God's part and God's path
Sometimes, our relationship with God feels very one-sided, like it’s all on us to figure out what God desires in our lives.
We go through the motions of life, doing what we would claim is our “best”, and we figure that if lightning doesn’t strike, we must be doing alright in God’s eyes. We generally want to make good choices, we’d like to have more than a friendly bond with God; but when it comes to actually developing these skills…most of us think we’ll eventually figure it out as we go through life’s circumstances.
The author of Psalm 119 wanted those same things, but he also knew the best way to pursue them.
As much as the psalmist wanted to the do the right thing, and make the wise choices…as much as he desired a relationship with the One whose judgments and decisions are always good…as much as he wanted to enjoy the quality of life that comes only from knowing the Lord intimately…
The psalmist knew one thing for sure, one thing that he understood at a deeper level…deeper than his desires – he recognized that he can’t have that direction, that relationship, that life…unless the Lord shows him how.
As you read this section of Psalm 119, look for the psalmist’s dependency on God. What does he need God to do? What is God’s part in this relationship?
Teach me, Lord, the meaning of Your statutes, and I will always keep them.
Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.
Help me stay on the path of Your commands, for I take pleasure in it.
Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to material gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways.
Confirm what You said to Your servant, for it produces reverence for You.
Turn away the disgrace I dread; indeed, Your judgments are good.
How I long for Your precepts! Give me life through Your righteousness.
The psalmist is open and bare before the Lord. There is no false bravado here, and he makes no attempt to hide his deficiencies. The psalmist knows that he cannot live the life that God made him for unless God tells him how it’s done.
The beauty of it all is that after honestly recognizing this, and admitting it to the Lord, he is willing to do whatever the Lord asks, to walk in whatever path the Lord directs him to follow.
How often do we admit our weakness to the Lord? Sure we might ask for a little “help” with one struggle or another…almost as if we believe that we’ll probably make it there eventually on our own, but it sure would be nice if God gave us a little boost right now…you know, if he could just speed up this maturity process a little bit, we’d appreciate it.
Instead, we should follow the psalmist’s example of admitting that we are completely helpless unless God shows us His path. In each verse of this section, the psalmist recognized the necessity of God’s active intervention into his life. Until we admit our inability to figure out God’s ways on our own, we won’t be able to completely follow the path He has laid out for us in His Scriptures.