THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… REVIVE ME

Psalms 119:33-40 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.

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Psalm 119:33-40 reveals the heart of a person who truly desires to walk with Jesus  with all their heart. Despite this desire the psalm also reveals the need for to accomplish what is impossible for us, when our old man is aroused, through the weakness of our flesh. When Jesus commanded that the disciples “Watch and pray”, it was because although the redeemed have a willing spirit, we still have to deal with human frailty.

This psalm reveals how we can put ourselves in a position to receive from God, gaining what He promised; that which He commands we continually experience. This need/promise is revealed in the word REVIVE.

David’s plea to be revived by God is a prayer for something w have no resources for within our humanity. We have discovered that when we begin to falter or are in danger of falling, it is because we have lost our traction on the narrow way that leads to life. Note I did not say we have fallen off the road, but we have begun slipping in moving forward. When we discover this REALITY we need to REFOCUS on:

  1. The way of His statutes (vs. 33)
  2. The Spirit’s leading in His law, as we practice His presence (vs. 34)
  3. Submitting to the Holy Spirit’s leading, as He commands in every moment (vs. 35)
  4. Refocusing on His testimonies and glory, rather than our wants (vs. 36)
  5. Allowing the Lord to turn our focus back to Christ’s kingdom alone (vs. 37)
  6. Re-committing to being taught by the Holy Spirit, as He reveals God’s word (vs. 38)
  7. Only Allowing God to define us, rather than the reproach of others (vs. 39)

These seven are actually the first emphasis in our being revived, because these enable us to gain traction on the road that leads to eternal life.

(Psalm 119:37) Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way.

Revival in this manner, takes another more important revival in our lives. This is revealed in vs. 40.

(Psalm 119:40) Behold I have longed after Your precepts; Revive me in your righteousness

Since I have written on this website extensively concerning what is to follow, I will be brief. Please do not thin then that this of of little import, for what I am about to write one of the main reasons the church in this country is faltering.

Let us understand that the precepts David is desiring are the well defined rules of spiritual life and relationship to God. This encompasses the seven essentials of REFOCUS listed above.

Although the spiritual man’s desire of being revived in these areas is a start, it takes more than desire to be REVIVED; it takes a greater enlivening, a surge of power that will raise the Christian from their coma like state.

(Ephesians 5:14) Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

(Ephesians 5:18) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy spirit continually is our reviving and it is right in line with David’s prayer that God “REVIVE ME IN YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  He is pleading give me Your life and power, for I am in a coma and need revived.

For Christians this is not something we need to beg for, but it is something we need to know is missing in our lives, when it is absent. The appropriate question concerning this need is are we experiencing the literal character, faith, action and power of Jesus Himself?

Interestingly, Jesus answers David’s prayer in the Beatitudes when He declares “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). The word Jesus uses for righteousness means “equity of character and action” in the Greek language. Those who want to be filled with Christ life, power and righteousness shall have more and more, as they deposit faith and obedience.

When we are slipping on the narrow road, when we know the fruit of the Christ-life is lacking in our life, we must be REVIVED. Only He can bring the power. Only we can open up our flood gates with faith and obedience.

(John 7:37-38) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

 

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THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… re-Establish your word to Your servant

Image result for i love the bibleMost of the Christians I have run across would declare a love for the written word of God, as we have in the Bible. It is my opinion that the majority of them are sincere in their profession of that love. We Christians in America have more copies of the written word of God per person, than many congregations in the persecuted world possess between numerous believers. We carry our copies of the word of God proudly to church, as well as other places. We even attempt to sanctify our wireless devices with digital copies of our favorite translation.

We often are proud to be Bible believing, Bible toting Christians and that is not entirely a bad thing, unless we forget what truly makes a fruitful successful follower of Christ: DELIGHT in the word of God so much, that rather than carry it in physical book form, we assimilate it into our life, by meditating upon it day and night (Psalm 1:2). Without a long teaching on scriptural meditation (chewing the cud), it is enough to know that this means we read the word and the Holy Spirit reveals its meaning and how it applies to our life (I Corinthians 2:14). This takes prayerful waiting before the Lord, with a desire to not only understand the word of God, but how to apply it in our life, in obedience to the Lord.

