Thursday, July 20 | The Way of Faithfulness
Read Psalm 119:25–32
I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
One can almost imagine the psalmist with his palms open to the sky as he recites the words in this part of Psalm 119. He is saying both “I have chosen the way of faithfulness,” and “Lord, help me to be faithful!” The way of faithfulness appears not to be perfect obedience (though that might be the goal), but rather, a combination of a decision to be faithful and a surrender to God’s help in keeping His decrees and commands. In other words, perhaps the first step on the way of faithfulness is an acknowledgement that we cannot actually be faithful without God’s help. It is not entirely up to us—we can’t just grit our teeth, clench our fists, and be faithful. Rather—and seemingly paradoxically—we must admit to our inability to be faithful on our own and only then begin to walk in faithfulness.
- Jesus said that all the law and the teachings of the prophets are summed up in two commands: (1) love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; and (2) love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37–40). As you reflect on just the last couple of days, how have you needed God’s help to be faithful to these commands? Take a moment or two and acknowledge—remembering God’s immense and unbending love for you—your need for God’s help in whatever areas you identified.
- In what area of your life do you need to make the choice of faithfulness? Who could you invite into that choice so that you can stay on course and continuously surrender to God’s help?
God, here I am. As best as I know how, I open myself to You now and ask You to lead me in the way of faithfulness. I acknowledge that I cannot be faithful to You or Your commands by my own power or strength. I need Yours. Grant me Your grace to be faithful and grant me Your mercy when I fail. May my heart be set on love for You and for my neighbor. Amen.
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