May the Lord our God incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways. 1 Kings 8:58
His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3
We walk a fine line between hubris and irresponsibility. On the one hand we must not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. This tautology is self-evident to all but the hopelessly narcissistic. We must all embrace the truth that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “None is righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). So, does that let us off the hook? After all even Paul says, “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).
On the other hand, however, a plea of “I just couldn’t help myself,” will not help us in court, nor will it help us before the God who judges the thoughts and motives of our hearts. We are culpable. No one is to blame for our actions – even if we have been abused, deceived, or blinded. Our sinfulness will certainly not only be found out, it will condemn us.
That is why we must pray. In fact, prayer is the key to striking the balance between hubris and irresponsibility. In prayer we acknowledge we need help, and we take responsibility for doing what is good and right and in alignment with God’s will. A prayer to for help to stop drinking while planning a weekend binge is no prayer. A failure to pray for God’s help to resist temptation when facing a challenging situation is irresponsible.
God’s gift to us of his Son, the righteousness of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life through the faith in Jesus Christ is truly all we need. We have been saved. But God does not stop there. He moves us with his Holy Spirit to incline our hearts to him and his will and ways. He guides us in the paths of righteousness through his word. He assures us of his love, and graces us with his daily presence. Embracing those gifts, looking to him in humble faith, and seeking to follow him in all our ways puts us on a path of eternal blessing.