This process is the foundation of our Christian life.

(Matthew 7:24-25) Therefore whoever hears these words of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock: and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock.

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In James 1:22-24 Jesus’ declaration is rephrased “Be doers of the word and not hearers only”. Let us grasp that hearing that is on the surface will never produce committed persevering obedience sufficient to DO. This is a problem for the church in America, because there is a market for those who want to do the “right thing” in reading the Bible. Devotions and Bible apps are designed to get the word to people in chew-able bites, because we have less and less time to eat a word of God meal. Though it may appear a benevolent and necessary “ministry”, it is actually leaving us spiritually malnourished.

Reading the word of God because it is the “right thing” to do, will leave you in a the wrong condition, weakened in the flesh. Remember Jesus wants to come in and dine with us, and He does not prepare fast food. He also does not care about our overly busy schedules, a majority of which He has not called us to walk in.

Watching and praying, being sober and vigilant, as not to fall into temptation or sin (Matthew 26:41; I Peter 5:8), needs proper spiritual nutrition and digestion from Biblical meditation on the word of God. It is for this reason David wrote Psalm 119:38.

(Psalm 119:38) Establish your word to Your servant who is devoted to fearing You.

The word “establish” means raise me up in, prove me with, and make me powerful in your word.  It would seem that we can grow away from running to Christ in the secret place, where we are taught by the Holy Spirit concerning the word of God. This leads to weakened resolve and heightens the sensitivity of our flesh; which will lead to less time in God’s presence, assimilating truth.

Remember that David, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned Psalm 1 revealing the delight of the man of God, concerning the word of God. He also wrote How a young man keeps his way from sin, by taking heed to the word of God and hiding it in His heart, rather than merely carrying it around (Psalm 119:9-12).

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Despite these truths, David still fell and fell hard. Why? “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. In addition to this, we will find from the chronicle of David’s life, that as his duties as king increased, he justified less time before God. Less time before God, being taught of the Holy Spirit, praising God, crying out to God, hoping in God–means greater reliance on whats in your head and the potential for falling into sin.

For those who have followed the Lord and felt themselves becoming less excited about God’s word, this is a call to God to return to being re-ESTABLISHED in the word of God. There are times where we must spend a season in famine from God’s word, in order to understand what we are missing.

REFOCUS

  1. For the foreseeable future, put aside all devotional materials and commentaries.
  2. In this season, put aside 1 hour to read the word of God aloud to yourself.
  3. Take the time to write anything new that you see and rejoice in that revelation.
  4. Take the time to write the command that convicts you of needed change, commit to the change in prayer and rejoice for the revelation.
  5. If you read something you do not understand, write it down. after writing it down, pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and wait listening for the Spirit of God to speak.
  6. If you receive clarity write it down and rejoice of the revelation. If you hear nothing, move on after your hour, rejoice for the revelation that will come.
  7. Do not be concerned with how much you know or read, but with hearing from the Lord.
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THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Turn away my…

Image result for falling rocksTraveling on vacation with my family when I was a child was always special. We would usually leave around 11 p.m. and travel through the night and next day to arrive at our destination of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The trip usually took about 14 hours. Perhaps the best part of the trip was between 2 and 4 a.m., when my mother, brother, and sister were all sleeping. With only my dad and I awake, we would enjoy talking and being together.

Perhaps the most uncomfortable times were traveling through the mountains of West Virginia, where yellow danger signs littered the side of the road, warning drivers to slow down or be aware of falling rock. To a boy under ten the thought of being crushed by a boulder was terrifying. Therefore, I paid special attention to be able to warn my father, in case he needed to take evasive action. Warning signs are necessary and indicate trouble ahead.

