How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh let me not wander from Your commandments! – Psalm 119:9-10
The psalmist presents a question which has been asked by countless believers, “How can I deal with all my shortcomings?” He answers himself with the conclusion, “by taking heed according to Your word. His point is we are to follow, submit to, and keep His Word.
But this isn’t just living by a list of rules or trying harder. This is a mindset; an understanding I have where sin is a problem and I need to deal with it directly. Further, it is coming to terms with the idea of His Word being the final authority and therefore I need to “heed” or follow what the Bible says before anything else.
When I accept the basic premise, the Bible is His Word, then my understanding of what He directs, through His Word, gives me a solid foundation. It becomes the bedrock of what I believe, think and act upon. If however, I do not come to Scripture with that understanding, then I have then elevated my opinion and my feelings above God’s standard.
From this verse – and many others – obedience would seem to begin with an understanding of His Word being the standard of conduct. I need to obey the teachings of Scripture, because those teaching are truth. Sin is fleeting but His Word is solid. I need to come to a point of surrender when I know this book, comes from Him and I must accept it as being His Word.
His Word is the lens I see the world through. By His Word I am able to discern His will. By reading and implementing the principles of His Word in my life, I can grow bold in my faith.
The Word is our anchor. It keeps us from wandering aimlessly and slowly moving toward anything contrary to His will. We usually are not tripped up on “big” sins in a surprise attack. It is my contention, early in that process of drifting, God’s Word takes a less relevant place in one’s life.
The man who has wrecked his marriage with an adulterous affair didn’t stumble into this sin as a random event one day. Rather, this was a slow drift. It was a series of little compromises which culminated in a disastrous liaison. Missing one day of personal Bible study probably didn’t push him over the edge. But a pattern of neglecting the Scriptures easily puts one in a vulnerable position. We must diligently maintain a commitment to His Word if we wish to walk in daily victory over sin and keep ourselves from drifting off course.
As believers, we are to know, follow, and submit to His Word.
For more teaching from Psalm 119, you can pick up my first book Our Most Valuable Treasure. It is available at Amazon.com