Psalm 40:17 “But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.”
Deliver me Jesus. Those words were scribbled on the carton of a half-empty case of beer I discovered behind our church at the foot of the cross. Whether the abandoned Coors Light was left in an alcoholic’s drunken stupor or in quiet desperation, the oh so personal cry for help strikes a universal chord.
We all need to be delivered. Whether our symptoms are glaringly obvious or more subtle, without a Deliverer we are set on a path of self-destruction. We may try to hide it with alcohol, with “success,” with a variety of pleasures, even religion….but until we come face-to-face with our spiritual poverty, we find no escape.
Jesus succinctly defined the nature of our need. He prayed “… deliver us from evil” (Matthew 3:16). We encounter evil on a daily basis. We read about it in our newspapers. We view it on our TV screens. But most unexpectedly, we battle it within our hearts. Few of us recognize that the bastion of evil lies in our fallen self-seeking nature. New York City Pastor Tim Keller writes, “We are so instinctively and profoundly self-centered that we don’t believe we are.”
Many social scientists have documented a strong “turn toward self” in our current culture. No greater evidence for this phenomenon is found than in Oxford’s naming of the 2013 word of the year: selfie. From celebrities to politicians to everyday Facebook and Myspace consumers, usage has gone up 17,000% in the last year! Are we becoming addicted to ourselves?
Our self-obsession might be disguised in innocuous terms-gotta’ do what’s best for you-but it all boils down to the question of where the focus of our life rests. As long as our actions are driven by selfish needs, evil inevitably results. That’s why we need a Savior, a Deliverer.
Back to the carton placed beneath the cross…..I don’t think I’m a lot different from that unknown seeker. My cry is not unlike David’s in Psalm 40. How about you? Are you tired of being a selfie-holic? If you are, join me in this prayer….
Jesus, deliver me. Deliver me from my selfie self.