Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly! Psalm 119:2-8 NKJV
The first three verses of this Psalm are written–seemingly as part of a conversation–to everyone. Notice the point of view–written in third person. We are being reminded that all who keep God’s laws and live according to His Word are blessed (happy); we do nothing that is wrong, but follow The Lord with our whole hearts.
Verse four–speaks directly to God-(second person point of view) acknowledging that the writer knows who has laid the principles by which we are to live out of obedience.
And then verses five through eight--becomes a personal acknowledge of shortcomings and determination to change (written in first person point of view). Basically, what the writer is saying is, “If I was consistent in obeying Your Word, I wouldn’t be ashamed of anything I do. I will praise You with my heart ready to receive from You and learn to do all You have asked me to do. I haven’t obeyed all You want me to do, but I will, so please don’t forsake me!”
If we all faced reality with the sincerity of the writer–acknowledging where we are and how we have fallen short, but willing to hear God and learn so that nothing we did would put us to shame, what a wonderful world this would be.
Unfortunately, there are too many people–functioning in the church–as well as those outside of it–who are not willing to admit they even have any faults or shortcomings. They think they are just fine the way they are and nothing anyone says will convince them otherwise. This is a person who does not have a teachable spirit.
A person with a teachable spirit is always willing to hear–instructions and corrections–without taking offense to what is being said. They understand the only goal is help them become better–not bitter.
The purpose of The Word–is help us become better –not bitter–as we continue our journey in life. We need to know how to interact with others appropriately, but we also need to know how to correct wrongs when see them and if we can’t do it, we should direct the situation to the party who can. The Word should be our authority in life and within The Word, we are admonished to obey authority–those given positions of authority and decision-making. If we are not happy with the authority exercised by man, then we should follow the appropriate protocols to make our dissension clear and public so changes–if necessary–can be made.
Whenever we do things to circumvent authority without following protocols established to maintain order, we do ourselves a disservice and we dishonor God. If we cannot respect authority, we certainly cannot expect others to respect us in a position of authority.
Before we can lead anyone, anywhere, we must know how to follow and then demonstrate ability to lead–as a facilitator–not a dictator.
When we learn to do things God’s way, we prohibit (close the door) the opportunity for friction and chaos and if there is no chaos (no drama), then we can indeed be happy because we are walking under the authority of God’s Word.
Thinking back to twelve step programs, it would appear that this segment of scripture was used as a foundational principle–first acknowledge–truthfully–where we are and what we have done to sabotage happiness and order in our lives. Until we acknowledge where we are–no one else can help us move forward and benefit from all God wants for us.