It’s hard for my four year old. (It’s also hard for that four-year-old’s momma.)
Though I long to live a life of obedience to His commands, I struggle daily to keep my feet on the narrow path.
Obedience is not simply a choice of the will, as our efforts will only bring us so far. Our beliefs come in to play as well.
When I disobey I am ultimately saying that I know better—just like my four year old. Now, I might never say so with my mouth—that I know better than God—but I say it daily when I choose my own way.
You do too.
Disobedience, even in the smallest of choices, is at its core rebellion against the God of those commands.
When I choose selfishness instead of sacrifice, I sin. When I “vent” my frustrations about a difficult person instead of holding my tongue, I disobey. When my thoughts drift to discontentment and dwell in an attitude of ungratefulness, I rebel.
In each of these situations, I say “Katie knows best.”
Obedience is saying “God knows best.”
Holiness is not a series of do’s and don’ts, but conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God. – Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness
The Beliefs of the Psalmist
Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. (Psalm 119:129)
The psalmist was not some super-Christian, who had more ability to obey than you or me. We have all been given everything we need for godliness (2 Peter 1). We just need to figure out what hinders us. Oftentimes it is because we don’t believe that God and His commands are good. The psalmist saw God’s commands as wonderful, and I fully believe that had all to do with his commitment to obedience.
Here is more of what the psalmist believed:
- God’s words gives light and understanding. (Psalm 119:130)
- His rules are forever right and faithful. (Psalm 119:138, 144)
- God righteousness is everlasting. (Psalm 119:137,142)
- His Word is very pure. (Psalm 119:140)
- His law is truth and well tried. (Psalm 119:142)
Because of these beliefs, the writer of this Psalm had a resolved commitment to the Word of God, and the God of those words. This commitment flows naturally into obedience.
The Actions of the Psalmist
Here are just a few actions I saw of the psalmist:
- He longed for God’s commandments. (Psalm 119:131)
- He prayed for God to teach him His statues, and direct his steps by the Word (Psalm 119:133, 135)
- He loved the Word. (Psalm 119:140)
- He delighted in God’s commands. DELIGHTED. (Psalm 119:35, 143)
- He was determined to walk in obedience to God’s Word. (Psalm 119:33,34,57)
The psalmist understood the relationship between God and His commandments. They could not be separated. If He wanted to be near to God, He must walk in His commands. He saw God and His commandments as good, right, and trustworthy. That made all the difference in his obedience.
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
–John H. Sammis
What did you see in the verses you studied this week? Come and share with us what you learned!