There are times life is a struggle. For those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, living faithfully is not always easy. Challenges from a busy life (just look at your calendar), distractions from a sin-cursed world (social media grabs your attention), and personal life experiences all contribute to the difficulty of living life. What can be done? What can I do to live faithfully? The psalmist has the answer: guard your life.
The Psalms offer guidance to readers so they gain a wise perspective enabling them to walk in the way of goodness and keep to the path of righteousness. They are expressions both to and about God. In a sense, the Psalms demonstrate how God’s Word is applied to various situations in life.
Allen Ross summarizes this Psalm. “Keeping our lives pure by avoiding sin, which is done by knowing the word of God so well that it is always on our minds to correct and guide us through life. Because the word of God is the means by which the faithful maintain purity in life, they desire to learn from God and enjoy meditating in his word” (The Psalms, 480).
Be concerned to keep pure (119:9-11)
The psalmist poses a question, “With what are disciples, followers of God, to keep their life pure?” He answers. It is through a consistent diligence, making the Word of God central in one’s day-to-day activities; the basis of which is God’s divine communication—His Word. It is the psalmist’s heart, everything in him that is committed to God; hence his plea to God to not let him wander or stray. He treasures/values/lays up God’s Word in his heart and mind for its appropriate and timely use. This is not just a reference to his ability to the memorization of truths necessary for his walk, but the beneficial understanding of truth for personal transformation at just the right time.
Be committed to learn (119:12-14)
The psalmist adores and praises God. He publicly declares his dependence on God and desires that God teach him truth. With what he has learned, and therefore treasured in his heart, he declares it to others. As a matter of fact, your truth, O God, that governs my life and it is a pleasure and joy to obey. Daniel Estes says it best, “Because he values God’s way so highly, in his way the psalmist derives great joy. It is not his duty but his delight to follow the way of the Lord” (NAC, 405).
Be resolved to live faithful (119:15-16)
The psalmist commits to paying attention constantly to God’s Words. His meditation involves focused attention on God’s Word, thus leading to active obedience. He carefully considers how the way of the Lord can also be his own way of life. Because he values God’s Word, he is determined to live it out; he won’t forget it. He is intentional to not only remember it, but also act on it.
Challenges for your walk with God in 2022
What have you put in place so that you’re actively guarding your life against sin? The psalmist memorizes, learns, values, delights in and declares the Word of God. Will the psalmist’s actions also describe you this year?
What has your attention? Social media? Political agendas? Life experiences in general? The psalmist takes pleasure, delights in God’s Word—it’s captured his attention. Has God’s Word captured your attention?