One of the central tenets of post-9/11 thinking on terrorism is the idea that we should root out and destroy the cells of these enemies before they can attack us. For the most part, this has been a successful philosophy.

This is also a good idea when it comes to dealing with our sins and weaknesses. David understood the value of this “preventive medicine”. He asked the Lord to reveal parts of his heart that needed to be changed. It’s easier to deal with sin on the attitude level well before it becomes a habit that is much more difficult to break.

Our verse today talks about our lusts, which are really desires to engage in things that we know are not right. They could be idle thoughts or a bitter spirit toward a friend, co-worker, or loved one. They could be television shows which push the envelope of what we know is proper.

These lusts, like those terrorist cells, if allowed to grow, can bring forth death. Very few people knew that enemies of the United States lived inside our borders. And quite often, we are unaware of the potential enemies lurking within our hearts.

That’s why we need the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin, bringing God’s forgiveness and the power to change. This spiritual prevention helps us stay clear of danger that threatens our fellowship with God.

Make and keep me pure within. — Charles Wesley

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder