“I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.” Psalm 119:32 KJV. As a younger man, the psalmist David knew what it was to be full of zeal for the Lord. He wrote earlier how he had “run through a troop and leaped over a wall”. But he also found out, when it came to running in the way of God’s commandments, it was something far beyond his human ability. He learned, as we all should, that our natural condition, or natural ‘heart’, was not enough to keep him faithful and obedient to God. How we should thank God, that we have the knowledge from God’s Word that we need a new spiritual heart. And, that through the miracle of salvation, we can have new heart! That old heart we had was narrow and constricted because of sin. It had become hardened and unable do what was needed. There were times we felt bad about sin and tried to do right, but the old heart always failed us. But thank God, when we humbled ourselves before God, He put within us a new heart! And now our heart is enlarged to be able to run in the way of God’s commandments and live a life that pleases Him. What a joy it is to receive a new spiritual heart from our Gracious Lord! May we allow Him to enlarge our heart more and more so that we can run in the way of His commandments.
“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2 KJV. The attitude Pharaoh showed, of rebellion against God, is the same anti-Christ attitude that prevails in our world today. And it is tragic, that this same devilish attitude has crept into much of the professing church. We are in a time when many in religion are rejecting the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Openly they tell people that “You can have Jesus as Saviour and yet not accept Him as Lord. You can claim what He has done, without being obedient to what He says”. But the reality is, as Pharaoh said long ago, this attitude exists because they do not know Christ in their own hearts. As long as self reigns in us we will reject His Lordship. But when we truly come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in personal relationship, we will gladly honor Him as our Lord and desire to obey Him in all things! Pharaoh soon found out that he was wrong. And so will every soul who does not honor Jesus Christ as Lord of all. Let us humble ourselves before Him and say of our lives, “Jesus be the Lord of all”.
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14 KJV. When Moses asked God about His Name, these are the words God spoke, “I AM”. The full meaning of these words in regards to God’s eternal, unceasing existence we will never fully comprehend in this life. But thank God, this glorious name of ‘I AM’ can still bring great blessing and encouragement to us even now. This is God saying to us, “I AM… all that you will ever need!” “I AM so much more and so much greater than you can ever imagine”. No matter what we are going through this wonderful name of God can bring help to us. When our hearts are heavy laden, He says, “I AM the Lifter of your head”. When we are weary, “I AM your strength “. When we don’t know what to do or where to go, “I AM your Counselor and Guide”. When we feel so unworthy and unfit, “I AM your Righteousness”. When our body and souls need healing, “I AM your Healer”. When our hearts are broken, “I AM your Comforter and Restorer”. And whatever it is that we need, our God is all that and more! Hallelujah! What a blessing it is to know our loving Heavenly Father is, ‘The Great I AM’.
“And He said, Certainly I will be with thee…” Exodus 3:12 KJV. After Moses humbled himself before God and asks “Who am I?”, God gives him the greatest reason of all to assure him in this great work to which he has been called. He tells him, “Certainly I will be with thee”. May we realize today, that the same God Who was with Moses and enabled him to do such amazing things, even to defeat the greatest human power on earth, is also with us! This is the greatest thing that is needed in everything we do, God’s presence with us. This is what takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. ‘God with us’ takes the natural and makes it supernatural. While it’s true we can do nothing without Him, what a joy it is to know, ‘All things become possible when He is with us’! And notice that God adds the word ‘Certainly’! That means we never need to doubt that He will be with us. It means He is with us when we feel good and when we feel nothing. Thank God, His presence is with us whether we are on the mountaintop or in the lowest valley. And this promise is not only to spiritual leaders, but to every child of God, because every Christian is called to do what is impossible on a human level. Many years ago, the great preacher John Wesley, lying on his deathbed, sat up and proclaimed, “Best of all, God is with us!”
“And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 KJV. When God told Moses that he was to go and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was overwhelmed. 40 years earlier, he had been the proud young man, eager to to the job. Then, he had felt himself prepared and very capable, strong enough for the task. But God knew, with that attitude of pride and self-sufficiency he was not ready at all. But now, after 40 humbling years in the wilderness, shepherding sheep, he was finally the meek and humble man God could use. Now, he realizes he can do nothing on his own. Now he wonders why God would even look to one so unworthy as he is. This reminds us how very different things are in spiritual work. On a human level, we are taught to be self-sufficient, strong and independent. But when it comes to true spiritual work, the very opposite is what qualifies us for the work of God’s kingdom. We must realize that we are nothing and can do nothing in ourselves. We must consider ourselves unworthy of such a high calling as God places upon us. In reality, we must have the meek and lowly spirit of our Lord and Saviour, Who depended upon the Father in all things. Let us humbly confess the truth, “Without Him, we can do nothing”. And then, let us be thankful, that “With Christ, all things are possible!”
