Why the Word – Psalm 119 Part 2

If you’ve not read Why the Word – Psalm 119 Part 1, you may want to start there and then come back here when you finish. In that post, I cover what Psalm 119 has to say about the many benefits of having the Word of God (the Bible) be a large part of your life. In Part 2, we’ll look at all the things the psalmist did that caused him to reap those rewards.

Right, the benefits don’t just appear out of the blue. As is true with all of God’s promises, we do our part and God responds. First things first: It becomes quickly apparent, when reading Psalm 119, that condition of the psalmist’s heart had everything to do with His relationship with God and His Word (AKA “the teachings,” “the precepts,” etc.). That’s where we need to start as well.

In other words, why are you getting into the Bible? Is it because you think it’s a requirement for Christians? Would you feel guilty if you didn’t? Or are you digging in because you’re hungry, because you want more of God and understand that getting close to God requires getting close to His Word? Think about your motivation, because motivation matters.

Having covered that, there is a lot to Psalm 119. It was a challenge, deciding how to handle the massive amount of information it contains. I’ve opted to follow the same course here as I did with Part 1, sticking primarily to bullets supplemented with verse references and a few, select quotes. The verses quoted are in the New Living Translation.

So what did the psalmist DO?

  • Ask God’s Help – He asked God to teach him, to open his eyes, to help his understanding, to make him eager and hungry, to teach him good judgement and give him knowledge, to give him discernment and the ability to follow… and more. (Verses: 12, 18, 26, 27, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 64, 66, 68, 73, 108, 125, 144, 169, 173)
  • Be Anchored in the Word – Verse 61: “Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.”
  • Be Faithful to the Word – Verse 30: “I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.”
  • Believe the Word – Verse 66: “I believe in your commands…”
  • Delight in the Word – (Verses: 16, 70, 77, 111, 174)
  • Desire the Word – Verse 20: “I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations.” Verse 131: “I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.”
  • Do What’s Right – Verse 121: “Don’t leave me to the mercy of my enemies, for I have done what is just and right.”
  • Don’t Fellowship with Evil-minded people – (Verse 115)
  • Don’t Reject the Word – (Verses: 53, 102, 110)
  • Don’t Wander Away from the Word – (Verses: 21, 51)
  • Follow the Word – Verse 1: “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD.” (Also verse 173)
  • Hope in the Word – Verse 147: “I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” (Also verses: 43, 74, 81)
  • Keep the Word – (Verses 4, 31, 33, 87, 100)
  • Know the Word is Eternal – Verse 152: “I have known from my earliest days that your laws will last forever.”
  • Learn the Word – Verse 7: “As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!”
  • Let the Word Guide You – Verse 105: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
  • Let the Word Help You – (Verse: 175)
  • Live by the Word – (Verses 30, 34, 98, 112, 157)
  • Love the Word – (Verses 97, 113, 140, 159, 163, 165, 167)
  • Meditate on the Word – (Verses 15, 23, 27, 52, 55, 78, 95, 97, 99, 117, 148)
  • Obey the Word – Verse 94: “…I have worked hard at obeying your commandments.” (Also, verses 2, 9, 22, 34, 40, 44, 55, 56, 57, 60, 67, 69, 83, 88, 101, 106, 109, 115, 119, 129, 134, 145, 146, 166, 167, 168)
  • Praise Him for the Word – (Verses 164, 171)
  • Read the Word with Expectancy – Verse 131: “I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.”
  • Rejoice in the Word – (Verses 14, 143)
  • Remember the Word – (Verses 11, 16, 93, 141, 153, 176)
  • Revere the Word – (Verses 120, 161)
  • Search for Him Wholeheartedly – Verse 2: “Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”
  • Seek Unity – (Verses 63, 79)
  • Self-assess – Verse 59: “I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.”
  • Sing the Word- (Verses 54, 172)
  • Speak the Word – (Verse 13)
  • Strive for the Word – (Verses 10, 32, 45)
  • Study the Word – Verse 15: “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.”
  • Talk About the Word – (Verse 46)
  • Thank Him for the Word – Verse 62: “I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations.”
  • Treasure the Word – Verse 162: “I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.” (Also verses 72, 111, 127)
  • Trust the Word – Verse 42: “Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.”

