On The Journey–Waw!

Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD
Your salvation according to Your word.

So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.

So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.

And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.

I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.

My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes. Psalm 119:41-48 NKJV

With the sixth letter, in the sixth segment (stanza), we see a change in the tone the writer uses. In the stanza before, the writer (psalmist) is demanding (pleading)  God. In this segment, he is conciliatory, expressing what he will do and how much he loves doing it.

If we never do anything wrong, why would we need to plead for mercy? The first line–acknowledging the need and implying past deeds that require mercy. When God bestows His mercy upon us–not giving us what we deserve, are we truly repentant or do we take His mercy for granted?

What I’ve noticed in many of the psalms noted in the bible is a continued acknowledgement of God’s mercy, grace, and love. It would appear that the writers were continually cognizant of the need for His mercy, grace, and love and were not ashamed to admit it. And in this passage, the writer acknowledges that salvation can only come according to His Word (The Lord).

Why? If we have understanding of God’s Word, we know how to respond to anyone who attempts to belittle us for our faith. And in this time–the 21st Century, people are just as quick to belittle a Believer for their faith as the heathens were when this psalm was written. Some things never change, but is there truly a change in our response? Are we willing to lay before God, admitting our shortcomings and plead with Him to keep us showered with His mercies and feeding us His Word?

Do we truly trust God’s Word or are we continually arguing the merits of His Word with those whose spirits do not know Him? When we trust in God’s Word, we have no need to debate the merits of His Word for Holy Spirit has woven the truth into our spirits.

Do we yet have hope in God’s ordinances–the principles and concepts by which we should live or do we accept others wrongly interpreting and changing the intent of God’s Word to suit themselves? We are admonished in later passages of scripture by Paul that we should be more concerned with the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law. In other words, God has a specific intent for mankind’s interactions with one another and we must maintain the intent of His Word and not cave to man’s fickle roller-coaster understandings that change like the direction of the wind–without notice.

I can actually see Paul in this passage–as humble as the writer of the psalm, after meeting Jesus–saying, “I will walk in freely in Your principles and not be ashamed to tell of Your goodness to rulers everywhere I go.” Are we walking freely, living all the principles, and ready to testify of God’s goodness?

Do we truly love God’s commandments? I don’t mean the ten or the various ordinances given to the children of Israel then; I mean do we really love Him and are we really loving others, unconditionally?

When we deliberately take lives, create havoc, stir up hatred, lie and manipulate others so we can get what we want, do we honor God and show love to Him or others?

Many artists have sang songs about love and the need of love in this world, but I have yet to see love cover us as a shield against hatred. The world does indeed need love–pure love–unconditional love–exercised by all and not just a few. We need to learn to separate pure love from lust for many are deceived into believing that expressions of lust are love when they are not.

We know this because of the argument by many who insist that people have a right to love whoever they want to love in their support of same-sex unions. The truth of the matter is they are not talking about pure love–they are referencing the aspect of lust and proclaiming that people should have a right to have sex with whoever they want. Involvement in sex is not an expression of pure love–it is an expression of lusting for another simply as a means to relieve oneself.

Will we learn to love one another–unconditionally–in the new year God has so graciously given us? Or will we continue to think we know more than He does and keep doing things our own way, expecting a different result? Are we truly–insane–as this behavior implies?

I detect in my spirit an even greater need to meditate upon God’s Word so when I present my petitions before Him, I will not be guilty of dishonoring Him or attempting to deceive Him. My desire is to come before Him at all times with a pure heart–opening myself to hear Him and abide by His instructions.

 

 

 

 

On The Journey–Aleph

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.