Is A Sinless Christian Life Possible?
A Question from Donald (last week’s live chat):
Can a Christian live in this life without sin? I ask this because Jesus lived as a man without sin.
1 John 1:8-10 – The presence of sin, the confession of sin, and the cleansing from sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
a.  If we say we have no sin: John has introduced the ideas of walking in the light and being cleansed from sin. But he did not for a moment believe that a Christian can become sinlessly perfect.
i. To think this of ourselves is to deceive ourselves, and to say this of ourselves is to lie – the truth is not in us.
ii. There are few people today who think they are sinlessly perfect, yet not many really think of themselves as sinners. Many will say “I make mistakes” or “I’m not perfect” or “I’m only human,” but usually they say such things to excuse or defend. This is different from knowing and admitting “I am a sinner.”
iii. To say that we have no sin puts us in a dangerous place because God’s grace and mercy is extended to sinners, not to “those who make mistakes” or “I’m only human” or “no one is perfect” people, but sinners. We need to realize the victory and forgiveness that comes from saying, “I am a sinner – even a great sinner – but I have a Savior who cleanses me from all sin.”
b.  If we confess our sins: Though sin is present, it need not remain a hindrance to our relationship with God – we may find complete cleansing (from all unrighteousness) as we confess our sins.
c.  He is faithful and just to forgive us: Because of Jesus’ work, the righteousness of God is our friend – ensuring that we will be forgiven because Jesus paid the penalty of our sin. God is being faithful and just to forgive us in light of Jesus.
d.  If we say that we have not sinned: If we deny the presence of sin, we are self-deceived and are denying God’s Word. Yet, though sin is always present, so is its remedy – so sin need never be a hindrance to our relationship with God.
i. “No man was ever kept out of God’s kingdom for his confessed badness; many are for their supposed goodness.” (Trapp)
Romans 7:20-23: The battle between two selves.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
a.  I find then a law, that evil is present with me: Anyone who has tried to do good is aware of this struggle. We never know how hard it is to stop sinning until we try. “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good.” (C.S. Lewis)
b.  For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man: Paul knows that his real inward man has a delight in the law of God. He understands that the impulse towards sin comes from another law in my members. Paul knows that the “real self” is the one who does delight in the law of God.
i.The old man is not the real Paul; the old man is dead. The flesh is not the real Paul; the flesh is destined to pass away and be resurrected. The new man is the real Paul; now Paul’s challenge is to live like God has made him.
ii.There is a debate among Christians as to if Paul was a Christian during the experience he describes. Some look at his struggle with sin and believe that it must have been before he was born again. Others believe that he is just a Christian struggling with sin. In a sense this is an irrelevant question, for this is the struggle of anyone who tries to obey God in their own strength. This experience of struggle and defeat is something that a Christian may experience, but something that a non-Christian can only experience.
c.  Warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin: Sin is able to war within Paul and win because there is no power in himself other than himself, to stop sinning. Paul is caught in the desperate powerlessness of trying to battle sin in the power of self.
Romans 7:24-25 – Paul’s desperation and perspective, and look outside himself.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
a.  O wretched man that I am! The ancient Greek word wretched is more literally, “wretched through the exhaustion of hard labor.” Paul was completely worn out and wretched because of his unsuccessful effort to please God under the principle of Law.
b.  O wretched man that I am! The entire tone of the statement shows that Paul is desperate for deliverance. He is overwhelmed with a sense of his own powerlessness and sinfulness. We must come to the same place of desperation to find victory.
c.  Who will deliver me: Paul’s perspective finally turns to something (actually, someone) outside of himself. Paul has referred to himself some 40 times since Romans 7:13. In the pit of his unsuccessful struggle against sin, Paul became entirely self-focused and self-obsessed. This is the place of any believer living under law, who looks to self and personal performance rather than looking first to Jesus.
i. The words “Who will deliver me” show that Paul has given up on himself, and asks “Who will deliver me?” instead of “How will I deliver myself?”
a.  I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord! Finally, Paul looks outside of himself and unto Jesus. As soon as he looks to Jesus, he has something to thank God for – and he thanks God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
b.  So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin: He acknowledges the state of struggle, but thanks God for the victory in Jesus. Paul doesn’t pretend that looking to Jesus takes away the struggle – Jesus works through us, not instead of us in the battle against sin.
