Psalm 119:161-164 ESV
Princes persecute me without cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous rules.
Lies Are Never Kind
I hate lies. Satan is the author of lies. That is how he gets people trapped in sin, for he lies to them, and he tells them they deserve to do what their flesh desires. He whispers in their ears sweet nothings which convince them that sin is their friend, and that it is what they need. He also persuades professing Christians that they can sin as much as they want and still claim heaven as their home.
The problem is when people believe Satan’s lies and they tell themselves the same lies, and then they believe them, and then they tell them to others. And, one of Satan’s big lies is to convince people, as well, that lying is perfectly acceptable. Or, he gets them convinced that telling lies is actually kind, and it is “nice,” but there is nothing kind or nice about lying to people.
And, lying to people is also a form of persecution, for to willfully lie to anyone can cause undue suffering to come upon them. Either they will believe the lies, and will act on the lies, which can cause them harm, or else they will know they are being lied to, which is a form of betrayal, and they will know they are being betrayed, and that will injure them emotionally.
So, if we are being lied to, and if we are being betrayed, and we know it, we need to take that to the Lord in prayer, and we need to place our burdens at his feet and rest in him. We need to forgive our persecutors, and continue to love our enemies, even if they despitefully use us for their own evil purposes. And, we need to stand on the truth of God’s Word and always make that our delight.
Psalm 119:165-168 ESV
Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for your salvation, O Lord,
and I do your commandments.
My soul keeps your testimonies;
I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and testimonies,
for all my ways are before you.
Love for God’s Word
Not everyone loves the law of God – His Word – His instructions to us, his people – his church. Those who have bought into Satan’s lies do not love the law of God. In fact, many who call themselves Christians do not love God’s Word for they do not believe they have to obey God’s Word. They think being saved from their sins means they are forgiven of their sins and now they get to go to heaven when they die, but that they don’t have to obey God.
They have no spiritual fervor for the Lord, because they have believed the lie which says that faith in Jesus Christ is a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus is and what he did for us, and it is accepting his payment for our sin so that we are forgiven, but it stops short there. They believe the lie and thus they are not committed to the cross of Christ, the Word of God, or to submission to Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. Thus, they do not believe they must turn from their lives of sin to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to His Word.
Thus, they have no true peace, for they have not the dedication to live lives of purity, either. Thus, they continue to stumble, because they are not committed to obedience, purity, righteousness and holiness. They want the easy way out, instead. They want their resurrection without the cross, in other words, but it doesn’t work that way. We must die first with Christ in order to live with him. True life comes from first dying to the old life.
But, great peace have those who love the Word of God, and who honor it, and who honor, respect and obey their Lord. For to love God is to obey him, and to love his word is to obey it, too. If we refuse to obey, then we don’t truly love God or his Word. So, if we want peace, and we want victory over sin, then we have to love God and His Word, and we have to walk in obedience to our Lord and do what He says, and not hold anything back.
Psalm 119:169-172 ESV
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
The Way to Deliverance
Many people call out to God when they feel trapped, or when they want help with something, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to be free and to truly be helped. They say they want help, but they are just playing games. They say they want God to hear their prayers, and that they want his guidance and direction, but then they refuse to do what He says.
I have known many people in my life who claim to be Christians but who feel trapped in sin, and who say they want to walk in freedom and in victory over sin, but when “the rubber meets the road” the truth of the matter really comes out. In theory they want to walk in victory, but not in reality. For, they are not willing to cut out of their lives what leads them into sin. They are not willing to proactively do what is necessary to guard their hearts against the temptation to sin, either.
Instead, they play with fire, and then they act surprised when they get burned. They may claim that Satan got to them through a side or a back door, but it is the same door every time. They just never shut the door and put a lock on it, and so the door is still accessible. And, the devil is not stupid. He knows this. Thus, they keep falling into the same sinful traps because they are not willing to take the way out God provided for them.
So, if we want understanding from God’s Word, then we need to listen intently to what His Word says, and then, by God’s grace, we need to do what it says. We need to walk in truth and no longer give way to lies. We need to walk in purity, and no longer leave any opportunity for the flesh. And, then we will have understanding. And then we will have deliverance.
Psalm 119:173-176 ESV
Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
Long for His Salvation
If we want help from the Lord, we must choose to love His Word and to do what it says. And, we must long for Him and for his salvation.
And know this, that our salvation is not just forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. That, my friends, is the true picture of our salvation. We must leave our lives of sin behind us if we want to follow Jesus with our lives and have eternal life with God in heaven (Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
If we want God’s help, we must love his Word, and to love His Word is to obey it; to do what it says, i.e. to obey the Words spoken by our Lord Jesus and his New Testament apostles, in particular, as is applicable to our lives.
So, if you have gone astray, and right now his commands are not truly your delight, then I pray you will turn from your sins today, and that today you will choose to walk in the love of our Lord Jesus, and in his power and strength within you. By his grace, I pray that you will resist Satan, flee temptation, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. And, I pray that daily you will put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against you. For, Jesus died to set us free from sin.
Near the Cross
Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
*copyright status is public domain
Saturday, August 25, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, that in Your power and strength within those of us who are truly Yours by faith, we can walk in victory over sin and we can live and walk in Your holiness. Amen!