The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Psalm 19:7-10
I just came back from a fun-filled, action packed, but totally exhausting trip with my family. I would point out that, when travelling with two girls under age 3, even a trip to the airport can feel like a week-long adventure. I find myself sounding like a broken record repeating to my older daughter what she needs to do or stop doing: “Sydney, you cannot run away from daddy at the airport. Stay close to me!” “You need to stay in your seat until the airplane lands!” “You need to finish your food before you leave your chair.” You get the idea. And her response is always, “I don’t want to.” I think most people, like my daughter, do not like rules (unless you are the one making them). We think of rules as something that takes away our freedom – it is always restricting and takes away all the fun you can have.
When I look at this psalm by David, I try to imagine the state of his heart as he pours out his profound desire for God’s law and commandments. He does not resist the law (at least in this moment of his life) but celebrates and desires it like fine gold and honey. Think of a highly valued possession you have or want and compare that with how much you desire God’s commandments. It is probably not second nature to feel such strong desire for God’s law, because sin is in our nature from birth. We are all broken human beings who need daily saving.
The good news is that, as believers in Christ, we possess the spirit of God in us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (Romans 8:11), and it has the power to change us — to help us not conform but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).
As we seek to prioritise Him and submit to Him, the fear of the Lord becomes desire rather than duty. As our eyes start to open to see that His way is the only pure and true way, His rules no longer feel restricting, but freeing, because we finally realise that obeying Him brings true joy in us like nothing else in this world. As God rewires our hearts, our “I don’t want to” will naturally become “Yes I would love to.”
Let us practice responding “Yes I would love to” by:
- Thanking God for showing His love through His perfect law and commands.
- Asking for God’s help on specific commands that we find hard to follow and to help us see the joy in obeying Him.