i. The glorious truth remains: there is victory in Jesus! Jesus didn’t come and die just to give us more or better rules, but to live out His victory through those who believe. The message of the gospel is that there is victory over sin, hate, death, and all evil as we surrender our lives to Jesus and let Him live out victory through us.
ii. You thought the problem was that you didn’t know what to do to save yourself – but the law came as a teacher, taught you what to do and you still couldn’t do it. You don’t need a teacher, you need a Savior.
iii. You thought the problem was that you weren’t motivated enough, but the law came in like a coach to encourage you on to do what you need to do and you still didn’t do it. You don’t need a coach or a motivational speaker, you need a Savior.
iv. You thought the problem was that you didn’t know yourself well enough. But the law came in like a doctor and perfectly diagnosed your sin problem but the law couldn’t heal you. You don’t need a doctor, you need a Savior.
Conclusion to Donald’s question, Can a Christian live in this life without sin?
- There is real victory over sin in Jesus.
- God has not set His people in a system where they must sin.
- However, our salvation is not yet complete – it will be complete when we are glorified, having the bodies of our resurrection.
- Then, we will no longer sin – until then, the weakness of our flesh means that we will sin and fall short of God’s glory in some way.
- Hopefully this happens less and less as time goes on – that is sanctification, growth in God’s grace. But it will not be complete until we are glorified, having the bodies of our resurrection.
- We dare not dream we are sinless when we are not!
Was it possible for Judas to have repented and been forgiven?
Do you think it was possible for Judas Iscariot to have wept in repentance, be forgiven and converted? Peter wept after denying Jesus.
Was it possible for Judas to have repented and be forgiven and converted? I’m going to give you a classic “yes and no” answer to that question. If we want to deal with it in a purely hypothetical way, then I would say yes, because there is no sin beyond the ability of Jesus to forgive. There’s no sin that’s greater than God’s benefit, if we will bring that sin under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and under the power of His forgiveness, based on what Jesus did for us at the cross. In theory, there was nothing hindering that happening in the life of Judas. Now, that’s speaking only in theory. Let me speak a little bit now in practice.
In practice, there was a great problem with that, because Judas was someone who was destined for destruction. Jesus called him the Son of Perdition, because Judas in his heart would never have repented. He was so totally yielded to sin and the sinful impulse that he would not seek the forgiveness that God offers.
Yes, I could say hypothetically that Judas could have been forgiven and repentant and restored, but only hypothetically. In the truth of who Judas was and how he lived, it would never have happened. He had a destiny. That title sends chills up my spine. Jesus called Judas the Son of Perdition, the man totally characterized by destruction, and the judgment of destruction.
How did different churches originate following the Apostolic age?
If the first church was in the Apostolic age with their beliefs, then where did the other churches come from?
I’m not sure I understand your question, but let me answer it the best I can. Every true church has descended in some way from the church of the Apostles, which has also been called the first century church, or the church of the book of Acts, which we find in Acts 2. There was a time when those were the only believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Every subsequent believer or disciple of Jesus Christ came forth from that group of 120 people who were gathered together in the upper room at that time. All believers come forth from that group. The first century apostolic church began to branch out very quickly, but it all sources back to that original group of believers gathered together in Acts 1-2.
Now, there were early Christian groups in Ethiopia. They were descended from that group of 120 believers who originally gathered together in Acts 1-2. There were early Christian groups that came forth in other countries, also descended from those believers. As the church went on, there were Christian groups that came forth which weren’t directly established back to the church as it was expressed in Acts. But as it goes back to Acts 1-2, all believers were descended from that.
Now, I do have to give one other aspect of an answer to your question. There are people who define the church as something that was present before the New Covenant was established. They established the Church or they defined the Church as something that originated in Old Testament times, sometimes giving the equation that Israel was the Church in the Old Testament. They would follow by giving the converse equation that the Church is Israel in the New Testament. I want you to know that my understanding of the Bible would say that’s not truly what the Bible says. I believe that there is a distinction between Israel, the community gathered under the Old Covenant in the Old Testament and continuing on to the early part of the New Testament, and the New Covenant community that’s established as the Church, born on the Day of Pentecost described in Acts 1-2.