Near the top of the list is “Know the Word is Eternal.” It was this very revelation that woke me up to the necessity of getting into the Bible. We will literally live by the Word of God for eternity, and I want to enter into eternity prepared for that life! With this understanding, I dove into the Word of God and have never looked back. Nothing compares to reading God’s Word with an open heart and having Him speak truths to your spirit.

“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”

This is John 1:1, and if you continue reading you learn that The Word is Jesus. Do you really want to know Jesus? Get to know the Word!

If you want some help getting started, or just want to experience how I dig into the Bible, check out my book, Experiencing the Bible, on Amazon. It’s currently available in paperback and ebook, and an audiobook is in the works.

If you’ve never truly experienced the Word, you have no idea what you’re missing!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Rest on Us

Every time we sing “Rest on Us” in church, one line gives me chills.

As the Spirit was moving over the waters
Spirit, come move over us

Why the chills?

Expectancy!

The Bible begins with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Every time I start another readthrough of the Bible those words excite me. I know, in reading them, that great things are about to happen! And then…

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Genesis 1:2

I’ve wondered, many times, what God was thinking as He hovered, or moved, over those waters. Was He simply delighting in all that was brand new, in the very beginning of Creation? Was He enjoying the moment? Was He planning out in minute detail everything that would transpire over the next few days?

Whatever He was thinking, He was moving with intent, with purpose, with a plan. And oh, what a plan! As He moved over those waters, miracles started to happen!

And that’s why I get chills every time we sing that song. We’re not singing simple lyrics! We’re asking God, “Please, move over us with the same intent and purpose you did on day one of Creation! Create in us what You want to see! Draw from us what You want to produce! Make us fruitful! Move on us so that, when You are done, you can lean back and say, “It is very good.”

We don’t want to be formless, empty, and dark. We want to be filled with the light, basking in His glory as early Creation did. We want to walk beside Him as Adam did. Yes Lord, Move over us! Come rest on us!

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can check out this recording featuring Brandon Lake & Eniola Abioye by Maverick City Music and UPPERROOM.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Meditations: Romans 8:5

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Romans 8:5
AMP

For those who are according to the flesh and controlled by its unholy desires, set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh. But those who are according to the Spirit and [controlled by the desires] of the Spirit, set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the (Holy) Spirit.

 

I see several things in this verse. First, I see that we all fall in one of the two camps – either we set our minds on and seek those things of the flesh or we set our minds on and seek those things of the Spirit. Most of us would likely leap to say we seek the things of the Spirit, but when faced with the Holy Spirit’s unyielding truth I’m not so sure. I know that, as much as I hate to admit it, I find it far too easy to waffle back towards things of the flesh. Spirit may win more often than flesh, but flesh is still in the game (or war, actually).

Too…

set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the Holy Spirit.

Set their minds…

This phrasing is very firm, very active. You set a nail in wood – it requires a hammer. You set a table – it requires deliberation. You allow concrete to set – it requires a commitment of time. Whenever the verb “set” is used, there is a commitment of certain resources. Whenever the verb “set” is used, there is the expenditure of effort and the result of that effort is that something remains as it has been set. If I truly set my mind on those things that gratify the Holy Spirit, I am making a conscious effort that does not allow my mind to wander, does not permit foreign thoughts and questions to enter.

 

Seek those things…

I am also to seek those things which gratify the Holy Spirit. Here, too, effort is required! To seek anything requires action, an active outpouring of energies. Because He commands me to do it, I do know that what I’m seeking can be found, praise God! Hm… It also requires a set mind to actively seek something; seeking requires concentration. It requires truly thinking about a thing and where it might be found, and seeking in that location. You don’t seek for a dog in a mouse hole because the dog obviously wouldn’t fit in such a place. Likewise, you don’t seek that which would gratify the Holy Spirit in places that only the flesh would find fitting.

