Committed To God's Word

June 5, 2011 Series: Psalm 119 Scripture: Psalm 119:105-112 by Chris Strevel

105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.
109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

As My Only Light (v. 105)
We cannot feel our need of God’s word deeply enough. This is the reason the Holy Spirit continues to call us to give ourselves to God’s word. Will we recognize how easily we are distracted and how little “godliness with contentment” attracts us to simple lives of quiet obedience to God and joyful service? A thousand things unite to cast obstacles in our path so that we do not meditate upon God’s word as we should. We may overcome these only by, as we see David doing here, confessing and maintaining commitment to God’s word. This famous line reminds us that without God’s word, all is darkness. Without God’s word, our soul is dark, troubled with guilt, anxiety, and uncertainty, knowing neither the way we should go nor why our lives are marked by such trouble. “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:19). There is also the darkness that we must combat: the many temptations that besiege us, the schemes the wicked plot against us, and the prevailing unbelief that vexes our soul. We are fools and mere children if we do not recognize “how great is that darkness” where God’s word does not prevail in us, where we are not walking with God in singleness of vision (Matt. 6:23). Our merciful Father has placed the remedy for our darkness right before us. It is his word. It is our only lamp and lantern, our only guide, our infallible guide. It dispels the darkness of our soul with God’s promises. It dispels the darkness of the world so that we can distinguish the true from the false, the wise from the foolish, the good and noble from the evil and base. To it, as Peter wrote, we must give constant heed “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (2 Pet. 1:19). Walking in this light, the “path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more until the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).

Yet, we will know little of this blessed light if we think a casual, half-hearted, or distracted reading of a few verses is sufficient. Approaching God’s word in this way, our hope will be disappointed. God’s word will not seem light to us. We shall derive little benefit from it. You see, if the word of God is to be our lamp, the Spirit of God must illumine our hearts to see the glorious light that is Scripture all the time but that we are too sluggish to see without divine assistance. Hence, Paul prays that the Lord may give unto us “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Eph. 1:17). He adds, “In the knowledge of him,” for Jesus Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12). The written word will be light to us only as the living Word shines upon our hearts, scatters our darkness, and subdues our wills unto himself. We must ask him to be our Shepherd and Guide. We must come to him with those well-worn but constantly effectual gospel cries: “Save me, Lord;” “Lord, make me clean;” “Lord, open my eyes.” Then, if we are hungering and thirsting after him, his word will dwell in us richly and be our light (Col. 3:16). We will have guidance upon our path. We will see through the darkness, be able to distinguish the “barely permissible” from the “certainly pleasing” (Col. 1:10; 1 John 3:22), Satan’s lies and schemes from God’s true guidance (2 Cor. 2:11; 11:14), the lawful from the edifying (1 Cor. 6:12). We have God’s own promises.

True, many claim the authority of Scripture for doctrines and principles they profess to have drawn from its sacred lines, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish God’s principles from my preferences, exegetical faithfulness (drawing out of Scripture what God has truly said) from eisegetical (reading into Scripture what we want to find) wishful thinking. There are some things in Scripture “hard to be understood,” as Peter said (2 Pet. 3:16), and it is telling that most bizarre and questionable doctrines and practices come either from men who “twist” and corrupt Scripture to bring others under their sway rather than laboring so that Christ alone will have the rule over us, or from well-meaning but misguided believers who do not handle the Scriptures wisely. And this is one way we can distinguish true light from its counterfeits. Does the light I claim to have found in Scripture draw me closer to Jesus Christ? Does it humble me when I am sinning, comfort me when I am repenting, warn me when I am slipping? Is it encouraging me to deny myself that I may come sincerely to Jesus Christ, to love God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, to walk in the Spirit rather than to gratify my fleshly desires? Is my pride being humbled, my lust being subdued, my spirit made peaceable and calm in love for truth and holiness? Am I longing to know more of Christ, to be found in him, to feel “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me?” If, on the other hand, the light I am professing to find in Scripture is encouraging me, for example, to “mind high things,” as those who babble on about changing the world but whose lives, families, and churches manifest little of the meekness and gentleness of Christ, turn Christ’s spiritual kingdom into an earthly and political one, or to think of myself more highly than I ought to think, I may be sure that I am guilty of Scripture twisting, confusing my own desires with God’s pure light (Rom. 12:16; John 18:36; Rom. 12:3). If we are humbled before God as we ought to be, we do not try to find in Scripture principles to confirm our cherished convictions. No, we turn there to find light in our darkness, to have God alone to be our teacher and guide, and to be transformed from “glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Then, what great joy and stability will be ours, for we have God’s own promise to lead us by his infallible word, to guide us with just the nod of his eye (Ps. 32:8), to bring us safely through the perils of this world into his everlasting kingdom with the saints in light (Col. 1:12). How we must seek this light, for there is darkness all around us, especially within us! How we must forsake all other “lights!” They are nothing but darkness pretending to be light, lies pretending to be truth, foolishness masquerading as wisdom. Our God has something better for his redeemed children. He pledges to take us by the hand, dispel all the darkness yet clinging to our soul, and make his word the very light of his eternal majesty and holiness in us.

