By Brooke Holt
Psalm 40:8: “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is written within my heart.”
How do you view God’s law? For so long, I thought of God’s law as rules and limitations. Sadly, in my younger years, I felt that God’s law restricted my fun. As a parent, I have come to understand God’s law as protection. Just as I know the danger of the world for my children and thus restrict what they can do, God knows the dangers in the world for us. His law is there to protect and guide us, to keep us on the path of life.
It is only when I stop to think of God’s laws in this way that I can make the tough choices to obey him. My flesh often wants its own way; I am trying to learn to surrender those fleshly desires and to obey the Word of the Lord and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In those glorious moments when I overcome the flesh and see the fruit of my obedience, I can clearly say, “I delight to do your will, God.” When I forget the joy of obedience and I choose the way of my flesh, I try not to move into self-condemnation. Instead, I choose repentance then ask that God would give me the desire to obey, to delight in his will.
Of all people, King David knew this struggle. He writes this psalm as one who is called “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14) – what a compliment! However, even those who are seeking the heart and mind of the Lord face the temptation of their flesh and this world. David writes to impart the wisdom he has gleaned in walking with the Lord. There is incredible joy in obedience to God’s perfect law. God’s word is to be trusted to be the way of salvation and abundant life in this world.
So let me ask you, how is your heart today? Are you delighting in God’s will for your life and delighting in his law? Do you believe that his ways truly are the best ways for you? If not, there is no condemnation in Christ (see Romans 8:1). However, today may be the day to bring yourself before the Lord, to confess that you have followed the ways of your flesh and not his Spirit. Then, ask him to fill you anew with that life-giving Spirit, that your heart may quicken to his ways and delight in his will and law.
Paul says that we have a war going on between our flesh and our spirits. Until the day we see him face to face, we will remain in that war. In the meantime, what does it look like for you to delight in God’s will and to have his law written on your heart? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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