It’s funny when you know something in your heart is true, but then that truth kind of hits you in the head like a sledgehammer! I’ve known that the policies of the world are warped and that we all kind of live in an illusion when it comes to having control, but today, I was exposed to Psalm 119 in the sledgehammer kind of way.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!”
The first 2 verses describe (pretty much) the message of all 176 verses of Psalm 119. Put simply, we are blessed when we put God first. How do we put God first? Especially in the world we live in?
The world has us waking in the morning thinking of a) things we need to do, b) worrying about things we have done or need to do, or c) worrying about things we have no control over anyway! These things are vague, but each one of us can fill in the blank. Point is, the world has us focusing on everything but God and how good He is to us. We don’t quite grasp how we can trust every aspect of our lives to Him and know that we are covered. All we need to do is focus on Him, His Word and His goodness.
Sound too simple? Too good? I know. But guess what? That’s the world’s influence on us, where we can’t see how God comes through in every circumstance if we will just humble ourselves to the point of total trust in Him and obedience to His Word.
We have developed a habit of looking to God when we want something or when things go wrong, but putting Him on the shelf when things are going smooth. It’s funny how we expect God to come through for us when we habitually ignore Him. If our kids ignored us except when they needed us to bail them out of trouble, how would we react? I know I wouldn’t appreciate it and I would probably let my kids know that they didn’t need or want me before, they can’t expect me to drop everything for them now. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but they kind of hindered me from helping them because they don’t put any effort into our relationship. I believe it’s the same with God except on a much higher level. He loves us, just as we love our kids. But He can’t save us everytime if we don’t learn from our bad situations and realize that our relationship with Him is the most valuable possession we will ever have.
What I am learning from Psalm 119 is the depth to which I need to allow God into my life. If I truly want to be blessed, I must look to Him as my Teacher. “Teach me Your statutes” appears in this Psalm in some form at least 11 times. Then, the Psalmist says he will “keep” God’s statutes and Word, or he will “meditate” on God’s Word, precepts or statutes over 24 times. See, it’s up to us to stay within God’s will. He can teach us, but if we don’t double the effort to meditate on His teaching, we will never enjoy His constant companionship and protection.
As I write this, I can see clearly how I have not focused on God continually in my past and how I missed out on God’s blessings. I even became a little self-absorbed, thinking I knew it all and didn’t need His teaching, but that I could teach others. (What a load of dirt!) I never broke completely away from His Word and thankfully, He has gradually been reeling me closer to Him as I have put down my worldly concerns and focused on Him more and with more humility, as well.
He gave me His purpose for me recently. It was clear as a bell, and although I had been learning about it more and more, it didn’t click that God was specifically giving me His instructions until this year. (Duh) I am to support and encourage those people around me. I am surrounded by people who are destined to do great things (literally), but they will not achieve any of them if I do not obey God and give Godly support and His Word for encouragement. They need it desperately and I am the only one to give it to them right now. (God will find someone else if I don’t obey, but I would rather not bother Him with that task)
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.
Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.
Believe it not, it really is that simple! Are we up to the challenge? Do we have the guts to stand up to the world and say, “I am not focused on you” and turn around and focus on God with our whole hearts? This means going to work and while you’re exposed to people all day cursing and gossiping and complaining, you are still focused on Him. This means that the crude posts that people put on Facebook don’t divert your attention and then you start putting crude posts up on your Facebook page. (You know what I’m talking about) It means looking for the good in people when they are at their worst and asking God to help them in their time of need. It means that when you start focusing on Him and you actually start living your life that way, you can handle the snide comments and looks from people you thought were your friends but now they say you are going a little overboard with this “God thing”.
God says He will give us the strength and ability to do what He’s asked us to do. Our job is to take the first step. Are we up to it?