I Have Sworn (v. 106)
If we would enjoy these glorious benefits, our lives must be nothing but a continual pledging of ourselves to obey God’s word. In fact, the more the Lord is guiding us by his word, our resolve to walk with him will increase. How can it not? “In his presence is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11). To have his word as our light is to have him. Our hearts burst with commitment at the very thought – to walk with the living God in this way, to have him lead and guide me, for him to deliver me from the misery of my stubborn heart! Of course, I will run to the Lord. “Lord, bind me to you forever; I bind myself to you. I want nothing but to obey you, to walk with you, to be delivered from my waywardness.” Now, such a resolve, which we speak of as a vow, will seem dangerous, even presumptive, for we feel our weakness. Should we promise what we cannot perform? While we should never make vows to God about trifling matters, and certainly not respecting things we have neither a promise from him for grace nor clear light from him that it is actually a certain duty for all his people at all times, we must hazard all in committing ourselves to walk in obedience to his word. After all, we do not make this pledge trusting in our own strength but in his promise to keep us as we seek to be led by him. Like Paul confessed: “I am persuaded that he will keep that which I have committed unto him” (2 Tim. 1:12). The Lord will never forsake us in our endeavor to walk with him more obediently. And in certain areas of clear duty – such as where we feel ourselves to be sluggish and need more quickening and constraint to follow the Lord – specific vows are in order (Gen. 28:20-22; 31:13; Num. 30:4-11; 1 Sam. 1:11; Ps. 22:25; 50:14; 66:13; 76:11; Nah. 1:15). We might commit to the Lord, for example, to be more regular in seeking the light of his word, praying, or holding worship times with our family. These duties admit of no possibility of mistaking God’s will. He calls us each one of us to these. Do we, however, find ourselves slow, lazy, and halfhearted? What better way to stir ourselves up than to make personal, solemn pledges to the Lord, swearing to him that as he gives us grace we shall walk with him more faithfully in these areas. What if we fall away again? The fear of sin is never a reason to withhold a lawful vow from the Lord. He will forgive us, if our hearts are truly broken and trusting in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Our sense of weakness must never prevent our hearts from responding to God with ardent zeal and personal commitment to walk with him in the ways he has commanded. He has regard not to our faults but to our sincere and honest desires before him, for he placed these in us.

How deeply personal and participative is our walk with the living God! Should not our hearts fly with desire to his word? It is no wonder that our hearts are often so cold and lifeless, duty so tasteless, and the world so attractive. We lack the sense of our Father’s open, inviting heart, his willingness to guide and give us joy in his word, that all our happiness and peace lies in steadfast, consecrated, ardent obedience to him. We must not approach his word with guilt. We must not fear duty. We must throw off fear and unbelief. How can we do all these things? His word is our light. We are pledged to him. Did he not on his part promise himself to us by placing his name upon us at our baptism? Does he not set the “cup of the covenant,” his Son’s precious blood, in our own hands, even upon our very lips, in the Lord’s Supper? What else does he mean by these things but that he has taken us for his own possession, loves us, and would have us know the pleasure of walking with him? And yet, our hearts are so cold, often weighed down by duty, and selfishly wrapped up in our own preferences and agendas. It is no wonder that our souls are like merry-go-rounds and roller-coasters, up and down, round and round, even, God forbid, “always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). It is because we do not give ourselves to our God, cast ourselves into his hand for safekeeping, and sincerely pledge to walk with him in all our ways, never taking a step without confidence of his approval and always pleading to be led by him. Then, our steps will be firm under us. We will err, for there is no perfection in this life, but he will use our many failings to draw us to him more firmly, with greater desire, even flaming love for him and his word. Is he your light, or do you know not at what you are stumbling? Why does my life look like it does? Why am I constantly frustrated? Why is there no more joy in my soul? Some of these, admittedly, are tied to the cross of our Lord that we carry, but many of them are self-inflicted. We are not committing ourselves to the Lord, responding to his gracious covenant with joyful promises of our own. Yet, there is our glorious Savior and Husband, standing at God’s right hand, inviting us to respond to his wooing and kisses with joy and affection, kisses of our own to him, pledges to walk with him in obedience. This is joy unspeakable.