Jesus’ warning to us in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”, is a road sign screaming to us “DANGER AHEAD”. Psalm 119:33-40 gives us two warning signs that we may be entering a time of difficulty because of weak flesh.

(Psalm 119:37) Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things (vanity) and revive me in Your way.

(Psalm 119:39) Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good

BEWARE OF STARING AT WORTHLESS THINGS

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things”. This prayer expresses here a godly desire to be intentional with time, energy, and life for God. What is the danger to that desire, which is the very desire of Christ in us? the danger is our eyes and attention being diverted from God’s will to worthless things.

What are worthless things? Simply put, anything that does not keep, direct or inspire our attention towards the things of God in Christ, the things above where Christ sits at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1-3). This may seem nebulous, but really it is not. Our eyes, minds, affection and attention are to be on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3). If we are that heavenly minded we will do the earth  much good. Many cry for being well rounded, balanced, and cultured… HUMBUG! We should be concerned to BE radical, walking talking Jesus machines, filled and fueled by God’s Spirit and the love of Christ.

How do we identify worthless things? In the first place, we understand that if they suck time away from us, where we are unaware of God’s presence, purpose and will, they are worthless; as we are to be redeeming the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). Secondly, we realize worthless things may be lawful, but may not build our faith or strengthen our sensitivity to the Spirit of God. Worthless things may not build the faith of or encourage the walk of our Christian fellows. When this is the case, it is not expedient for us and is most likely a worthless time sucking thing.

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The pull of worthless things upon the redeemed in Christ is even greater than at the writing of Psalm 119:37, therefore we must remain prayerful and on guard. David was asking God to grab him by his ears and turn his eyes away from that which would build a slippery slope to sin. Although we have the Holy Spirit resident with us, we must practice prayerful diagnosis of what we give our attention to. A person who notices they are wasting time in pointless gazing, at whatever, is rounding the corner to danger.

Philippians 4:8 will serve as a passage to aid in identifying the worthy from the worthless.

(Philippians 4:8) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

BEWARE OF PITY PARTIES

The second warning sign of weakness of the flesh comes form Psalm 119:39 . “Turn away my reproach which I fear…”. Once more we see David asking God to turn him from staring at something, which he fears: his reproach.

Reproach carries a sense of personal disgrace, like a barren woman in the O.T.(Isaiah 4:1; Genesis 30:23), that is undeserved. It also carries the very real shame of enemies mocking the misfortune or pain of the individual. We can understand this in Christ, who bore our reproach, as He was mocked having willingly carried the shame of our sin curse in His own body (Hebrews 13:13).

For David to be reproached was a fearful thing. What he is asking is that the LORD would pull his eyes away from the reproach and place it on God’s judgments concerning who he was in the LORD. This is very instructive. Although David feared the labels of men, he knew it was not what he was to regard. All that mattered was what God proclaimed concerning him. This is why our Savior thrived through the reproach and shame of the cross; for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2-3). By faith, Jesus knew who He was and always will be, the reproach did not affect His faith or deter Him from finishing His eternal purpose.

This is a problem for those who are sincere in Christ. If you will surrender all, desire to know Him and the power of His resurrection, you will suffer reproach from others. When we begin to allow sadness, despair and depression to blind us to God’s judgment concerning us, then we are in danger. Take it from me, this is perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of the called in Christ, therefore it is our greatest challenge. We must place our eyes on God’s judgment concerning us, as His children.

(Romans 8:14-17) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

REFOCUS

  1. Read Philippians 4:8 and prayerfully consider what steals time away from focusing on the truths in this passage. Ask God to reveal the top ways you waste your time gazing at vanity and commit to changing as led by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Ask the Lord Jesus to reveal the most prominent people or situation that bring about feelings of failure, shame, and reproach. Seek in the word what the scripture reveals about your being a child of God. Hide those God judgments in your heart.

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THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Incline my heart to your testimonies!

(Psalm 119:36) Incline my heart to your testimonies and not to covetousness.

