December 28 - LD 52, Day 5: Strengthen Us by Thy Holy Spirit
by Rev. Arie den Hartog
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-23
In the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught to pray for the strength of God to deliver us from evil and from the evil one. This strength comes to us through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
The Christian life is a constant spiritual warfare. Every true child of God knows this. The devil and the world in which we live constantly oppose us. We may not even for one moment yield to our enemies. If we do so, in the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, as well as in our words and deeds, we bring shame to the name of the Lord. Furthermore, yielding in this warfare will result in damage to our Christian life. We should be greatly concerned about this. The reason why the sixth petition is often not prayed is that many Christians are not concerned enough about the issues just mentioned. In this, they show that their love and devotion to God is weak. If we love God we will desire to be delivered from all remaining sin and to be made perfectly holy as God our Father is holy.
In prayer, we acknowledge God to be our God. This God is the blessed triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Father desires in His great love that we are perfect in our soul, body and spirit as He is. Jesus the Son of God gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin, not only to blot out the awful guilt of our sins but to deliver us from the power and corruption of sin. It is noteworthy that in the entire Lord’s Prayer the first person plural is used. We do not pray only for ourselves. We pray also for our fellow saints. Jesus gave Himself in order to cleanse not only certain individuals who were given to Him in the love of His heavenly Father, but also His beloved church. The purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ was that His beloved church might finally be presented in heaven as His glorious bride without spot and blemish, perfectly holy and exceedingly glorious.
We are delivered from the power of sin and spiritual warfare against evil and the devil by the Holy Spirit. Christ works in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. No other power can deliver us from the power of sin, only the wonderful, mighty, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
In the sixth petition we earnestly pray for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We pray for His constant strengthening work in us. How wonderful is His power! He is the mighty power of God, and with Him is the blessed hope of final and glorious deliverance from sin and the devil.
As long as we sincerely pray the sixth petition, we need not despair in the midst of the ongoing battle with sin. Our final victory will definitely be accomplished through the mighty operation of the Spirit of Christ in our hearts.
We long for the glorious perfection of the work of God in our hearts and complete victory over all sin. For this we pray earnestly, confident that the Lord will indeed hear us, actually deliver us, make us perfect, and save us to give us everlasting life and glory.
- Date: December 28
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005; emeritus, Dec.31, 2016Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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