My Only Life in Affliction (v. 107)
But it is not giddiness. How many times have we already seen David, as if gazing upon the promised land from the top of Pisgah, his soul overflowing with joy in the Lord and hope in his word, immediately turn to ask the Lord to help him endure affliction? This warns us against ignoring our Savior’s cross and our need to be conformed to him. It also reminds us that affliction is a leading aspect of the Lord’s regimen in our lives. Will we ever seek to have his word as our light and joy until we are seriously broken of self-trust and worldliness? No, we will not. We are too lethargic to seize upon God’s promises in any other way than through the “many tribulations through which we must enter God’s kingdom” (Acts 14:22). We will never pant after him and commit our ways unto him until he has emptied us of our delusions of life and peace apart from him. This is the reason the Lord says that faith is like gold that must be refined and a vine that requires pruning (Zech. 13:9; John 15:2). He will bring us to feel our weakness. When various afflictions arise, hardships and reproaches for the cross, or simply the regular life-refining that the Lord is continually performing in all his, we must remember the goal. It is not to weigh us down with anxiety or make us go through life with drooping heads and fainting hearts. No, it is to lead us to him as our good. In this, he shows himself to be our faithful, loving Father (Heb. 12:6). He knows that sin is the true weight upon our spirits, love of self the true bitterness in our souls. By purging these, even painfully, does not he lead us to love his word as our light all the more? Especially when these chastening and affliction come to us heavily due to our own sinfulness, we learn: “Ah, I am here because I have not been committed to God’s word. I will return to my Father’s house. His arms are open to me. In submission to him is my joy and peace.” Let us remember this when we feel with David: “I am afflicted very much.” The Lord would lead us to him as our only quickening, our only life. He would have us look to him as our only help and security in this world. He calls us to turn from our sins and renew our commitments to him. He offers himself to be our teacher. If we would be quickened, however, renewed to faithfulness, strengthened to perseverance in hard times, and encouraged to seek the light of God’s word, we must fall back upon God’s promises. David does not ask for quickening because he deserves it or because he feels his current state of affliction to be unfair. All he desires is for the Lord to “remember his word unto his servant” (Ps. 119:49). Would we act similarly when afflictions come to us? Then, let us be about seeking to be filled with the light of God’s word. We cannot pray his promises if we do not know them. We cannot expect light in dark places unless that light has been our desire in better times. The best preparation for affliction is the same as our hope during them: that we look to God’s word as the lantern for our path and commit ourselves to be guided by him.

