I am blessed to live a fairly non-confrontational lifestyle. If you asked me who my enemies were, I would have to struggle awkwardly to think of people I have recently had conflict with and then I would sheepishly try and avoid applying the label “enemy” to them. Even those who are opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the all mighty God I serve, many of those “enemies” are all about “tolerance” lately and in the land of religion freedom, I do not presently face much persecution.
To be honest with myself and with anyone who cares, I am my own worst enemy, as the song from the 90’s eloquently puts it. This diagnosis and confession brings me to Psalm 43. The Son’s of Korah serving in the temple of God were clearly in a different culture and climate but their cry for defense and deliverance from an ungodly, deceitful, and unjust people can certainly be my cry today.
The sinful flesh that I bear and the inclinations of my heart continually have me pointed in the wrong direction. I need defense from myself when I chase after things that are not good and pleasing to God. I need deliverance from evil that I bring upon myself by not loving with all of my heart, mind, and strength. My skepticism towards my neighbors is not what I am called to have. I fail at the command to love them as — if not more than — myself.
And so the prayer for deliverance from the ungodly by the Sons of Korah, serves today as a prayer for deliverance from myself.
God, vindicate me. Make me right. Deliver my cause (that you have given to me through love) against my selfish ambitions and desires. From a lying and unfair inclination deliver me. Remind me of the refuge you are for me. Keep me from the tears of despair because of the light you have given me. Make your light to shine before me that I may continually be brought to the hill of your healing that I may sing your praises all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen