25 I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. 26 I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. 27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. 28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. 29 Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. 30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. 31 I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! 32 I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.
Aster the confession of My Ways and the conviction of My Ways third we see:
- The Contradiction of My Ways – Verse 29
As long as we are living and responding according to “My Ways”, we are going to be living in contradiction to God’s Ways. It is a contradiction for a Christian to praise and pray on Sunday and live like the devil the rest of the week. It is a contradiction to claim the name of Christ, and not live as a blood bought child of the living God. It is a contradiction to call ourselves a Christian and yet not allow Christ to be in charge of every area of our lives. Do those around you know you’re a child of God? Here is a sobering question if it was a crime to be a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? Or let me ask you this challenging question if someone was looking for a Christian to tell them about Jesus Christ, would they come to you? Many of us have compartmentalized our faith, we claim Christ on Sunday and leave Him in the closet Monday through the next Sunday. Who are you sharing your faith with? Why would you not tell the world about the wonderful marvelous mercy and grace you have received? When you are in love with someone, you share about them and tell the world about how much you are in love with them? So why not tell them about the one that loved you so much He sent His Son to die for you? In contrast to My Ways the last few verses speak second of:
- Thy Ways – verse 30-32
It is here that the psalmist realizing his sin, not only comes clean and confesses it but makes a deliberate choice to repent and:
- Choose God’s Ways
His confession in verse 30 is, :”I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.” It is critical that as Christians we continually declare that we have chosen God’s way. That we choose to let God be the one who governs our lives. We need to choose to declare to a lost and dying world that the only way to life is through the Lord Jesus Christ. That only God’s way can bring lasting meaning and purpose to life. As the old hymn says: I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back; No turning back. Though none go with me, I still will follow. The cross before me the world behind me… No turning back… No turning back. The way of the world leads to death but God’s way leads to life. Next, we see:
- The Commitment to God’s Ways
Verse 31 says, “I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame.” Here we see that the Psalmist doesn’t want a casual commitment but a clinging commitment. As you look at some of the definitions of the word cling it’s easy to see how it speak of commitment: To remain firm, determined, or resolute. To remain loyal or faithful. To persist or endure. We have all heard the story of the pig and the hen and the difference between a contribution and commitment. In the giving of an egg, the chicken made a contribution to the breakfast, but the ham required the pig to make a commitment. The pig gave something of himself. Choosing to make a commitment to follow the ways of God means that we will give of ourselves. I believe that this is one of the reasons why so many Christians struggle and have difficulties in their lives. While they say that they are committed to God many do not serve His church because they are committed to other things but not God. Lastly, we see:
- Chase after God’s Ways
Verse 32 says, “I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.” When we chose God’s way we cannot be slow to respond. What about you are you swift or slow to obey God’s commands? What are you running after today, is it righteousness or are you running down a dead end street? Running takes deliberate action and it takes effort. If there is one thing I can’t say strongly enough it’s don’t procrastinate when God speaks to you. If He is calling you today to come to Him then run, respond with swiftness. When He reveals His will to you obey quickly. Just as physical running has many benefits on our hearts so spiritually running after God also benefits and blesses our hearts. The Psalmist says that He will expand our understanding. Running after God’s way and cleaving to His commandments requires more than just an apathetic following. It shouts with an eagerness to follow the set course. Has your heart been enlarged with the Word of God? Do you have the same desire as the psalmist to run after God’s way and follow His commandments? The only way to have strength in the challenging days is to choose to be completely committed to God and chase after His commands.