Monday, January 25, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:20

20 My soul breaks with longing
For Your judgments at all times.

“My soul breaks with longing… at all times” How might we translate that in modern vernacular?

One translation puts it this way: “I am always overwhelmed with a desire for…” (NLT)

There is a word that comes to mind when I read that description. And in today’s world it is always, always used in a negative sense. I have never heard it seriously used in a positive sense. When people hear it, they cringe. Images of brokenness and damaged lives fill our minds.

This word is inseparably linked to the devil and his schemes. In the minds of millions, he is undoubtedly the father of this gruesome word: Addicted.

Before I met the Lord in 2005, I was hopelessly entrapped in addiction. Guilt, Shame, and Fear were my constant companions as I was “always overwhelmed with a desire for” sin. I knew it was wrong. I hated what I was doing. I would stop for a few days or weeks. But I was utterly devoted to it. Truly I was a slave to sin.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Rom 6:16

I met a young man in college who invited me to his Bible study. I wasn’t interested, but Something was drawing me - so I went. I found myself going back week after week.

Almost imperceptibly, that addiction became broken off of my life. I can’t point to a single moment in time. It was like I had been in a dark room all of my life, and someone finally came and started turning the dimmer switch, gradually increasing the light over those weeks in October 2005.

As the light entered the room, the darkness just naturally left. That is, as the light of the Word of God began to illuminate my heart and mind, the power of sin lost its grip on me. And two astonishing changes took place in my heart: I didn’t want to do that any more, and furthermore, I couldn’t do it any more.

I had moments of severe temptation - when my body literally surged with desire. But I discovered that I had this new empowerment to simply say “No.” It was like that moment at the end of The Matrix when the agents shot at Neo. He turns and just quietly says, “no” and the bullets stopped in mid air.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one Eph 6:16

Because of the Cross of Christ sin has lost its power over us.

For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him Rom 6:7-8

And when we step out of death and into life, we get new “addictions” - powerful desires and longings - which actually satisfy and fulfill us, rather than leaving us empty and frustrated.

My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times.

I am always overwhelmed by a desire for Your Word.

I am addicted to Your Word.


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