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In this passage we see the psalmist seeking the LORD for two things; one a positive and the other a negative, through the word incline which means “to bend”. In times when our REALITY is a willing spirit and weak flesh (Matthew 26:41), David’s prayer is for a two-fold bending. First, bend my heart toward the testimonies of the LORD. Second, bend my heart away from covetousness. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for iniquity expressed a crooked or bent nature toward sin. David is crying out to God that He would re-bend his natural heart toward God’s truth and testimony.

I believe this desire is largely why David was deemed by God “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). The shepherd king’s heart was a living picture of the disposition of  the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), as taught by Jesus. David was poor in spirit, mournful over sin, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. The man wanted to lose his bend toward iniquity, and be bent straight to God’s testimonies and truth; but Messiah had not yet come. He would have to wait in faith, for Christ to accomplish the task of breaking the dominion of the sin nature and straightening the heart of man to connect with God.

In Christ, this inclining has taken place but let us give it a new testament vernacular. We were bent toward sin, but now we have been straightened up to Truth and Righteousness. This straightening has bent us away from sinful tendencies. Yet, when weak in flesh or in a season of temptation, our old patterns of flesh begin to throb for satisfaction. Then, by faith, we must hold to that which we have been straightened up to in Christ, and refuse what we have been straightened away from.

Straightened up to focus on His Testimonies

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Since the historical, wisdom and prophetical books were either being inspired by the Holy Spirit through Samuel and David at the writing of this Psalm (and through later authors), the testimonies written of here refer to: the writings contained in the Books of the Law written by Moses, as inspired by the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 3:15). This word of God contained the acts of the Lord of power from creation to their entrance to the promised land, and was David’s delight (Psalm 1:1). This testimony was the record of all the commands from the law; a moral code for the Israelite but also a revelation of YHWH’s holiness. It also recorded the acts of deliverance, provision, protection, grace, mercy, and justice–with punishments meted out through God’s Almighty power and love.

These were what David prayed God would bend him toward, recognizing his human propensity to know these testimonies, but grow undisciplined and wanting when weakened in the flesh.

This is a very real need in our Christian life when we become wore out, willing in spirit, yet weak in our flesh. Consider Colossians 3:1-3

(Colossians 3:1-3) ​ If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

(Colossians 3:5-7) put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

The Testimonies of the Lord are also “those things which are above” which draw us to hope in Christ’s return and which remind us that God is with us, to deliver us. Having our hearts inclined to the testimonies of the Lord are of such great importance, for it is how we endured temptation and discipline from the Lord (Hebrews 12:1-3).

We add to David’s testimonies of the Lord:

  1. Jesus’ eternal nature and being God.
  2. Christ’s birth, sinless life and miracles.
  3. His all sufficient atoning death and resurrection.
  4. Christ’s life fulfilling 100% of all prophecy concerning Messiah.
  5. The day He brought us out of the kingdom of darkness and into His own.
  6. The mighty acts of power and faithfulness He has displayed in us and others
  7. His call and commands to be holy and obey.
  8. His future return and glory with Him.
  9. The blessing of His presence with us.

Bent away from covetousness

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In my opinion the best tag line concerning our flesh is “I want more”. On the night Jesus warned the disciples “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”, they needed just a little more rest, and fell asleep. We must be honest about our own inclination to want more than we need and be discontent with what we have. It seems the want for a little more is just a breath away and heightened in times of difficulty or seasons of discontent.

We must be careful to mind Colossians 3:1 “set your mind on things above, as well as Colossians 3:5-7 which calls us to put do death covetousness. We do this reckoning by faith, that what we need will be supplied by God (Philippians 4:19) and setting ourselves on the inexhaustible treasure that is Jesus Christ our Savior (Hebrews 12:1-3).

REFOCUS

  1. Prayerfully seek scripture which is associated with the 9 New Testament testimonies of the Lord above. If you get stuck, email me at mje4jesus@gmail.com
  2. Do some inventory of your thinking during difficulty, temptation or disappointing times. Do you encourage yourself in Christ, calling to mind His testimonies or drop off the table into pity parties and stink’n think’n.

