Heavenly Father, today I realized how desperately I need your guidance in my life. I tiptoe along a thin line of right and wrong almost every day as if it were a tightrope. I tell myself, “I got this. I can make it. The balance pole will keep me upright and stable.” But it doesn’t, and I repeatedly fall headlong into the same sinful patterns. Like the Apostle Paul, I hang my head in shame, saying of myself, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”

I ask to be led away from temptation, far from the tempter’s alluring gaze. But fickle words and prayerful requests void of a confident faith are self-deceiving. Loathsome repetitions again find me wallowing in sin’s filth, caught in the devil’s snare.

“What a wretched man I am!”

What, then, is the missing ingredient? What must I do? What can I do? How can I become that person God says I am, free from the evil thoughts that daily compete for my allegiance? How can I save myself from my own mind? “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

How does this happen?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. —Romans 10:9–10