We Could All Use A Little Good Sense.
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” – Psalm 119:73 NLT
Give me the sense to follow Your commands. That should be the first prayer I pray each and every day. Because even though God made me, I still have the tendency to disobey His commands. All because of the fall and my own sin nature. Rather than follow His commands faithfully and willingly, I am tempted to do things my way or the world’s way. So I need God to give me the good sense to do what is right. And to do that He sometimes allows me to suffer – to learn His lessons the hard way. The Psalmist seemed to understand this fact. “The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles” (Psalm 119:71 NLT). “I know, O LORD, that your decisions are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it” (Psalm 119:75 NLT). Sometimes God has to get our attention by allowing us to learn just how much we need Him. Difficulty comes into our lives and we often discover that it is all because we have disobeyed the clear commands of God. It could be something as simple as His command to have no other God’s in place of Him. But how often do we break that command? We make idols and cheap God-replacements out of just about everything and everyone. We worship our work and our careers. We expect money to meet all our needs. We give entertainment a special place in our lives because we think it can bring us joy. We put people on pedestals, hoping that they will bring us happiness or make us feel significant. We place our faith in the government or political leaders. And so God allows us to learn the valuable lesson that there really are no other gods beside Him. They disappoint us, let us down, turn their backs on us, and fail to deliver whatever it was we were expecting them to do for us. Then we can say with the Psalmist, “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word” (Psalm 119:67 NLT).
The amazing thing about this Psalm is the author’s repeated expressions of love for the laws or commands of God. He delights in them. He loves them. He meditates on them. He wakes up at midnight thinking about them. He says that they are the music of his life. The commands of God are worth more to him than millions in gold and silver. Why? Because he has learned that obeying God’s commands is the secret to contentment, joy, peace, satisfaction, wisdom, and the blessing of God. God loves us so much that He is always teaching us the value of keeping His commands, of living life on His terms and not ours. He knows we are surrounded with other options and the daily temptation to trust in something other than Him for our needs. But He faithfully disciplines us, allowing us to learn that He alone can satisfy our every desire. More money, nicer cars, bigger homes, raises, recognition, friends, fame, or any other thing this world has to offer can ever replace the role of God in our lives. He wants us to love Him by making Him the highest priority in our lives. But we can’t really love Him if we are not willing to obey Him. And we can’t effectively obey Him if we don’t know what He wants us to do. And we can’t know what He wants us to do if we never spend time in His Word. The Scriptures are where we discover God’s expectations of us. As we read it, He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit, convicting us, directing us, and prompting us to take the next step in our spiritual journey. Faithful obedience to His Word brings His blessing. The Psalmist knew it. But do we?
Father, Your Word is alive and well. Your commands are written down in black and white. They are there for us to discover and obey. But we sometimes we refuse to even read them, let alone obey them. Give us the sense to follow Your commands, because it alone will bring us the joy, contentment, peace and fulfillment we are looking for. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men