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THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Make me walk Your path

Related imagePerhaps one of the most aggravating things for a child, is to have another child command them to do something they don’t want to do. I have seen this play out on numerous occasions with my five children. Regardless of age, whether teens, toddlers, or elementary age kids, a command from one child to another is usually met with some reply like, “You’re not the boss of me”. If the commanding youth persists, the commanded might even reply with the challenge of, “If you’re so tough, why don’t you make me”.

Too often adult “Christians” behave in this fashion, almost daring God to “make me” when it comes to obeying His plain commands or instructions. Sadly, far too many “Christians” forget He is THE  BOSS, as our lives our not our own; being we were bought with the price of Christ’s shed blood (I Corinthians 6:19-20, 7:22-23).

Although the question of Lordship is settled in the mind of most of the redeemed (Romans 10:9-10), we must be ever vigilant that self does not enlarge itself in temptation. For although our spirit is willing and to be in union with God’s own Spirit, our flesh is still weak and the old man desires to reclaim its lost authority. Therefore when presented with the REALITY that we are under temptation, or weakened in our resolve and seeing little strength to obey what we ought, we look to David’s plea…

(Psalms 119:35) Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

David’s request is not a childish dare, but a desperate plea for God to enable him to do what brought him the most satisfaction: walking in the commandments of God. David’s “make me” is a sincere plea for God’s power because on his own he was failing. His request is a powerful plea, to bring about in His life that which would bring glory to His God.

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Make me walk in the path of your commandmentsis a metaphor in line with a preceding verse (33) “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes”. From that verse we discovered that this is the narrow road that leads to life for us. The statutes are responsibilities, purposes, and calling that God has revealed to us. These serve as guard rails, keeping us from going over the edge.

“Make me walk in the path of Your commandments” serves as the rules of this road. As we drive we see two lanes, both bordered by white lines on the outside and a yellow line in the center. At times that yellow line is broken and singular–at other times doubled and solid in both lines–still at other times one side is solid and the other broke. These lines govern how we drive on the road. When understanding “the path of Your commandments”, we understand His commands govern how we move and when we move on the narrow road.

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In Greece NY, where I live, many citizens will illegally pass on the outside right of a slowed or stopped and turning vehicle. This means they travel right of the car ahead,  breaking the white solid line. This is breaking the law, because you never cross a white line. It does not matter if we are in a hurry, or the driver ahead is slow, or if we deem the white line should not be there because there is enough room to pass. it only matters that the white line is there. Not breaking it is a command.

I must admit that although it irritates me to see this happening, I have been tempted to do it on occasion, and I must literally tell myself no. When it comes to the path of His commands, on the narrow road, which command do you play fast and lose with? Which commands do you desire to obey, yet find yourself failing in, when you lack vigilance or are weak?

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Interestingly, “the path of His commandments” is a well outlined path right down the center and like the channeled electric race tracks we played with as kid’s. In these toys each car had a pin, which was placed in  the track channel. When the trigger we held was engaged the pin making contact with metal in the channel turned the rubber tires and they were flying fast, yet stuck to the track with a charge.

If we seek Him and submit to obeying Him moment by moment, His resurrection life will keep us on the path or track of His commandments.

How does this take place?

  1. Pray, asking the LORD to reveal where you are not walking the path of His commandments (lack of love, forgiveness, faith, contentment), (being anxious, consumed with anger, unbelief), (habitually lying, dishonesty, pride, deceitfulness), (there are certainly more, Ten Commandments, or the Greatest Commandment, love God with all, neighbor as self).
  2. Aware of the REALITY of being off track, ask the Lord if it is by a lack of power to obey the commands of Christ or because I justify little disobedience.
  3. Ask the Lord to make you walk the path obeying every day. Ask Him for sensitivity to Holy Spirit leading and conviction.
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THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Give me understanding… and I will

Related imageDesiring to follow God with all our being and yet failing to do so in the weakness of our flesh, is a reality Jesus rose from the dead to change (Matthew 26:41; Romans 8:11; II Corinthians 5:17). We are grateful for this change, despite it occurring often awfully slow. At times, the change seems impossible to even the sincerest among us.