Willing to Obey (v. 108)
Notice that even while David was “afflicted very much,” his mouth remained open in praise to God. Since the Lord has offered himself to be our light and teacher, whatever hardships we may be experiencing, we must be praising him for his goodness, declaring to him our sincere love, and thanking him for the many mercies we receive continually from his hand. We must offer these “freely” to the Lord, voluntarily and sincerely. There is no room for complaining and hypocrisy. In fact, one purpose of our afflictions is to expose the falseness that lies in each of us. It is easier to praise and thank the Lord, to commit ourselves to him, when things are going well – though, how few of us are anywhere near as humbled and stirred to serve him as we should be when he blesses us? We tend to think these are deserved or the fruit of our own industry. Prosperity has its own snares, does it not, and the most frequent is that it puts us to sleep, making us self-contented when we should be overflowing with praise to God, gratitude for his goodness, and greater consecration to his service. Here, though, we find David offering these sacrifices of praise when he was greatly afflicted. How? Why? The Spirit teaches us that we need adversity of various kinds. He reminds us to give thanks without ceasing and strengthens us to rejoice in all things (1 Thess. 5:18; Phil. 4:4). He gives us patience in hardship. He lifts our souls heavenward through the groaning of sin and weeping of chastisement. If we remember that the goal of God’s refining is purer faith, greater resolve unto obedience, and closer fellowship with the Lord, we begin to identify with James when he says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2). “If the Lord did not love me,” we think to ourselves, “if he did not intend great good for me through his cross, he would never have brought these pressures to bear upon me. He would have allowed me to go blindly on my way without confronting and purging me of sin and worldliness. Therefore, thank you, Lord, for sending this my way. I cannot say this sincerely, though, I cannot fulfill my vows to you, however, unless you sustain me and ‘teach me your judgments.’ Take me in hand yet again, and especially since you are pleased to sift me, topple my idols, and expose my vanity.” In all seasons, then, but especially in hardship, we are to call upon the Lord and offer praise to him for his goodness and faithfulness. The more we turn from bitterness and frustration when he afflicts us, as if we deserved something better or he did not know exactly what is best for us, the more we shall be led to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father never accepts our “free will offerings” except through his Mediation. So, praising the Lord in all seasons leads us to our blessed Savior in all seasons. We have nothing but what he gives us, purchased for us by his blood, and secures for us as our Advocate before the Father.

Again, we find that the goal of our affliction is to bring us to say: “Teach me your judgments.” Stepping back for a moment, it is easy to see that all the misery, heartache, and bitterness in the world, the ultimate source of that whole catalog of blackness that characterizes the family of men, is that we run off to do as we please. This is certainly true of the world of unbelieving men, but David and all the faithful feel the same in their own souls. “For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). Is not this the common confession of all the godly in every age? No amount of secularist education, consumerism, and wishful thinking can make us forget this. Do you believe that “no good thing dwells in you?” Are you horrified and ashamed by the sins you have committed (Rom. 6:21)? Do you count all the things that you once considered gain, a badge of honor, a reason for pride, as loss, a colossal waste of time, energy, nobility, and even of your own soul (Phil. 3:7)? Can you honestly admit that you are still prone to rush off on your own accord, even as a believer, and pursue what you think is best, even under the cloak of doing good? David did. This is the reason he prays: “Teach me your judgments.” This is the reason he rejoiced in his afflictions, for he knew God would break him more through them. And he will break us through his infallible program of affliction. Why? Why not make life easier for us, always cause things to go our way, and bring us to heaven upon an easier, broader path? We will never know the blessedness of having the Lord for our teacher until we are broken of our willfulness. We will never cry, “Lord, I only want to know the light of your judgments. I want only one will between us: yours.” Did not our Savior, though holy and perfect in every way, make this very confession in his last and darkest hour before the cross: “Not my will, but thine be done?” Not my way or will, Lord, but yours. Rejoice that the Lord would so work in us, child of God, for our happiness lies where our Lord’s lies: in doing the will of our Father in heaven; in always doing those things that please him.” We shall never arrive at this perfect blessedness in this life, but our Father will move us closer, and affliction is his best tool. Like our Head and Savior, we learn obedience through the things that we suffer (Heb. 5:8).

