I have been trying to decide what to do next since finishing Philippians. Part of me wanted to just dive into the next book in the New Testament but as I began to read my thoughts drifted to Psalm 119. After pausing to read the first couple of verses I decided to run with it. You here a lot these days about listening to God's voice for personal direction, the problem is how does one discern whether or not the "voice" in your head is just you or not. How do I know when these promptings are from God? Does He really get inside our heads that way?
I do know that I have been prompted many times to pray for specific people, sometimes I have learned that there was a specific need they had at that very time so I never ignore that little voice that causes me to pray for another person.
I have been praying about what I should do next: I guess my answer for now is that I do not see how I can go wrong with any part of the Bible. Was this particular prompting from God? I do not know. Do I like where it led, yes. Psalm 119 has long been one of my favorite passages of Scripture. The problem is I have not ever lingered over it as a whole. It usually just comes up as a part of my daily Bible reading. Now I am choosing to spend some time with it and I am looking forward to what I may glean as I do.
How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
who seek Him with all their heart. -Psalm 119:1-2, NASB
-Those who follow the "law of the LORD" are without blame, and what a blessing that is.
-Those who observe God's words, who obey them, who seek God with their whole heart, will be blessed.
These first two verses sum up why this psalm has always been a favorite of mine. It sets forth the importance of God's word, of reading the Bible to those of us who believe. This book that I hold in my hands is unlike any other. It contains the thoughts of God, it tells me all I need to know about God, about His Son, about salvation, about how to live in this world.
Psalm 1 states, "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, not sit in the seat of scoffers! But His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night." (Ps. 1:1-2) Commentators agree the word law used here is "torah" and encompasses the whole of God's word, not just the does and don'ts found in the ten commandments and the book of Leviticus. If you want to know what a blessed life is look no further than your Bible. We are told that true happiness can be found in all sorts of things, wealth, our physical looks, our family, our homes, our jobs; but the Psalmist insists that the only way to be truly happy (blessed) is to know and obey God's word. We cannot be half-hearted about it. It demands our whole hearts. I cannot be a Sunday christian who lets the pastor open up the Bible and preach from its pages during a service then never pick it up again until the following Sunday. If you want to know what true blessing is, then the Bible is the place to start, it is the place to come to again and again, daily if it is at all in our power to do so.
But we cannot stop there, we cannot be merely readers of the Word, we have to be doers as well. To experience the blessing the psalmist speaks of we have to walk according to God's word, we have to obey what we read, we have to live our lives as God lays out for us in Scripture. We just finished the book of Philippians-we talked about how we are to walk in this world as Christians. The blessing comes from moving beyond an academic approach of simply knowing what the Bible says to living it in our everyday lives.
Our Sunday school class was asked to be prepared to share their testimony this past week. As I considered my own I was struck by how similar I was to the Samaritans at Sychar. Jesus had sat down with a Samaritan woman at a well while the disciples had gone into town for food. There she meets the Savior of the world and leaves her water pot behind to run into town and share what had just happened to her. She shared her testimony with those in the town of Sychar. I was raised in a family with a mom who made sure we attended church every Sunday. I was a little child who came to Jesus unreserved, I do not remember a time when I did not love and follow Him. My early years were based on the testimony of those around me. But when I turned nine; when I had become a good enough reader; my grandparents gave me the wonderful gift of my very own Bible. And I began to read it for myself. I no longer had to rely on the testimony of others for I could read God's own words now too. The Samaritans in that town where the woman lived did the same thing. She invited them to come and see Jesus, and they invited Him to stay with them. "Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, it is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." (John 4:41-42, NASB-emphasis mine)
I started reading the Bible for myself when I was nine and I have not stopped. I am more in love with those words now than when I first tasted them. They are light and life and the key to a blameless life. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. The secret to a happy life is found in these first two verses of Psalm 119. Come and see for yourself the wonderful treasure that is ours.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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