Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thoughts on Psalm 119:8

8 I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!

Free will. The power to choose. What a glorious thought: that God created man and gave him the ability to choose. That is a gift that each and every person alive has - the freedom to make a decision.

There is a great deal of dependency required in keeping God’s word. Every command is impossible. Some years ago, I had 1 Corinthians 13 (the great Love chapter) posted on my wall. Someone read it and said, “that’s impossible. No one can do that.” And he was absolutely right. No one can - apart from the supernatural empowerment of God! (see  Ps 119:4)

It is error to think we must keep God’s word in our own strength. But it is equally in error to think that God just magically takes control of us and forces us to do His will. He never overrides our free will. He desires for us to submit that free will to His will, to His word. To align ourselves by our own volition.

God made me do it.    The devil made me do it.    He/She made me do it.

Each of those statements is a lie. God made us free will creatures, and nothing can change that. No one can make us do anything. We can be presented with situations and emotions that would urge us one way or another, but the decision rests with each of us in the area of our will.

This is evidenced from the beginning. When Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God’s word, the devil didn’t make them do it. He didn’t and doesn’t have that power. He could not override their free will. Nor can he override yours. All he can do is try and get you to believe a lie. Eve said, “the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen 3:13

Jesus says, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.John 8:32

The psalmist says, “I will keep Your word.” He made the choice to align himself with God’s commandment. In total dependence on God to empower him to do so, he took hold of God’s word and said, “yes, I will.” Everyone has the freedom to say “no.”

This one simple verse has such a beautiful balance of that personal commitment and a wholehearted reliance. “I choose to do it, but I absolutely need Your help.”

God has already answered the second half of that verse to everyone who is willing: For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb 13:5.

The question is, then:  will you choose to keep His word?


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.