“Plead my cause and redeem me,
give me life according to your promise.” Psalm 119.154
The psalmist recognizes something here that we too must recognize. He cannot plead his own cause. He cannot redeem himself. This may seem obvious. Perhaps you even realize it on a theoretical basis. But friend, our hearts are deceptive.
Far too often, even those of us who rightly decry reliance on works, give too much attention to our own works. We fall easily into the pride of thinking we’ve done something to merit God’s favor, to merit life—at least, a certain quality of life. We often try to bargain with God in prayer. “Lord, I am trying so hard, please deliver me, bless me, give me what I want.”
The psalmist calls on God to plead his cause. He calls on God to redeem him. He pleads for life, not according to his own merit but according to God’s promise. May we follow in his example. Let us repent of any way, however subtle, we’ve pridefully trusted in our own merit and efforts. Let us cast ourselves to the dust, calling to God for redemption and life.
In what ways do you take pride in your own works, your own merit? Take time to repent of your pride and call on God for mercy. Spend some time thinking on the promises of God and praising him for his faithfulness.
Heavenly Father, we praise you. Be gracious to us, O Lord, and strip us of every bit of pride. Give us life according to your promise, that we might exalt your name. Amen.