Does the Bible support a young earth or old earth?
Do you believe in an old earth or a young earth theology?
The question here concerns whether the earth is a young earth, aged roughly at 10,000-20,000 years old, or some small number like that, or if it’s millions or billions of years old? That’s really the division between young earth or old earth, young Cosmos or old Cosmos. How do we determine this?
First of all, I think this is a valid and important question. But I don’t think it’s a question that we should call other people heretics about if we disagree with them. There are some important issues of Christian theology that don’t rise to the level of heresy.
I’ll give you my personal opinion on another area that’s not connected this: I believe the issue of baptism is important, regardless of how we baptize people, whether by believer’s baptism (credo baptism) which happens on the basis of a credible profession of faith, or infant baptism (paedo baptism) which baptizes babies of believers, obviously without a credible profession of faith. I think it’s an important issue. It’s an issue I personally like to talk about. But I don’t believe that it’s an issue that rises to the level of heresy if someone gets it wrong. I personally think that people who approve of and practice the institution of infant baptism or paedo baptism are wrong. I think they’re wrong on an important issue, but I would never say that they are heretics.
For me, it’s something like that in the issue of young earth and old earth. I definitely lean toward the young earth understanding. My general belief is that God created the Earth in the recent past. I can’t give you a number; I can’t say 10,000 or 20,000 years, but I would say it is not millions and millions of years ago. I believe that God created the earth in the relatively recent past, but He made it with apparent age built in.
Now, I understand those who believe in an old earth find that very offensive. I’ve read their arguments, how they believe that such a design would make God deliberately deceptive. I don’t share that opinion. I won’t get into all the reasons why right now. I believe that God created Adam with an apparent age. We don’t know how old Adam was in appearance; probably something like 25 or 30 years old. In real time, he would only have been a few days old, but God created him with apparent age, just as there were trees in the garden of Eden that had rings in them and had apparent age. I don’t see why it would be wrong or fundamentally deceptive for God to do that for all of creation. I understand if you disagree with me on that; maybe we could talk about at some time. I lean towards a young earth theology, but I have read enough of those who believe in an old earth that I would not at all regard them as heretics.
How can a person stand boldly before the throne of God?
Can you explain what is meant by standing boldly before the throne of God? Many have fallen on their faces when meeting God.
You’re asking a tremendous question. Hebrews 4 tells us that Jesus has made a new and living way for us to come before God, on the basis of His own sacrificial blood, His own life laid down for us. Because Jesus did that, we can come to God’s throne of grace boldly, to find help in our time of need. That’s a remarkable statement. Just as you state, we have instances in the Scriptures of people, in a vision or some kind of strange experience, apparently going to heaven in some way, such as Isaiah, or Paul, or John writing in the book of Revelation. For them, it’s not like it’s a giddy, happy, or super fun experience. They’re overwhelmed by the power and the majesty of God. It doesn’t feel like they have a bold presence in God’s presence. But here’s the thing: their weakness, their lack of ability to stand boldly before God, wasn’t because the work of Jesus wasn’t able to give them boldness. It’s simply that they were so aware of their own sinfulness.
We in Jesus Christ can come before God boldly. Now, we’re not saying that we can come before God arrogantly. Sometimes I hear Christians pray, in their worship or public proclamation towards God in the presence of God’s people, and they don’t sound bold; they sound arrogant. No, we never want to come before God in a way that reflects any arrogance. But boldness? Yes indeed, we can appear before God in a bold way. It’s not because there’s anything in ourselves which merits that kind of boldness, but because we have a faithful Savior in Jesus Christ. He gives us the same standing that He has before God the Father. We are in Jesus; therefore, we have His same standing.
Imagine this: Jesus can be genuinely bold before His God and Father, and so can we, because our standing is in Him. We never want to think of this as arrogance. It is truly a confidence, never in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ. I do wonder what it’s going to be like when we are in the Lord’s presence in Heaven. I look forward to the fulfillment of our heavenly hope, and I hope you look forward to it as well. Maybe there will be an initial reaction of falling down in reverent honor before God. But I think very soon, empowered and energized by the Spirit of God and by the knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ, we will have something of a boldness. We will be confident in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Does the Bible support the idea of UFOs?
