“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jer. 17:9.
It seems that almost daily recently we have had rain and a few thunderings. Psalm 65:9 says that “God takes care of the land by sending the rain.” The newly sprouted plants depend on the rain to grow, they can not grow without it. In the parable of the Two Worshippers the Pharisee trusts in his own goodness, while the publican trusts only in the goodness of God. The Pharisee believes he can grow without the rain of the Holy Spirit in his life. The publican knows that without the Spirit of God in his life that he is nothing but a brown dried up plant.
Take a look at the life of Daniel and his friends for a moment. His friends surely didn’t step into the flames of the furnace on their own goodness. And if Daniel would have relied on his own human powers to save himself he would have prayed in his closet rather than be seen praying and thrown into the den of lions. In the flaming furnace and the den of lions only God could save them.
It is easy to be comfortable in believing our own goodness is good enough. It is easier to pray in the closet or not at all than it is to have the faith it takes that God will save you when thrown into the pit with the hungry lions. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ. “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. The whole problem is when we stand alone on our own goodness, that is when we are actually standing in the den of lions on our own power.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Lord says, “Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God.” “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you.” 1 John 1:9; Jeremiah 3:13; Ezekiel 36:25.
The Lord says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:17, 18
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isa. 57:15.