The repetition of the word “continually” in Psalm 71 reminds me that on this side of heaven I won’t be able to say that I’ve conquered sin or arrived at a point of complete spiritual maturity. Instead I will need to “continually come” (vs 3) to God as my “rock of refuge” and “hope continually” (vs 14) in the help and deliverance of my Savior, so that my praise of Him would be continual as well (vs 6).
I’m thankful that the psalmist uses that word, because my human tendency is to equate understanding with change or conviction with transformation…but they are not the same. Just because I have gained some insight or understanding of a particular struggle or sin does not mean that my heart has changed in that area. Conviction alone does not produce transformation. I have not arrived.
Rather, I need to be humble enough to recognize that since my struggle with sin is continual, so also my need for deliverance and help from God is continual. I must come continually, hope continually, and praise continually. There is no other way. Therefore habits of prayer and habits of rehearsing the Gospel and habits of worship are vitally needed to open my heart continuously to God’s ongoing work of transformation. Moment-by-moment communion with God in prayer is a way to come continually to Him. Regularly rehearsing the Gospel is a way to hope continually in Him. And listening to or singing songs of worship is a way to focus my praise continually on Him.