In addition to our need and earnest desire, in times of weakness, for the Lord re-teaching us the way of His statues*, David reveals another area of REFOCUS , in our REALITY willing spirit but weak flesh.

*(yesterday’s devotion “THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Teach me, O Lord”)

(Psalms 119:34) Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

When reading “Give me understanding”, we encounter two very important features. David is asking for he discerns a great need, which is not more scrolls with the law written on them, but a deep inward desire to understand God’s heart through what was written; and to be able to use when there were no writings available.

(Psalm 119:9-12) reveals “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heartThat I might not sin against You.

How is it that we can hide the word of God in our heart? We first need understanding and secondly we need to be led by and use the hidden word in practical avenues.

In the first place, to understand does not imply intellectual understanding only. In fact I would argue that understanding the word of God with our brain, is secondary to God revealing its meaning to our hearts; remembering that the natural man does not understand the things of God’s Spirit (I Corinthians 2:14). Also remember that God first reveals His word and will to us in our spirit, then to our soul (rational mind, seat of personality) where submission needs to take place. If we submit within our soul,  the will and intellect to understanding it will be worked out in our physical (body) experience.

Where a person is submissive this progression works seamlessly, but when our weakened flesh is holding court, there is difficulty.  This is because the understanding David is pleading for is to know what the law means in its fullness and to enabled to discern the appropriate action in each situation we face.

Let’s be honest, humanity often gets the word of God wrong from an intellectual perspective. Consider two portions of the law where this is clearly evident from Jesus own teaching: murder and adultery. In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus reveals the depth of the law concerning murder to be even character assassination. In Matthew 5:27-30 he reveals the depth of the law concerning adultery, to include harboring lustful thoughts concerning persons we are not lawfully wedded to.

Asking for understanding means that what we read and hear of God’s word, is meditated on, until the Holy Spirit reveals to us its depth of meaning and how it relates to our life. To understand also means that I seek to be led by the Holy Spirit in my life and circumstances. This ought to produce prayer that asks the Lord to give us understanding of how to use His revealed truth at the right time and place. This is an area of focus that the church sorely needs in America.

Many people have prim and proper doctrinal bent and even moralistic tendencies. Like the church of Ephesus in Revelation, we stand out as moral crusaders with great ministry programs; but what of the Christ life where it matters most, in the midst of the lost surrounding us daily? The problem is that we have equated right biblical knowledge for having understanding, which is error prone thinking. Understanding comes from communion with God’s Spirit moment by moment (Proverbs 3:5-7) and submitting to His understanding in the moment He gives it.

(Hebrews 5:12-14) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

David’s prayer for understanding of the depth of God’s meaning to His law and the Spirit’s leading us by it, is an area of REFOCUS we need for REVIVAL personally and as a community of saints.

Remember that the law and the prophets hinge on this command… Love the Lord your God with all of YOU and to love your neighbor as yourself  (Matthew 22:36-40).

Consider…

  • Begin each day with this prayer and then wait on His understanding. Pray this until  you receive understanding or the Holy Spirit releases you.

Father, when you commanded that I love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul and mind what did you mean?  Reveal any area of my life that I love more than You? How can I love my neighbor as you intended?

  • As you live daily, for the foreseeable future, keep this reality as a guide to discern how to properly through out the experiences of the day.

Wherever I go and whatever responsibilities I have are a platform to love God with all my heart and my neighbor as myself. May the Holy Spirit lead me to do this.

Posted in Give me understanding and I will keep Your law, Psalm 119:33-40, Psalm 119:34, The flesh is weak, the spirit indeed is willing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE SPIRIT IS WILLING… Teach me, O LORD!

