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.
Apostate faith is stealing true faith from people’s hearts and minds. For, it is a traitor to the true gospel of our salvation. It is a deserter of true faith. For, it refuses to continue to follow Jesus Christ and to obey his commandments. And, it is leading many astray.
It is lying to people, and it is telling them that God no longer demands that we follow his commandments. It is telling them that they can believe in Jesus, have heaven guaranteed them, but that their lifestyles don’t really have to change all that much, or that lifestyle change is optional.
So, they are persecutors of the true faith. They are rebels who want to go their own way, and to do what is pleasing to their flesh rather than to do what is pleasing to God. In fact, they are teaching people that they don’t have to do anything to please God, for he is already pleased with them, no matter what they do, or no matter how much they rebel against him.
But, we are to reject this apostate faith that so many are handing out to the people these days. And, we are to hold on to and to embrace the true gospel of our salvation. We are to study the Word of God so that we know what it teaches us so that we can do what it says. And, we are not to depend on other humans to tell us the truth, for many liars and deceivers abound these days who are leading many hearts astray from pure devotion to Jesus Christ.
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.
If we love Jesus Christ, we will love his Word, and we will do what it says. We will make keeping his commandments our practice, and his commandments are not burdensome. His yoke is easy and his burden is light, because he is the one who paid the price so we can go free. And, he is the one who empowers and who strengthens us to be able to obey him.
We don’t have to obey all those Old Covenant laws that the Jews had to obey, for Jesus set us free from that. But, we do have to walk in obedience to God’s moral laws which he summed up into two laws: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matt. 22:36-39 NIV)
But, this kind of love is not human love. It is not based on how we feel. We can love even when we don’t feel like it, for this kind of love has to do with preference, a choice of our wills to demonstrate love to others. And, it prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy and righteous, therefore it will do nothing to take advantage of others or to cause them harm.
And, when we are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commandments, in his power and strength, we do have great peace. And, we will be able to resist Satan, and to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith. For, when we follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands, we will not walk in the darkness, but we will have the light of life (Jn. 8:12).
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.
What is my cry? It is that so many people, in the name of Christianity, are being led astray from pure devotion to Jesus Christ, and they are continuing on in their sinful practices (lifestyles), for they have bought into a lie of Satan. And, that lie is telling them that God is not concerned about their sins any longer or that his grace covers them all so it doesn’t matter how much they sin against God. Thus, many are still wandering in their sins.
Many people are claiming faith in Jesus Christ while they make sin their practice (their lifestyle). Thus, we have many broken lives. Many people are still in bondage (prison) to their flesh, to do whatever it is that their flesh desires, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Therefore, the gatherings of the church are filled with people, including their leaders, who are still living to please the flesh.
Families are falling apart. Marriages are being wrecked by pornography, adulteries, unfaithfulness, and the like. Children are being taken advantage of and they are being abused. Lying to one another has become common practice. Stealing from one another is common place. Human lives are being destroyed because so many people are following after a lie rather than following after the truth.
So, we need to be calling on the Lord in truth. And, we need to be praying for the truth to come out. And, we need to be sharing the truth of the gospel with others so that their eyes can be opened, and so they will be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See Acts 26:16-18).
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.
If we do follow the Lord’s commandments, though, and if we do share the true gospel of our salvation with others so that they can be delivered out of their bondage to sin, we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake. We will come up against much opposition. And, we will have our voice squashed in an attempt to silence us and to keep us from speaking the truth.
So, we will need to call on the Lord for help, and for him to give us his counsel and wisdom in these matters. We will need his strength and courage to keep on in sharing the truth despite all opposing forces coming against us. And, we will need his help, too, so that we do not go astray out of fear of what others might do to us or say about us, or because we have caved to the pressure to accept apostate faith as true faith.
We need to keep on in loving God and in walking in obedience to his Word, despite what is going on all around us, and despite common trends to dilute the truth of God’s Word in order to appease human flesh. We need to stand strong in our faith despite all temptation to compromise with the world and with the devil. And, we need to long for God’s Word and to make it our delight rather than to shy away from it for our own comfort and enjoyment.
We need to not yield to the temptation to follow the crowd and to compromise with the world. But, we must remain steadfast in faith and in purpose and in our love for our Lord and for his Word. He alone should be who we serve with our lives. He should be the sole desire of our hearts, too, from which all else flows. And, we should long to be with him, to share in his Word, and to do what he says, because we love him, because he first loved us.
As the Deer / Martin J. Nystrom
Based off Psalm 42:1
As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after You
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship You
You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship You