December 14, 2004

Stay the Course

"GOD, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me--
my whole life one long, obedient response.

Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!

Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Affirm your promises to me--
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics--
but what you say is always so good.

See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!"

--Psalm 119:33-40

This is a great Psalm to start the day with.

Notice that David doesn't just ask God to miraculously cause him to stay the course, instead he asks God to teach him the "life lessons" to stay the course. Then he asks for insight so that his life could be characterized by obedience.

Too many times today, Christians just want God to do everything for them. They claim that they want to live a righteous life, but when God begins to allow the trials and temptations in that He will use to bring about that righteous life they fail and flounder because they can't see that God is wanting them to live an obedient life.

God is not our righteousness genie. YES, He wants us to be righteous! Don't get me wrong. In fact, He puts a guarantee on our salvation in the book of Romans that says, whoever He justifies, He might, He will think about, HE WILL sanctify!

But this sanctification process can be tough!

In other places in the Bible it is called dying to self, taking up your cross, denying self, mortifying (killing) the flesh, etc. Or as David says here, "my whole life, one long obedient response."

But so many times we get diverted by the worthless things of this life, or as David puts it, "toys and trinkets."

Pray with me today that God will help us to stay the course. That He will invigorate us for the pilgrimage.