“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” Acts 27:31 KJV. As Paul and the men on the ship faced this great storm, there were some who wanted to abandon ship. But Paul warns them that God has promised safety to all those on the ship. So it was necessary to abide in the ship. These words have great spiritual significance when we remember Jesus’ words in John 15 about our necessity of abiding in Him. He said in verse 15, “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and cast into the fire…” This should remind us all that true salvation is not simply about believing a few things. Rather, it is about a daily relationship where we abide in Christ at all times. It is about drawing our very life from Him even as a branch draws life from the vine. So we must guard against our human tendency to stray from this abiding relationship. We must realize that apart from Christ we have no spiritual life and can do nothing. By God’s grace we must endeavor to keep ourselves in that place where we are always safely abiding in our Blessed Lord. As the old song says, “Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine…”
“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day…” Acts 26:22 KJV. This was part of Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa. He witnesses to this truth that all of us should recognize and be thankful for. The fact that we have been able to continue unto this day in our spiritual walk is all because of the supernatural help that we receive from God. Paul did not fool himself as many people do, thinking that by his own strength or goodness, or determination he has gotten this far. He knew that every step of the way he had to depend upon God’s help. We are living in a time when most people like to imagine that they can be independent and make it through life in their own. Sadly, this attitude often carries over into spiritual life as well. Day after day they make choices that reflect their failure to depend on God’s help. But the good news is, God is willing to help us when we humble our hearts and seek Him. He desires to help us more that we want His help. Too often we can be like stubborn children, who insist on doing things on their own with no help. But let us be thankful that “God is our very present help in time of need”.
“And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended It not.” John 1:5 KJV. This verse speaks of the Light of Christ shining into a sin darkened world. In this world the powers of evil and darkness rule in most lives. The word translated ‘comprehend’ does not mean mere intellectual understanding. It means that the darkness cannot get around it to control or quench the Light. It means this Light of Christ cannot and will not ever be overcome by the powers of spiritual darkness. From a human perspective, it would seem that one source of light could never be enough to prevail over so much the darkness. But thank God, this is not talking about natural things. This is the Light of Christ, Who is the Light of the world. This is the Light of the crucified and risen Saviour. This Light that started out as dwelling only in one Man, now dwells in millions of hearts and lives all around the world. All of the efforts of hell to quench this Light have failed and they will always fail! And that is because Jesus Christ cannot fail. His blessed Light cannot ever be extinguished. By God’s grace. let us open our hearts to the True Light.
“Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: Thy judgments have I laid before me.” Psalm 119:29-30 KJV. In this section of the psalm the writer is confessing the deceitful tendencies of his human nature. Naturally, his tendency is to lie and bend the truth to suit him. Without God in his life, he would deceive others to make them think better of him than he actually was. This tendency is common to all those without Christ. But thank God, when we open our hearts to Him, He creates in us a desire for truthfulness! We no longer want to deceive or live a lie. And yet, it is clear in these words, that we must deliberately choose truth. Th enemy will always present the option to go the way of lying. And the only way that we can choose truth is when we know it. So we must keep God’s Holy Word before our eyes! We must spend time in it and learn God’s way, which is always the way of truth. And above all, we must honor Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life! We can be sure, the way of truth is not the way of modern religion that presents a compromised Gospel. We must choose the truth of God’s Word as it is. Only the truth can set us free.
“I will delight myself in Thy statutes… Thy testimonies also are My delight and my counsellors.” Psalm 119:16 & 19 KJV. In this great Psalm about God’s Word, we see very clearly the great love the writer has for the written Word. The delight of his soul is in being able to read the precious Word that comes from God. He speaks of some of the struggles within him and the enemies that come against him. But through it all, his soul is rejoicing in the Word of God. This should cause each of us to ask ourselves, “What is it that I delight in?” And what might our lives be if we truly found our delight in His Word? God help us to realize when we read the Bible, that this is a love letter from my Heavenly Father! This precious Book is the truth about God and how we can be in right relationship with Him. In the pages of God’s Word is all we need to know about how God calls us to live and what He has so abundantly provided. May we never take the Bible for granted. Instead, let us love it and delight ourselves in it.