Before Evil’s Onslaught (vv. 109-110) We should not underestimate the intensity with which afflictions can come. To say that “my soul is continually in my hand” means that David felt that there was “but a step between him and death” (1 Sam. 20:3). Was not our Lord’s earthly life a continual battle with Satan and the hordes of the ungodly, both on earth and against principalities and powers? Traps and snares were his lot; he had to endure and overcome them because we have fallen into every one of them. He was oppressed to the point of feeling utterly overwhelmed: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death” (Mark 14:34). Admittedly, respecting suffering, he was the “Man of sorrows;” he stands alone in sounding fully the depths of our misery and curse. Yet, his sufferings will in some measure be completed in us, for he is our Head (Col. 1:24) – not in their redemptive significance, but as we are made one with him and share in the sufferings that all experience who fight against sin and seek God’s eternal kingdom. What are our security, strength, and joy in such times? What is our only preservation in the face of so many snares laid for our soul? We must not forget God’s word. This was our Savior’s shield: “Thy will be done.” No matter how besieged by Satan, how amazed in his soul at the cup before him, how overwhelmed by the weakness to which his flesh was reduced by his sufferings, he was committed to his Father’s word. “The Son of man must suffer many things” (Luke 9:22). Why “must?” It was God’s will. He never forgot his Father’s word or erred from his commandments. His will was set: “My meat is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). “Mine ears thou has opened” (Ps. 40:6).” “I have come, O God, to do thy will” (Heb. 10:7-9). By humbling himself, by setting his will to do his Father’s will, he saved us from our rebellion (Heb. 10:10) – by his obedience unto death, his consecration to his Father’s will. This is the very paradigm we are given for our battle against sin and Satan. Waiting for the right feeling – well, you will wait forever. Waiting until your circumstances improve – how were our Lord’s? Depending upon your own strength – remember Peter. Our only preservative against the snares of the wicked and strength to bear the cross is to seek from our Lord Jesus the same commitment to God’s word. That word, considered as our only strength and shield against Satan’s wiles, has been tried in the hottest furnace – our Savior’s contest with sin, Satan, and death, as well as his drinking the cup of divine justice. It prevailed! That word sustained him on the cross, when he was forsaken and consumed for our sins. Why did he not leave the cross, as the Jews taunted him, simply destroying Jews and Romans alike, and plunging the entire world into irremediable judgment and impenetrable darkness forever? His Father’s word held him on his course. There is nothing like God’s word – it is immovable, insuperable, Satan’s worst fear, the sword he dreads, the foundation he cannot crack. We need nothing else – absolutely nothing to maintain our courage in times of adversity, to be calm and courageous before the whirlwind of God’s sifting work of his church and his desolating of the wicked.

To enjoy this stable defense, however, nothing else will suffice but to seek from the living God a heart that is committed to God’s word. This is much easier said than done, for the very reason we need affliction and have to be reminded of the onslaught of the wicked is that we are not as committed to God’s word as we should be. We are easily turned by our deceitful hearts and the baubles of the world, whatever mask they happen to wear to convince us that they are not really the playthings of the dead and costumes of corpses (1 Cor. 7:29-31). First, we must be seriously persuaded of our great need to be supported by God’s word at every turn. Then, we must see how freely God offers his word to us, himself to us, as our shield and sword. We will never give ourselves freely and fully to him unless we are persuaded that he is our only good and strength, that his heart is open to us, and that all other remedies are nothing but foolishness and weakness in comparison to his word (1 Cor. 1:25). Believing his promise to us in Jesus Christ, we must actively give ourselves to God’s word, seek the Spirit’s illumination upon its precious lines, and hide it firmly in our hearts. Do we require motivation? Not only is the glory of God and the sacrifice of our Savior at stake in the church’s present demise, but also the remedy is right before us. Nothing new is required: no new paradigms, no new denominations, no new strategies. The old path is still the certain path: for every sincere believer to immerse himself in the holy Scriptures, think God’s thoughts after him, and to bind himself unswervingly to walk by every word that has come from the blessed mouth of the living God. He who does God’s will abides forever (1 John 2:17). He abides forever, overcomes all Satan’s assaults and the weakness of his own heart because God’s word cannot be moved (Matt. 7:24-25). It is the light that penetrates every dark scheme of Satan and evil men, the promise that sustains weak faith in every dark hour, and the impulse of God’s own heart and mind that scatters fear, doubt, and despair. Believer, move not one inch from God’s commandments, and however weak you are, however often you fail, if this is your commitment, you may be certain that God will honor his own word in you, build his Son’s church victorious, and bring you safely through every trial and affliction into his presence and eternal glory.

