleeding disorder, she was tired of no one being able to get to the root of the problem she had (see Matthew 9:18-22), so she--in faith--reached out and was healed because she knew He could heal her.
Perhaps this is what the psalmist thought of to a degree when he penned the words, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and don't forget His benefits." God can do all things mankind cannot. It is why one writer succinctly wrote these words of Jesus, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26, Berean Study).
If we surely want out of sin and its clutches, we need to take Him on by faith. We need to have that ability to say to it, "No more! I want Him, Jesus!" For it is only through Him can we be saved: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6, New King James).
Father God, You are so holy and just that before You I cannot stand. Like Isaiah, I am on my face before You. I feel so unworthy to be near You. I dare not speak Your name. I dare not look upon You. Who can I turn to and find hope in? It is only in Your Son, Jesus the Messiah, do I find any hope and salvation. My heart cries out, "I want to be healed!" My flesh cries out along with it, "What have you to do with me, Jesus?"
But my soul longs after You. I sweat and my throat dries up needing water after a long run. It is because I run so hard and fast from sin. I want life! I want Jesus! Help me in my unbelief and set this man free! For I want You and Your holiness in my life. I want Your righteousness, Your ways, Your love, and Your truth. I bless You, Lord. For You save me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.