July 26, 2016

Psalm 119:92-93 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.

Life on this earth can be pretty rough. Jesus said very clearly that it would be that way. (John 16:33) If our focus is on God, His Word, His kingdom and His righteousness, then we can indeed rejoice in the middle of it all, participating in Christ’s victory. However, if we focus on ourselves or on our problems themselves, they will do us in. The Psalmist recognized that it was God by His Word that gave him life. Actually, that statement goes all the way back to Moses, with the very famous declaration that “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) Jesus famously quoted that in responding to the devil’s temptation to place His physical needs ahead of obedience to God. (Matthew 4:4) If we fail to grasp that, problems in this life can so distract us that we fail to recognize and accept God’s invitation to eternal life. The Psalmist boldly says he will never forget God’s Word, but in practical terms that can be more aspiration than achievement. We really do have to choose to remember what God has said and keep it in focus, because otherwise we take it for granted and it fades from our awareness, and with it the joy of a vital relationship with our Creator.

Once again I am a good illustration. I have indeed had times of walking closely with my Lord and delighting in fellowship with Him, but they have been punctuated by times of being in neutral, so to speak, not intentionally pulling away but certainly not pressing in to follow Him. Looking back the difference is clear, but at the time I was largely unaware of it. I’ve got to be intentional in my obedience, actively maintaining God’s priorities in my life, because I know my own weakness too well. The prospect of heaven looks better every day, but in the meantime I’ve got a lot of joy and satisfaction I don’t want to miss by failing to have my priorities straight.

Father, thank You for this reminder. There are so many things to grab my attention. Some of them are clearly part of my participation in Your kingdom and some are more mundane, but if I allow any of them to take my focus off of You, that’s a problem. Help me look at absolutely everything through the filter of Your presence, Your grace, love, and power, so that I may be faithful at the tasks You assign to me while delighting You by delighting in You, 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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