“Help Me!” “Change Me!” “Make Me!”
By: Pastoral Intern Lars Janssen
I felt that this sin had me trapped. I had cried out to God for help, I had asked my friends for help, and I had set up boundaries in my life to help. I would pray about this sin like Paul did about his thorn in the flesh, “that it should leave me.” (2 Cor. 12:8) But none of it seemed to help. My cry for help seemed to go unanswered. I was calling out to God as David did in Psalm 51:7-9, after his sin with Bathsheba:
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
I look back now and know that God was answering my prayer, but I wasn’t asking for the right thing. He was helping me. I had friends who cared and tried. I had loved ones who helped me with the boundaries I had set up. I had a God who sustained me in the struggle. But my heart wanted the sin. I did not truly want to be free. It wasn’t until I started praying a different prayer that the sin lost its grip on my life. I began to ask God to change me. This is what David asks next in Psalm 51:10-11:
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
I began to ask God to change me—transform me—into someone who loves what God loves and hates what he hates. My wicked desires began to melt away. They did not disappear, but their power was diminished by the transformative power of a mighty God who answered my prayer and changed me. As the sorrow and guilt of this repetitive sin lifted, I began to wonder what to do with myself and my prayers changed again. I asked God to make me into what he wants me to be. David’s prayer in Psalm 51:12 reflects this change too:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Christian, God saved you for a purpose. He has already helped you by putting his Holy Spirit in you. He will change you—transform you—if you ask. This is not something that happens by accident. We do not take up a cross daily and follow Jesus to death by accident (see Luke 9:23). The saved and transformed Christian is made an effective tool in God’s hand—this is a terror to the Devil!
Here’s your challenge, Central. Pray these prayers this week and see what God will do:
“God help me!” Know that He does.
“God change me!” Know that He can.
“God make me!” And know that He will.