What are your thoughts on the forthcoming UFO revelations from our military? Are there any biblical implications?
It’s possible that there could be biblical implications of this. I don’t want to go too far out on this limb, because it involves speculation. We don’t want to fall guilty of over speculation when we think about these things. But if we did want to speculate a little bit, one could say that demonic spirits could appear and attempt to have influence over humanity appearing under the guise of alien visitors. That’s possible. I suppose it’s possible, so why should we exclude that possibility? Now, we don’t want to say that this is absolutely the case. Again, we don’t know with any absolute confidence. That could have a relation to End Times events. It’s something to think about, and to maybe keep an eye on.
Do you remember back in the Old Testament, such as in the book of Deuteronomy, where God says that if there’s a prophet who predicts things which don’t come to pass, then you don’t have to listen that prophet. God also says if there is a prophet who does predict things which do come to pass, but he teaches you to do differently or to go in a different way than the Lord God has commanded you, don’t you listen to that Prophet either. I wouldn’t care if a bona fide visitor from another planet came and told me to do something contrary to God’s word: I wouldn’t do it.
The Lord is God over all creation. There was a Christian musician named Larry Norman who had a song called “UFO” or “Unidentified Flying Object.” It was a clever little song. There’s a line in that song where he said, “And if there’s life on other planets, then I’m sure that He must know, and He’s been there once already and has died to save their souls” (“He” referring to Jesus). If there is true life on other planets, it hasn’t escaped God’s notice. There is no message that even an extra-terrestrial could give us which would be greater than the message we have from God in His Word.
What is “Progressive Christianity?”
Would you please explain what people mean when they describe a theology or a belief as Progressive Christianity?
I’m going to be very straightforward: this is not an easy question to answer. The term “Progressive Christianity” covers a very broad section of Christianity, and it has many different expressions. It’s one of those terms that is getting more and more difficult to nail down. There is an expression of the Christian world today that calls itself Progressive Christianity, which is not only real and definable, but it’s also dangerous. Its base is basically a modernization, a modern reworking, of Christianity to make it relevant to our present age. “Hey, we’ve got to take what the Bible says, and make it relevant to the modern controversies over sexual practices and sexual identity and the transgender thing.”
So, they are commonly departing from established biblical Christianity, and from the historic Christian understanding of what the Bible teaches about these things. They may be more political, perhaps with collectivist leanings. I’m trying to avoid the terms socialist or Marxist– not because I think they’re irrelevant, but because those terms get debated so much. Let’s just call it collectivist. Their view is that it would be much better if the government collected far more resources from individuals and businesses, and the government distributed those things. That collectivist impulse is oftentimes a mark of Progressive Christianity.
There are also marks of Progressive Christianity concerning traditional doctrines, such as the Atonement of Jesus. They are getting away from what we might call the legal personal atonement idea that Jesus personally paid the penalty of our sin by standing in our place and receiving the wrath of God that we deserved. It’s the idea that there is a substitutionary aspect of Jesus’ atonement when it comes to receiving the wrath of God on our behalf.
Many of these things mark Progressive Christianity. The problem is that there are Christians who are moving off into progressive areas of great and legitimate concern, but they don’t check every box. If people don’t check every box, there’s no reason to be concerned.
I would recommend the work of Alisa Childers on YouTube. I’ve been looking at Alisa Childers’ work for a few years now, even before she established much of a presence upon YouTube. I’m impressed with her approach and her analysis of Progressive Christianity. She just came out with a book about Progressive Christianity called “Another Gospel.” She does a good job detailing some of the marks of what is called Progressive Christianity.
Know that when groups like this arise, there is no definable head of their movement. There is no pope or director of Progressive Christianity. It’s a movement with a lot of different expressions, and no single leader. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to define. But there are common characteristics. There are common characteristics when it comes to theology, such as denying many aspects of historic Christian belief. There are many different problems having to do with their theology of the atonement. There are many different problems having to do with their theology of the Bible, and the inspiration of the Scriptures. So, it’s worth it for us to examine the churches and the people to whom we listen. Be aware, if they’re coming from a progressive perspective, where they would essentially stand in judgment over the Word of God.