 

Gratify the Holy Spirit…

Looking at the word gratify in the dictionary is truly eye-opening. “Gratify – v. to afford pleasure to; indulge; humor” I love this! So if I live in accordance with the Spirit… Oh! “in accordance with” means “in agreement with” – so if I live in agreement with the Spirit, then what gratifies the Spirit will gratify me as well!

Okay, so if I live in accordance (in agreement) with the Holy Spirit, then I will set my mind on and seek out those things that will gratify the Holy Spirit, and in gratifying the Holy Spirit I will bring pleasure to, indulge and humor Him. So I am not just seeking out that which the Holy Spirit requires, or even that which the Holy Spirit desires, but I am actively looking for ways in which I can please, indulge, and humor the Holy Spirit.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Meditations: Acts 2:17

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Acts 2:17
NKJV

“And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”

 

“And it shall come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…”

 

I do know there is more to this verse. I do know, too, that in this case the proper translation is “mankind” or “people group,” rather than the “flesh” I think about when I consider my daily walk with the Lord, but…

I think perhaps it is not such an “off” thing that the word flesh is used here…for most of us ARE too fleshy to be of continual, supernatural use to God. Flesh cannot survive where the Spirit of God is, so what happens when He pours out His Spirit on me…on my flesh? My flesh dies! It is mercy that He did not pour out His Spirit on me, the baby Christian, because I was almost all flesh then. Had flesh died in that day, there would have been only a spark left alive – that spark that came with the God so newly arrived in my heart.

Today, though, I am somewhat more mature. I have not arrived, yet there is more of Him and less of me than ever before. As He pours out His Spirit on my flesh, I feel the pain of its death, yet I also rejoice in the fact that its death leaves that much more room for the One who lives within me.

So I wonder…

Is this part of the purpose of the last days’ outpouring? The Bible speaks of a dividing line – that there will become an obvious difference between the just and the unjust, and that many who have been comfortable in the church will fall away. Is it, perhaps, that He has allowed His children plenty of time to grow and pours out His Spirit to free us for that final growth spurt?

Should God, today, pour out His Spirit upon an entire congregation – every member – those who have come to worship in spirit and truth will rejoice, enduring the pain in the knowledge that more room is being made for Christ to live big inside of them. On the other hand, those who have been playing games with God – those who wish to be counted as one of His without making Him Lord – will run screaming in pain, “cleansing” their flesh of His Spirit as one would wash acid from burning skin, pampering that flesh so it can grow again.

Or so I surmise.

Assuming my conclusions are correct, what would happen next?

 

“…Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”

 

What a rich result of the outpouring He speaks of in the first part of this verse! Can there be a greater promise for one who is enduring such a purging as happens when He pours His Spirit out on their flesh? In the natural, when one goes through removal of flesh – say cancerous flesh – it is in hopes of at last being normal again. But this promise takes us beyond normal into… Oh…or does it?

What is “normal,” or what ought it be? What is the true standard where LIFE (God-life) is concerned? It is – would have to be according to the theologian’s Law of Beginnings – the life Adam lived before The Fall. So in pouring out His Spirit upon my flesh so that the flesh dies and His Spirit lives in me God is merely returning me to normal according to His standards!

He says He is returning for a glorious church. We know it is far from glorious now, and He needs to do a quick work if He is to bring us up to that level any time soon. But through pouring out His spirit on my flesh He can and will! He pours His Spirit out on us and a natural result of that outpouring is a greater sensitivity to Him that results in prophesies, visions and dreams, all of which are evidence that we are coming closer to that glorious state.

_________________________

       I wrote the first section of this meditation years ago, and still consider it valid, but going back to “all flesh” meaning “all mankind” now brings a different thought.

One day, when Saul was hot after David’s life, God poured His Spirit out on Saul and, though he had murder in his heart, Saul began to prophesy. So it occurred to me some months back… Is the same thing happening today? How many times have we heard, in recent years, of people coming to know Jesus not as a result of a missionary’s work, but rather because Jesus visited with them in a dream or vision?

Imagine a gathering of Christian haters in which God pours His Spirit on the leader, who then begins to prophesy the Good News of Jesus Christ. How would that impact the two kingdoms-God’s and the devil’s? Is it happening today?

Could be.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C