25I am laid ____ in the ____; ________ my _____ according to your _____. 26I gave an ________ of my _____ and you _________ me; ______ me your ________. 27______ me to __________ the ___ of your _________, that I may __________ on your ___________ _________. 28My ____ is w_____ with ______; __________ __ according to your ____. 29____ me from _________ ways; be ________ to me and _____ me your ___. 30I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. 31I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. 32I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.
Where is my heart at any given moment?
At this moment right now? What do I love?
What do I “hold fast” to so that I am desperate if I should lose it? Is it obedience and faithfulness to the Father because of Christ? If not, honestly, what has taken His place?
What do I pursue? Right now, what am I aiming for, investing in, craving in the very fiber of my being?
These are hard questions to answer, because our hearts and minds run in so many different directions. Even good things become little gods in our lives: our relationships, our appearance, acceptance, success.
It is so easy, too, to sugar-coat these things in our minds so that we believe what we tell ourselves that our motives are clean and pure; yet our Lord knows better. We say that our motives are good and noteworthy. We feel good about the surface appearance. We feel success and are eager to believe that we have arrived. And yet, smack in the middle of all that, we are pursuing skewed goals and we find we have known this all along but resisted the truth of it. It is simply the human condition for this to be true.
That is why I need this psalm. I need to see Christ’s words set alongside the reality of my own heart. I really crave for me. And before any think that I am alone in this, I am not. It is always easier to see it in others than ourselves; which is why this psalm and others like it are so important. He speaks to ME and I cannot run from His reality.
His reality is true, kind and gracious. He has come to forgive me where I see I am off track. He has come to give me the power to resurrect correct motives in light of His own. I am reconciled to Christ every time I pray in sync with His Words (instead of my own self-deceived ones).
Further, Christ is leading me forward. We are going forward together. There is a future and a hope for me, and for all of us, that one day we will be perfected and we will not struggle anymore with self-deception and unfaithfulness. Christ and His Beloved (the Church—large “C”—the body of true believers in Jesus Christ as Lord) will reign together in perfect unity of spirit and love.
Christ not only inspired these words, lived them, and quoted them, Christ is the fulfillment of the longing in them. It is Christ who “broadened” our understanding. What the human psalmist of Daleth longed for, Christ came as the answer. Through Christ, we are not put to shame, but we are raised with Him in power and grace. Through Christ, we understand what the Old Testament believers could not comprehend. Through Christ, we stand whether the world sees and applauds or not.
So how do I pursue God today?
- I get interested in His Word to apply it to my mind and heart and life just today. I READ it, meditate on its precepts and meaning, with a heart to agree with Him and obey its truths.
- I pray to the Father in accordance to His Word, not fighting or resisting the truth about my sin, but agreeing with him in it and thanking Him for His salvation through Christ. I ask Him to keep me faithful as I obey the Word that I read and the promptings He gives me for the practical steps I must take today.
- I pursue the Lord’s mission of ensuring all know the good news of the salvation of Christ. Why would I hide this wonderful news? I speak with my friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers for encouragement (if they are believers) or for hope (if they are not).
- I love those around who need practical love. Jesus went about meeting very practical needs: first the needs of the eternal soul, but also the needs of the mortal body. He lifted people up to health in every way. I pursue God in loving my fellow man.
- Finally, I thank Him. When Jesus healed the 10 lepers, only one turned around and came back to Jesus to thank Him. Oh, what joy it is for me when my children are thankful for the love that is shown them. Can we think that our Father is any less filled with joy when we spend our time in grateful praise? What an honor it is today for me to give Him my time in joy-filled praise for all that He has done, is doing, and always will be doing on my behalf and on behalf of those around me.
I am reminded of the song we used to sing in children’s church:
Thank Him, thank Him
All ye little children,
God is love, God is love,
Praise Him, Praise Him
All ye little children,
God is love!
God is love!
Dearest Lord Jesus, You have instructed me again today using the same scriptures I have been meditating over for days. Each day, Your Word to me is fresh if I have the patience to allow You to speak to me through it. I see the disunity of my own heart and mind as I have diverted to my own human frailty and sin-weakness, even as I have remained faithful to you in so many other ways. Thank you, my Father, for Your faithfulness to me in giving me Christ for the forgiveness of my sins, and Christ for my power over sin, and Christ for my hope that sin will one day be a thing of the past. Thank you that as you love me, you cause me to love others with Your own eternal supply of rich and overflowing love and joy. Keep me today as I honor Your Day. Thank you that this day, Your Sabbath, You signify Your promise of Eternal Rest from wrangling and labor and sin. Today is but a shadow of our coming Jubilee! In the name of my precious Lord and Savior, Amen.
© August 2019 by ReadPsalm119.com