Psalms 119:25-32 ESV
“My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!”
To me, this sounds like a prayer of confession and of repentance, but not the prayer of one who had no faith in Jesus Christ previously, but of one who is a follower of Jesus Christ but who perhaps strayed from the Lord in some areas of his life momentarily and so he needed to be brought back to a close walk with the Lord in true humility, in true repentance, and in a walk of holiness and righteousness, no longer straying from the Lord in thought and/or in deed. So he wants now to be walking according to the Spirit.
Now he wants the Lord to teach him His ways once again, and to renew his heart and mind to be more like Jesus. For he is truly repentant. He is not faking it nor is he doing it superficially nor halfheartedly. This is the “real deal.” He had failed, and he had fallen to some extent, but now he wanted to come back to following the Lord wholeheartedly, and in truth, and in righteousness. And this would be permanent, not one of those quickies, in and out. Now he would follow the Lord sincerely and never look back.
That doesn’t mean he will be perfect from now on, though, but lack of perfection should never be used as an excuse for continued, deliberate, habitual and/or premeditated sin against God. Lack of perfection just means we are still living in these flesh bodies, and so we are mere clay in the hands of the Potter, and he is still molding us and making us into his likeness and into who he wants us to be. And he is not finished with us yet, for we will not be fully perfect until we are with Jesus for eternity.
This is a person who is truly sorrowful with a sorrow that leads to genuine repentance, and whose sorrow is not a worldly sorrow which never leads to genuine repentance. For you can feel sorrow over your sin, though many do not, and still continue in sin. For your sorrow is just feeling bad that you sinned, but not bad enough to change; not bad enough to leave your life of sin behind you to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. For your sorrow can still be selfish in nature for your pride has been injured.
But again, godly sorrow leads to true repentance and to a changed life that remains steadfast in faith and that does not go back and forth like on a teeter-totter. For real permanent change is possible for the truly repentant. Again, this doesn’t mean absolute perfection, but it should mean no longer walking in sin, and no longer wandering from the Lord in any deliberate sin. And it should mean walks of obedience to the Lord and serving the Lord with our lives and sharing his gospel and loving others with the love of Christ.
Now, when this says, “put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law,” it doesn’t necessarily have to indicate that this is a person who was telling lies habitually. It could mean he was believing lies, like the diluted and altered gospel which is permeating today’s market-driven “churches” (businesses). And because he was believing lies, that is why he ended up wandering from his pure devotion to the Lord, and why he ended up following after the flesh again, and not after the Spirit.
And some people think that now that we are under the New Covenant that we no longer have to obey God. Not true! For they think that they can now become “lawless” since they believe that they have believed in Jesus and that all their sins are forgiven and that heaven is guaranteed them. But that is a lie from hell! The Scriptures are very clear that genuine faith in Christ means we die daily to sin, we deny self, and we follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands under the New Covenant.
Thus, if we, like this psalmist, have genuinely chosen the way of faithfulness, then this can’t be a back and forth. Yes, we are not perfect people, but we can no longer live in habitual and deliberate sin and yet claim Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and heaven as our eternal destiny. We have to be committed to the Lord and to walking in his ways, and we have to stay the course and not keep turning back to our old ways. Obedience must be our choice and we must now cling to the truth of the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught, in their fulness.
And Jesus said that if we want to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die to our old lives of living in sin and for self and we now walk in his holiness and righteousness, then we have eternal life. For he also said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (see Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
For Those Tears I Died
Words and Music by Marsha J. and Russ Stevens
You said You’d come and share all my sorrows
You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows
I came so close to sending You away
But just like You promised, You came here to stay
I just had to pray
Jesus I give You my heart and my soul
I know that without God I’d never be whole
Savior, You opened all the right doors
And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores
Take me I’m Yours
And Jesus said,
“Come to the water, stand by my side
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied
I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”
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