Spiritual Growth; September 25, 2022

Psalm 119:5-6 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.

I’m not sure I had noticed before that the Psalmist is confessing that his ways are not steadfast, at least at the point he is writing. Many of his prayers throughout this longest Psalm are to enable him to keep the Law that he loves so much. For example, verse 34 says, “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” Like every true saint, he recognizes that he is a work in progress. Paul of course wrote famously about that to the Philippians. (Philippians 3:12-14) As Paul said, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” (Philippians 3:16) It does no good to confess your weakness if you aren’t seeking and striving to do better. We are constantly confronted with the reality that we can’t do it on our own, but our will is most definitely involved. We aren’t to keep accusing ourselves over our failures, if they have been confessed and repented of, but we are never to excuse them either. The devil uses modern psychology to teach people to excuse themselves for everything, and all sorts of deviant behavior is striving to become mainstream. That’s something every believer must stand against firmly. Anything less makes a mockery of the grace of God. We are imperfect indeed, but by the grace and power of God we are being transformed into the likeness of His Son, in Whom there is no sin at all, and we must never forget that.

This is a struggle for every believer, I think. My father had a saying that was primarily used in evangelism, bringing people to initial commitment, but I think it needs to be applied daily by every believer: “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ.” We learn more about ourselves all the time, and we should be learning more of Christ all the time as well. Keeping that commitment up-to-date is the key to being transformed into His likeness, and that should be our goal.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the rather intense training period Cathy and I are having with her health situation. Help us keep remembering that we aren’t simply physical beings that have spirits, we are spiritual beings who inhabit bodies. Help us nourish our spirits by Your Spirit, whatever is going on with our bodies, so that we may indeed grow as You intend, being and doing what You have planned, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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