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September 24th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Psalm 119:3 – Walking in His Ways

Today we finish the instruction to Psalm 119, the first three verses, verses which speak in the third person, describing the blessedness that attends to “those” who walk according to the torah of YHWH. After these three verses the rest of the Psalm is a prayerful “conversation” between the Psalmist and YHWH.

It is good to see these three verses together before we jump into verse three:

(1) Blessed are those way is blameless, who walk in the law of YHWH
(2) Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
(3) who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

We see again in verse three the idea of ‘walking” before YHWH. The life of blessedness is not lived off in a corner, apart from real relationships, outside of the challenges and demands and sorrows of real bodily life. The life of a Christian is not a sprint. It is a long walk, or, to change the image as does the Apostle Paul, a race, but a marathon more than a sprint.

Verse three continues and wraps up the thought of the first two beatitudes. The person who walks according to the torah of YHWH, who keeps his testimonies, who seeks Him with an undivided heart, who also does not act wrongly (or unjustly) – this is the person who will know the blessedness of God.

But here’s the problem: we are sinners, and even if regenerate in Christ we yet still sin, fall short, miss the mark, and do wrong. We rest on Christ and his sacrificial death in our place. We know that only his righteousness imputed to us gives us hope, or standing before God. To be accepted by God through Christ is also a deep blessedness.

But more blessing still attends to those who walk in His ways, who do no wrong. We know this also is true. Do we think that there is more blessing in sinning than in not? Do we think that there is more blessing in having a divided heart than not? Do we think that there is more blessing in Not walking in his ways?

Of course we don’t think that. We can never, ever, ever fall prey to the lie that there is more good in sinning (so that grace may abound) than in not sinning. This is not and will never be so. God has not created us for this nor has He redeemed us for this.

Speaking  in familiar theological terms the grace of God is a grace that brings BOTH justification and sanctification, and eventually also glorification. There is WAY too mush wallowing in “brokenness” these days, “authentic” as that may make us feel in the moment, and way too little passion for walking in holiness. Yes, God seeks a broken and contrite spirit. Yet this broken and contrite spirit is a spirit of repentance, a spirit which despises the sin that still holds its grip, that clings to God’s mercies, yet which also seeks by His strength and grace to please Him in all things and in every way. Any “brokenness” that seems to exalt the sin that grace may be shown to abound is a phony lie. And it is a lie that is stinking up American Evangelicalism all over the place.

Please, dear reader, don’t buy that bill of goods. The blessedness of God comes most richly to those who seek after Him with their whole heart, who walk in His will and His ways, and who do no wrong.

To do wrong is to have a divided heart. To do wrong is be rebellious – no matter the cause. To do wrong is to break faith with our God, to be disloyal, to serve another master, whether that master be the world, the flesh, or the devil. Such  is not the way of blessedness.

One of the deepest and richest of passages in the New Covenant scriptures is the beginning of Ephesians. It hard to know of any other section of God’s holy word that more exalts the pure grace of God, and the blessedness of being found in this grace.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

Why were we chosen? It was that we might be holy and blameless before Him. As is very clear from the rest of the letter to the Ephesians this is not “positional” holiness or “positional” blamelessness” being referred to here, but real imparted holiness and blamelessness.

The word of God is consistent from beginning to end. The way of blessedness is Psalm 119 is the same as the way of blessedness in Ephesians.

The more we live and walk according to God’s word the richer will be our blessedness. Christians affirm that when we die, or when Jesus returns (whichever comes first), we will see Him as He is, and we will be like Him. And then one day, the day of resurrection, we will glorified, given new bodies and set in a New Heaven and New Earth where there is no sin, where there is only ever blessing. We will then walk freely and naturally in His ways, knowing the richest blessing of living in deep fellowship with Him.

In the mean time by the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit we must seek to follow him and walk after him with a whole heart, doing no wrong, blameless before Him. We will never attain this in totality but we taste of the blessedness that goes with the holy and submitted life and heart, and we will await the joy of the New World to come.

The rest of Psalm 119 will reveal the struggle. Our hearts are prone to wander. Our will is prone to weakness. We must seek God’s strength even that we may seek His strength. Alone and on our own we have no hope. By the grace of His empowering Spirit we can move more and more toward the blessed life of humble obedience.

Christian, there is only pain, sorrow, angst, and a heavy conscience when we stray from God’s paths and seek after which that which does not please Him.

We will fail every day. But we get up, we seek God’s forgiveness and we set out to walk obediently before Him. When we find that we are walking in His ways we give him the glory and praise, for without Him we would not and could not.

The Christian life is like a giant circular stairway that reaches up to heaven. We may feel -  inside of the day to day pattern of seeking to walk before Him, seeking his strength to be obedient, and seeking His forgiveness when we are not – we may feel like we are just going in circles, but in reality each circle takes us higher and higher, makes us wiser and wiser, and more and more like Him, more and more holy and blameless before Him. The higher we climb the more blessing we know, always pulled along by the hope of our eventual glorification, and pushed along by the prompting and empowering of God’s Spirit.

Psalm 119 is of value to us if only we really do believe the promise and truth of these general beatitudes. If we do the rest of the Psalm is a treasure house. If we do not the rest of the Psalm is pointless.

I hope that you believe.

Joel

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11
  • Ryouichi
    12:46 am on December 27th, 2014 1

    Angie,I am praying for you. Thank you for your shnirag your heart’s struggle. You will be studying Psalm 27 for two weeks. Next week you will read what you can do to not allow fear to overwhelm your broken heart b speaking statements of trust like these:Jesus I need to trust you more than ever to believe that You, God, are working all things out for my good. (Romans 8:28)Jesus, I need to trust you more than ever to fight this battle I am facing. (Exodus 14:14)There are more of these statments coming to you in week 8.I am available to talk if you would like. You can contact me privately by looking at the links at the top of the website home page. There is one title Contact Me. If you send me an email via this link, you can speak to me privately. Know that I am praying for you.Much love and grace to you!Kathy

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  • Jonas
    8:15 am on April 1st, 2015 6

    Angie,I am praying fo you as you keep dggniig into the Word of God and praying. You may feel broken right now, however, as you continue to bring your situation before God and focus on your relationship with Him, your emotions will be covered in His presence and here is where you will find peace. I am so glad there are 2 weeks of lessons on this beautiful chapter of trust. I pray that these lessons will continue to minister to you. Thank you for sharing your heart. Know that you are cared for deeply! Please know that you may contact me personally on my website (under link contact me ) if you would like to talk over the phone and pray together. I would be delighted to listen and point you Godward.

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