Friday, December 05, 2008

Do You Want God to Make You Understand His Precepts?

From Psalm 119:


25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

This message from David Moss:

Do you want God to make you do anything? This presupposes that He will. This presupposes that He can.

I find few people who
a) believe they can understand more about God than they do;
b) want to understand more about God than they do; and
c) want to even talk about understanding God.

This is because
a) they realize that truly understanding will result in radical change in their thinking and behavior; and
b) will result in potential conflict with others who do not want to understand.

Should we not desire the deeper things of God? Why then does David desire that God make him understand? If we don’t understand we should ask. If we lack wisdom, we should ask it of God who gives to all generously. (James 1:5) The attitudes demonstrated in the Psalms are there to inform our personal attitudes. When we have enemies, we should entreat God to intervene. When we have difficulties, we should turn to God to provide for our needs. When life is going well, we should praise Him with everything we have. When we lack understanding, we should ask Him to make us understand.

And what should we beg God to make us understand? In this passage, David wants God to make him understand His precepts: his rules. If we truly understood God’s rules, we would be compelled to obey. We don’t understand because we are afraid we will have to obey and we don’t want to obey. Another way of saying this is “Make me obey.”

You see, we have a way of making the human will seem rather monolithic. We think that we want either one thing or some opposing thing. The fact is that for most opposing choices, we actually choose both and follow our greatest inclination. I’ve posted on this before a year or two ago. So, we choose both not to obey and to obey. The part of us that wants to obey God must cry out to God to make us understand and obey so that disobedience is overcome.

So, what makes us want to obey in the first place? If there is no God, no Holy Spirit to enliven us, then there is no power to obey. We will always fulfill that which we most desire and have no choice but to obey our lusts. However, we cry out because we have been made alive by the Holy Spirit: “God! Make me understand and obey you!”

And He does, to His glory.

Do you want this?

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