Thursday, September 20, 2012

Intelligent obedience

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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 119:25-40

"Make me to understand the way of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works." Psalm 119:25-26.

Do you remember student days and studying for tests? For me, rote memorization of concepts rarely worked. I had to have an outline—a framework—of facts in order for me to remember them. I needed a certain level of understanding to ensure recall.

The writer of this psalm requests in several ways that God help him know and understand His will and ways (called statutes, precepts, commandments, testimonies, judgments, word, works, and law). I appreciate his emphasis on intelligent obedience.

We can see by what he says that he has already given a good deal of thought to what keeping God's ways will do for him, for he:
- asks to be revived and strengthened by them (Psalm 119:25, 28, 40).
- expects them to help him resist the temptation to lie (Psalm 119:29).
- prays that they keep him from shame and reproach (Psalm 119:31, 39).
- assumes that running the course of life by God's ways will give him the spirit to persist ("enlarge my heart ... I shall keep it to the end" - Psalm 119:32,33).
- wants to live for God whole-heartedly (Psalm 119:34).
- assumes that living by God's ways will keep him focused on worthwhile things (versus having a covetous attitude that looks longingly at "worthless things" - Psalm 119:36, 37).

Do we likewise have such a thoughtful approach to how we live? Have we, for example, considered the various sinful options that we face, taking them, in our imaginations, to their logical conclusions so that we understand why God has forbidden them? If we have, we may find that some temptations lose their lustre because we understand that God has put them off-limits for very good reasons.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me understand You and Your ways better, as I meditate on the benefits of keeping them, and the downside of breaking them. Amen.

MORE: "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me" - Chris Tomlin

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