By Hellen J. Kuleskey
Living in obedience to the Word of God does not happen automatically. It is a matter of the will, a matter of continual choice. Having the desire to be what God wants us to be and do what He wants us to do is good, but we must take action—we must set our wills to seek Him and obey Him.
When was the last time you and I asked God to show us which commandments we were not obeying? The Apostle John tells us that to truly love God is to do His commandments. “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome”(1 John 5:3).
The Psalmist declares: I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought your precepts. Precepts are defined as: a commandment or direction meant as a rule of action or conduct; a rule of moral conduct.
Seeking God’s commandments does not speak of passivity or of a whatever-will-be-will-be attitude. Remember Christ’s parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin? (See Luke 15:3-9.) The owner of the missing sheep left his flock and went to seek the lost sheep “until he found it.” The woman who lost the coin “lit a lamp, swept the house and searched carefully” until she found it. The owners of the lost properties sought diligently and kept seeking until they found what they were looking for.With the same perseverance, we should seek to know God’s commandments until His Word is part of our being.
No doubt when we first began to follow the Lord we found His commandments restrictive and somewhat burdensome—like a saddle on a newly-broken riding horse. The creature was used to the freedom of the pasture, had no loads to bear and no restrictions on him. But he wasn’t much use to his master when he roamed the pasture at will.
When we pray, “Lord use me,” we had better get ready for the work load and for the restrictive reins. But if we have truly given the reins of our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, we can rest in the knowledge that we are led by Him to do His will and works. We must constantly remind ourselves that our works will be tried by fire at the Judgment Seat. Only those things that Christ directed will remain; what we did on our own is “hay, wood and stubble” and will be burned. (See 1 Cor. 3:12-13.) It is safe and productive to obey God’s Word and will.
Not only does the Psalmist express his love for the Word of God, he says, I delight in your commandments. The word delight means: to give great pleasure or joy; to be greatly pleased; to rejoice. Imagine delighting in God’s Word! Generally great pleasure is derived from something that pleases our flesh and excites our emotions. Where do we find great pleasure? In music? In sports? In relationships? When we know the Lord more intimately through His Word, we will more and more be able to delight in Him and in His Word.
Do you know what happens when we love someone or something? We talk constantly about that person or thing to everyone who is willing to listen. So it is with the Word and mighty deeds of God. We will speak of his statues, i.e., we will witness to His goodness and the miraculous changes He has made in our lives and circumstances. We will share His Word because it is so precious and life-changing, giving hope and eternal life.
The Psalmist said he would speak before kings. We, too, will witness boldly to all with whom we associate, the ordinary folks we meet daily and those who are in high positions. Jesus preached to multitudes and then spoke to one woman, a prostitute, who came to the well for water. Paul spoke before kings as well as worshipers of heathen gods.
When the Holy Spirit prompts us to witness by mouth or literature, let us do it boldly, never being ashamed of the One who redeemed us on Calvary’s cross. In writing to the believers at Rome Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”(Rom. 1:16).
From declaring his love for the commandments of God, the Psalmist moves to worship and intercession. The Amplified Bible records verse 48 as follows: “My hands also will I lift up (in fervent supplication) to Your commandments.” In his first letter to Timothy, Paul gave a teaching on prayer. He added, “I desire everywhere that men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8 ).
The lifting up of the hands is also a way of worship. In another situation the Psalmist cried to God, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psa. 141:2). Delighting in God’s will and Word will lead us into worship and intercession.
The Psalmist then makes one more declaration: I meditate on your decrees. To meditate means: to think upon, to ponder, study, consider. Joshua, Moses’ successor who led the Israelites into the promised land, was instructed by the Lord Himself to meditate on the commandments of God. The Lord first exhorted Joshua to be strong, courageous and obedient. Then He said, “ Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Josh. 1:8).
In summary, we note that when we choose to delight and meditate in the law of God, we get to progressively and more intimately know the Author. Out of the love He plants in our hearts we delight to do His will. Our obedience and worship bring us into His presence, the place of His blessing and joy—the place, for us, of freedom and success!
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