Image result for teach me the way of the statutesDAY ONE: 

(Matthew 26:40-41) Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We often face frustrating times when we know we are failing to walk in the sincere and godly desires of our spirit. This arise from the weakness of our flesh. In those times, as stated in the previous posting, we need REALITY, REFOCUSING, AND REVIVING. Psalm 119:33-40, will be our guide in this process.

*(Read THE SPIRIT IS WILLING FOUNDATION if you have no idea what the three words above have to do with this article)

(Psalms 119:33) Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

The word teach”  is a strong word expressing humility and dependence in the one who is asking. The word does not imply ignorance of information, but a dullness or insensitivity to carry our the information when it’s necessary. Asking the Lord to teach us, as David is in our psalm, means we are asking Him to discipline us consistently; for the purpose of not wandering off into danger. This request is pastoral.

A shepherd uses the rod and staff to keep the flock from going astray, which is to teach the animal the safe way. Let us not diminish this true portrait with our popular caricature of shepherds and sheep.

This means that what is taught comes with stinging, consistent reminders when we are dull to hear–continual and convicting calling out to us at all times; for the purpose of learning the shepherd’s voice–and painful correction when we walk outside the way He is leading. In essence we are asking the Lord to establish guardrails for our wandering off; guard rails to scrape us awake when we fall asleep at the wheel. Anyone who has fallen asleep while driving, and have been saved from death by a guard rail understands the scraping discipline its safety. It works, but grinds the metal into friction and scars.

Guard rails are to keep us on the road when we are to weak to stay awake or drive recklessly, beyond driving limits. This is why the Psalmist declares “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statues”, for he knows he has grown weary and needs to be kept awake. But what is the way of His statutes?

When dealing with the word “way” in Hebrews is refers to the well-worn singular road road, as the means of arriving at our destination. Jesus speaks clearly of the way the road we are to travel on. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus speaks of the difficulty of the way that leads to eternal life.

Because of this difficulty and our weakness its takes absolute surrender To God’s leading. How often has God given us a definite path to walk and in discontent of the difficulty, we chose another path which makes more sense to us. It is in those choices to justify compromise, we grow more weary in our flesh. The Lord’s way is the way of His statutes.

Statutes are the God the ordained allotment for my one’s life–the boundaries God has set for the good of His kingdom and my safety. Ultimately statutes refer to God’s design for your individual life and ministry. To rephrase verse 33 “Teach me the boundaries of my responsibility and the allotted material need to walk in that way.

Walking in His statutes deals with contentment in calling and provision (II Timothy 6:11). When we look beyond the statutes that define our life and calling and what provision is needed for it, we weary our flesh further.

Of great interest to David was not operating beyond where God had called him to operate. Even as God had chosen and anointed him over Saul, He would not presume to take the kingship, until God took it away from Saul in death. In Psalm 19:13 David cries out “keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sin, let them not have dominion over me”.

REALITY

Although our spirit is willing to serve Jesus on the narrow road, regardless of the peril it puts us in, the rest of our person (soul and body) must be sanctified in that holy desire. Until we grow accustomed to the way of His statues for our life, meaning His personal calling and provision for that calling, we will experience failure attributable to the weakness of the flesh.

REFOCUS

Ask the Lord some searching questions and wait for His response…

  1. Do I desire to serve you with all my heart?
  2. Am I in a season where I feel as though I am failing, even though I desire to walk godly with Jesus?
  3. If I am weary, what is it that that is causing me to be weary?
  4. Ask the Lord to reveal 1 or two passages to serve as statutes to keep you in His way.
  5. Ask the Lord to give you strong conviction, anytime you breach His revealed scriptural statues.

REVIVE 

Commit to obeying Him in what is revealed. As He moves in you in your daily life yield to His leading… “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes and I will keep it to the end

Posted in Matthew 26:41, Psalm 119:33-40, The flesh is weak, The Spirit is willing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment