Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Guys, if you're like me you have probably asked yourself questions like, "what should I be doing with my life?," "where should I go from here?," "what has God been teaching me these past few years and what direction does He want me to head?"

Though the practical "what, when," and "where" questions are important, I would suggest that we spend some time asking ourselves, "how," and "why." Scripture is often quite clear on what we should do to obey God - and we can grasp that - but when it comes down to actually doing it, we stare at our toes and scratch our heads.

Praise God that He has given us more than the "what," and has provided us with instruction on just "how" to obey Him!

But, as we all know, this will require work and study. The answers aren't always spelled out the way we wish they were. Sometimes we have to dig deep to understand how God wants us to live, and other times the practical applications are ripe for the picking.

Consider Psalm 119, specifically verses 9-16. This is a very well-known passage in which the author directs his comments primarily to young men (though everyone can find application here).
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Here are 6 principles (you might even call them "action steps") which I draw from this passage:

1. Guard (verse 9)

How can we keep our way pure? Verse 9 tells us that we must guard it "according to thy word." But it is impossible to set up boundaries on something — to guard it — without first establishing a standard and God tells us that our standard must be His Word. In order to adhere to a standard, you first must know it, so it is critical that we study the Word that we might not wander away from His commandments.

2. Seek (verse 10)

Verse 10 makes it clear that our pursuit of God must not be a half-hearted attempt, but instead must be with our "whole heart." As David says in Psalm 63:1, "earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you." This is no easy thing, but God will not be content with partial dedication or halfhearted obedience.

3. Store up (verse 11)

Hiding God's Word in our hearts is something we ought to do as a preventative measure against sin. The devil is rendered inept by God's truth so his best tactic is to make sure we are forgetful and weak in the Word when temptation comes.

4. Declare (verse 13)

The author not only affirms God's testimonies in his heart but openly speaks them with His lips. Let us be quick to proclaim the truth and, more importantly, the Source of that truth.

5. Delight (verse 14)

While some men try to find fulfillment and satisfaction in earthly riches, the author declares that he delights in "Your testimonies... as much as in all riches." Do we truly delight in God's testimonies? To the point where people see it clearly in our lives?

6. Meditate (verse 15)

The author not only hides the Word in his heart, but he meditates on it — he spends quality time considering what God would have him learn from His Word. This discipline is woefully lacking in the lived of many Christians today. We may read our Bibles but do we ever stop and think (hard!) about how it applies to us?

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