Psalm 119:131-134 ~ I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
I look back on my life and so much of it has been wasted under the oppression of man. I would let others define my day, be it good or bad. If my work pleased my master’s (note the small “m”) then it was great day, if it didn’t I would fret over it for days. I would rehash again and again what I could have done differently. As I’ve grown in the Lord I’ve changed. I won’t tell you I don’t have moments of relapse, but they’re temporary. I strive to live for Christ, and if man gets pleased along the way then that makes for an awesome day. But if I do all I can do in my ministry or in my secular career that has to be enough. And life is too short to waste it eating hash.
Hash is a meat and potatoes dish that I love, and these verses in Psalm 119 remind me of the “meat and potatoes” of Christian faith.
Longing for God’s Word
If you do not have a desire in your heart to read the Word of God, you are already defeated. Mark it down this day… you lose. Because as one who’s been there I know, I have a whole closet full of those shirts! You have got to make time in your day for the Word of God because in it is the wellspring of life! Proverbs 16:22 says it ~ Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
To understand that the Bible is a living document is key. I can guarantee, because my God is faithful, that if you open the Bible up and begin reading anywhere in it there is a word for your day. It’s shocking sometimes how spot on the Bible will be in my life, and yet it shouldn’t be. If I believe what I say, then why would it shock me? So… Do you have that longing in your heart? I have no doubt that you do, you may have mashed it down beneath the load of care you’re choosing to haul around by yourself today, but it’s in there.
Looking in God’s Word
David said that he wanted God to order his steps. He said earlier in Psalm 37:23 that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” David knew that the only way to find happiness and contentment in life was to follow the path that God had designed. It’s not always obvious, but there are always clues. You may be asking “So what does that mean when you live and work in a world that is not God conscious?”
Just because those around you don’t acknowledge God in the equation doesn’t remove Him. It just means that they don’t get to enjoy the favor of God. If you go to work looking for God, He’ll be there. It may be in a small way, or it may be huge! It begins with you going to work to please God, not those you work for, although they’ll be pleased in the process. I’ve been blown away lately by the way God has been working with me on my job. My thoughts are clearer, my direction more defined both spiritually and mentally because I spend my day seeking Him in whatever I’m doing. I know that if I seek to please Him, I will do my job in a manner that will please my employer. And if I fall short (as I often do) God’s mercy has me covered!
Leaving behind the false word
David said he wanted God to “Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.” If you are trying to live a God focused life, it’s almost a given that Satan will send someone to blindside you. David knew that it would not be easy to keep the principles of God because he’d fallen so many times before. The oppression of man is the coercion of others to get off track.
They can do this in a number of ways:
DISCOURAGMENT: how many times have we heard “that won’t work.
DOUBT: How many times have we heard “are you sure you want to do that?”
DOOM: “No matter how you do it, it still ends up bad”
LEAVE THEM BEHIND!
Focus on God’s Word, it’s guaranteed truth!