I want to invite you on a journey.
I’m taking a trip through the mammoth chapter of Psalm 119 and I would love to take you with me.
Why am I taking this trip?
Because I’m challenged by David’s genuine love for the Word of God. I feel (and have felt for a while now) that I’ve tasted just enough to know that I’m missing out. There is something more to be had in the Word of God. Some deeper delight to be enjoyed.
I’m challenged because David was an artist and a worship leader — and Psalm 119 , his biggest piece of work, is devoted to his love for the Word of God. This was a lifelong effort — not some momentarily thoughts put to paper. Why would David devote his entire life to completing this work of art?
I would love to find out — and I would like to find out with you. I’m not sure how long this will take, but I figure — what better way to use “the Word in Worship” blog that to discover a worship-leader’s love for the Word?
So let’s dive in from the top:
How happy are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk according to the Lord’s instruction!
Happy are those who keep his decrees
And seek Him with all their heart.
Holiness is a rusted word. It often looks ugly and unpleasant to those who give it a casual glance — but those who take the time to dust off their preconceived ideas of holiness will find the treasure underneath the rust.
The person who does no wrong is happy. And just so we’re clear — we aren’t talking about aloof righteousness. We’re talking about those who take action to move towards holiness. Those who make an effort to walk in the ways that God has laid out. Those people are happy. Or at least, that’s what it says. The question is — do we believe it?
Do we believe it enough to take action in our own lives? Enough to move towards the ways of God with intent? Like a runner running towards the goal in order to obtain the prize?
Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receive the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:25
Here’s a truth about you and I — we aren’t going to keep anything until it’s rooted in our affections. I can casually want to run a 5K someday — but something has to click in me in order for me to really decide to move towards that goal. Until I really want it — I’ll never truly move towards it.
The happy person above isn’t happy just because they are keeping God’s rules. They’re happy because they are seeking Him with their whole heart. Everything about them wants to keep God’s rules. They want it badly. They don’t keep the decrees and the instruction simply because it’s the right thing to do — this person desperately wants to seek after God — and a big part of seeking after God is listening to and obeying what He has to say.
God is not truly sought by the cold researches of the brain: we must seek him with the heart.
We cannot keep in the heart that which we have not heartily embraced by the affections.
I’m challenged! Are you?
Like I said, I often feel like I’m missing out. I don’t crave after holiness and righteousness like this. I don’t seek God with my whole heart. Often times, my heart is divided. A part of my heart wants the ways of God — another part wants….other things.
I want a unified heart — a whole heart dedicated to seeking after the Lord. I want a pure heart because, like David, Jesus says that a pure heart, a whole heart, is attached to a happy person.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they will see God.
The pure in heart will SEE God! That’s the promise.
If those who seek the Lord are blessed, what shall be said of those who actually dwell with Him and know that He is theirs?
Those with a whole-hearted, pure pursuit of Him will see Him. And to echo Spurgeon, if seeking God already makes a person happy — it makes me wonder at the level of happiness of those who will actually be able to see Him someday and dwell in relationship with Him forever.
But again, my heart tends to be so divided. Even my “want to” needs help. I believe that God will help us. And so as I journey through Psalm 119, I’m going to be echoing the prayer of David below for both of us:
Teach me your way, Lord
And I will live by your truth.
Give me an undivided heart to fear your name.
How does the word “holiness” strike you at first glance? Do you believe that pursuing holiness will lead to happiness?