If we are going to stick with anything for the long haul, we have to be fascinated by it. As soon as it becomes boring, humdrum, or monotonous, the downward spiral leading to us throwing in the towel is almost inevitable.
It looks like this:
Inattention → Fizzled passion → Lack of discipline → Quitting
This is bad enough for a diet, exercise routine, or any other healthy pursuit. But it becomes even more painful when this downward cycle occurs in our spiritual life. In that case, the “quitting” is called by another name: Sin.
In Psalm 119, the Beth section (verses 9-16) opens with two contrasting thoughts:
- How can a young man keep his way pure? By LIVING according to Your Word.
- I seek You with all my heart; do not let me STRAY from Your commands.
Stray is a passive word. No real attention or foresight is required to wander or meander around. On the other hand, living is an active word. In the Hebrew this word carries the idea of keeping careful watch; protecting; carefully tending.
So the question that leads to my success is this: What fascinates me? What dominates my thoughts? What motivates me?
The answer to these questions will determine my stick-to-itiveness.
The remaining verses in this section show the upward spiral away from sin, if we will keep careful watch over how closely we stick to God’s Word.
- → Living = guarding (v. 9)
- → Seek You with all my heart (v. 10) … Yearning (in the Amplified Bible)
- → Hidden Your Word (v. 11) … Treasured (in the Complete Jewish Bible)
- → Personal praise (v. 12)
- → With my lips… (v. 13) = verbal, public praise
- → Rejoice (v. 14) … as in more than in any kind of wealth (in the CJB)
- → Meditate (v. 15) = constant companion
- → Delight (v. 16)
When we delight in God’s Word, the cycle is started over again—I will not neglect Your Word—but now with a renewed and intensified PASSION!
I want God’s Word to dominate my thoughts, and its principles to captivate me. I want to be fascinated by my relationship with Jesus Christ that comes through the revelation of the Bible to my heart.
There is no other way to live!
If you have missed any of the messages in our P119 series, you can access them all by clicking here.