Let me give you a popular progressive belief. Not everybody who calls themself a progressive Christian would believe this, but it’s common in progressive circles for people to declare themselves as being what they would call “Red Letter Christians.” In the Bible that I have right here, the words of Jesus are given in red. It simply means that they’re drawing special attention to the words of Jesus. This what they would say: “What’s really important is the teaching of Jesus, not the teaching of Paul, or Peter, or John, or Isaiah, or David, or other people in the Old or New Testaments.” That is a serious error when it comes to understanding what the inspiration of the Scriptures is all about. We would agree that there’s something special about the words of Jesus; this was the Word of God coming through the personality of God. At the same time, the words of Jesus were not any more inspired than the words God gave us through the Apostle Paul, or Peter, or John, or James, or through any of our Old Testament authors.
I’m sorry to give you a somewhat an inadequate answer for that, but a detailed answer to your question would involve a lot more time. Again, let me recommend to you the work of Alisa Childers. She has some great resources on Progressive Christianity.
Here is Alisa Childers’ YouTube channel:
Does being educated help a person understand the Bible better?
Does being educated help a person understand the Bible better? Or do the educated and uneducated understand it the same because it’s the Holy Spirit that teaches us all?
A good education can help a person understand the Bible much better. Now, I say a good education. Just because somebody goes to a respected institution doesn’t mean that they received a good education. It doesn’t mean they were offered a good education at that institution, however respected it might be. It doesn’t mean that, even if it was offered, they received that good education. For someone to properly read the Bible, they first must be able to properly read. Christians should be all in concerning literacy; we want people to be able to read the Bible.
A good education teaches us how to read, and how to understand the plain meaning of words. Now, I’m not saying that the Bible has no nuance or difficult passages. But for the most part, it’s written in plain language for plain people, people like you and I, and a good education will help people to understand what the Bible means in its simplicity. It’ll help people understand grammar, and word structure, and how words define meaning and appropriate action. Education can help a great deal with that.
So, there is a basic education which helps a person. Beyond that, there really is the power and the role of the Holy Spirit to help us understand and live out what God tells us through the Word. I don’t believe that it would be common for the Holy Spirit to enable an illiterate person to instantly miraculously know how to read. But an illiterate person can hear someone read the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit can help them understand what’s being spoken.
So yes, the Holy Spirit has a vital role, but a good education helps too. It doesn’t have to be a fancy or sophisticated education. Some of the greatest, deepest Bible understanding comes from simple people who prayerfully read their Bibles and listen to what the Holy Spirit reveals as they read their Bibles. We don’t want to dismiss academics. We don’t want to dismiss a deep academic study of the Bible: the Bible can bear that, believe me. But there is something wonderful and powerful about plain and simple people reading the Bible and being instructed by the Holy Spirit about what it means.
Why was God about to kill Moses in Exodus 4?
Why was God about to kill Moses in Exodus? And why did God decide not to kill him, after his wife circumcised his son?
For a more detailed answer to your question, see my commentary on Exodus 4. For now, I’ll give you a quick answer. These sons of Moses were inheritors of the covenant that God passed on to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Bible says that circumcision was the sign and the seal of that covenant. As covenant descendants of that Abrahamic Covenant, they should have been circumcised. Now, Moses was on his way to speak to the people of Israel. He was going to speak to them on God’s behalf, as a messenger of that covenant. It was appropriate for Moses to be in obedience to that covenant towards his sons. He was in disobedience because he had not had his sons circumcised. Before God used Moses to call the children of Israel to obedience, he and his family had to be living in that obedience. That’s why it was such a serious matter before the Lord that Moses’ sons be circumcised.
Now, this is just a speculation, but perhaps God had already spoken to Moses about this issue, and Moses delayed and put it off. Moses did not get serious about it. So God said, “No, if you won’t get serious about this, I’ll get serious about it with you.” And that’s what God did. He expressed a very serious attitude towards Moses regarding this. God dealt with Moses about this before He would use Moses to deal with the children of Israel about this. As Peter would later describe in his letter, judgment begins at the house of God. Moses had to have things right in his own household if he was going to call Israel to get things right among the community of Israel.
How many years were the people of Israel in Egypt?
How many years were the people of Israel in Egypt? Was it 430 years, or does that time count from the time of Abraham?
430 years covers the amount of time that they were in Egypt. It does not count from the time of Abraham. It would be a much longer time to count since the time of Abraham. Now, there are a few times when the Scriptures record that number differently. There’s another place where it says it was 400 years; that’s just simply giving a round number in that occasion. Some people say that it may be dating from the time when Joseph came into Egypt, and not the entire time or the time since Joseph died. There are a few different ways in which that number is reckoned. But it is basically 400 or 430 years, counting from the time when Israel (Jacob) and his family went into Egypt. It’s not counting from the time of Abraham.
How should we present the Gospel to religious people who aren’t believers?
If you present the gospel to a person who claims to be a Catholic, and they say that they don’t need any other religion and that they’re fine where they are, how would you proceed?
Here is the important thing. They need to be told the importance of trusting in Jesus Christ for their salvation. Not in what they do, but in what Jesus has done in His sinless life, His perfect death, and His powerful resurrection. They need to put their confidence in who Jesus is and what Jesus has done, and put no confidence in themselves. That’s the important point. They need to know that salvation is not a matter of belonging to the right group. Now, we believe that when a person is saved, they do belong to the right group. They belong to the church of Jesus, as it’s been expressed throughout all ages. However, we don’t gain salvation by finding the “right group” and joining them. It is a personal matter of individually trusting in who Jesus is and what Jesus did to rescue us from sin and death, especially what he did at the cross. I would want to make sure that that person is not trusting in being a Catholic for their salvation, but they’re trusting in Jesus. They’re not trusting in a church for their salvation; they’re trusting in Jesus.
I would say the same thing for any Protestant. A Roman Catholic membership card is not going to get you into heaven. But let me tell you, your Protestant church membership card is not going to get you into heaven either. You need to repent of your sins, put your trust in Jesus Christ and have your peace and your rest in Him. Don’t put your trust in anything you are or anything you’ve done, but rather place your trust in Jesus Christ. That would be the point I would want to emphasize with that person. And after that, you can pray and look for continued opportunity; just remember that the critical point is trusting in Jesus and not in church membership, or in anything that we can or have done.
Is it wrong to pray Psalm 35?
Is Psalm 35 wrong to pray? I was told when I did that I sinned.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, etc. – so, let’s look at Psalm 35. The fancy name for this type of psalm is an imprecatory psalm. David is the author of the psalm; we know that because it says so in the very first line. It’s a psalm where David asked God to defeat and destroy his enemies.
Psalm 35:4-5 “Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life; let those be turned back and brought to confusion, who plot my hurt. Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of Lord chase them.” He goes on, but he’s basically saying, “God, would you strike them? Would you smite them (to use a good old King James word)? Would you strike and smite my enemies?”
I would say that it is perfectly proper to pray in the spirit of Psalm 35, considering two things.
First, consider this: the New Testament tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against powers of darkness in high places. We wrestle against demonic spirits and unclean spirits that would seek to distract and divert and destroy us if they could. So, you can pray this regarding the spiritual warfare that you face and say, “Lord, would you please destroy every spiritual enemy which comes against me? Would you please strike them and sweep them away?” When we understand that our true battle is not against flesh and blood, we can pray this prayer.
Secondly, I want you to understand this. David poured out his heart before God when he prayed this way. He left the fate of his enemies in God’s hands by prayer. He didn’t take it into his own hands. He said, “Lord, I pray that you would get them, because I know that You are a just and righteous judge. And I’ll leave it in Your hands.” That is a godly attitude. If you have an enemy, or somebody who is attacking you or coming against you, it is entirely appropriate for you to pray. And in your prayers, leave them to God’s will and God’s discretion. That’s entirely fine to do. Don’t be shy about doing it. “Lord, to whatever extent this person needs to be defeated, would you defeat them?”
This attitude maintains the heart of saying, “I will not take up violence against my enemy. Any such thing, You’ll have to do it, Lord, because I won’t do it.” It is an entirely fine thing to commit these things to the Lord in prayer, refusing to take them into our own hands.