As My Heritage and Joy (v. 111)
So great must be our commitment to God’s word that we look to it alone as our “heritage.” This means that it is our treasure, inheritance, most prized possession. When God holds out his word to us in this way, it is nothing else but for him to offer us the highest felicity. And what does he give us when he gives us his word? He gives us his Son, Jesus Christ, whom to know is everlasting life, peace, righteousness, and joy (John 17:3). He puts the very sword of his Spirit in our hands. He gives us title-deed to heaven, even raising us up from our death to be kings and queens in his beloved Son. He promises unquenchable light to walk securely and courageously before all of Satan’s attacks and traps. When God’s word is our heritage, we are never without hope of deliverance and strength, for we have God’s infallible promises, which are sufficient for every trial and temptation. We have joy, for obedience to God’s word is happiness. To possess these blessings, even “every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3), we must take God’s word as our chief treasure. We must hold it closely in our hearts and minds, desire it in our souls, cling to it in life, and obey it at all times. Yet, we shall never so take God’s word unless it is the “rejoicing of our hearts.” We must have a personal interest in it. We must possess it, and it must possess us. Does it? Can we honestly say that God’s word holds chief sway in our hearts, determines our will, and guides our steps? Are we self-conscious in thinking of it, laboring to subdue our very thought patterns and emotions to his revealed will so that we are continually rejoicing in his thoughts as our most precious possession (Ps. 139:17)? This is to rejoice in God’s word: not when we give it some lip-service, read it occasionally, or even defend it against its many detractors. It is the rejoicing of our hearts when it enters into us, shapes the way we think and feel, sets our affections on things above, and binds us firmly to walk in obedience to God. We can know if this is true in us, for example, if when we are pressed, rebuked in terms of God’s word, or hear God’s word, do we respond humbly? Or, do we raise our backs against God’s will and try to figure out some way we can do what we want while not completely abandoning God’s word. A treasure is undivided. The treasure of our heart is one. It is either God’s word, or it is something else. We cannot serve God and enjoy this inheritance with a divided heart. When God’s word is the rejoicing of our heart, we are committed to it – to the death – to the death of our flesh, to the demolition of our cherished idols and vanities, to the death of all those thoughts that are not a panting after God’s thoughts, to the death of even our earthly security and peace, should having and holding God’s word require us to give them up. Do we have such a personal interest, participation, share in this heritage? If so, we shall go from strength to strength, glory unto glory, grace unto grace (Ps. 84:7; 2 Cor. 3:18; John 1:16). God’s word always leaves its defining mark upon those who have eaten it; it is the rejoicing of their hearts (Jer. 15:16).

I Am Resolved (v. 112)
In the light of such blessedness offered to us by the hand of God and written upon our hearts by the finger of the Holy Spirit, what else can we say but, “I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end?” To “incline our heart” is to stretch out our inmost being to God’s word. Commitment to God’s word as our heritage is never a passive affair. It is not a matter of outward confession alone. It is a bending of our wills toward God’s will, so that “it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us.” Commitment to God’s word says: “I want God’s will to be my will.” It is an earnest extending of the soul to obey God more devotedly. It is a life-long turning aside from sin and self to holiness and righteousness. Now, we can no more incline our hearts to do this than we can reach out and grab the moon. Our commitments to God are flimsy, our goodness as the morning dew (Hos. 6:4). Hence, we are led here by God’s own grace to his commitment to us. He extends his covenant, his grace, love, and presence to us through Jesus Christ. In return, we cast ourselves upon him. We are resolved to obey him. We take active steps to obey him. We do so in dependence upon his promise of grace to us. We see in ourselves inconstancy, darkness, weakness, and no good thing – at all. Yet, the God of the universe puts this heritage into our hand. He gave his Son for us when we were dead in sin. We pierced him. Our sins nailed him to the tree. Had we been there, we would have either crucified him or fled in fear. Faithless are we, heartless, selfish, and corrupt. He is faithful. We are never safer than when we venture all upon his bare word. Since he commits himself to us, we must respond by committing ourselves to his word. Have you not been meditating upon it? Stop whatever is interfering and begin hiding his word in your heart. Have you been breaking the word of his covenant by some sin in your life? Stop and repent; put off your old man and put on the new man in righteous. Have you been fighting against God’s will? Pray: “Lord, make my meat, the food of my soul, the pleasure of my life, be to do your will. I want your will; I hate mine. Mine is death; your will alone is my life. Change me; break me; work in me so that my heart reaches out to your word, is stirred by it, delights in it, derives light from it. Guide me with your eye; make me so pliable before you that a nod from your word sets my feet in the path of holiness.” Pray this, seek this, and God’s word will be your heritage. His commitment to you will sustain your commitment to him, until he finally brings you to heaven and floods your soul with the rivers of his pleasures. What will that river be? It is will be absolute pleasure in obeying him; unmixed satisfaction in hearing his word; enrapturing devotion in fulfilling his every wish. This is the heritage of his saints.