We are a people of wandering hearts, flitting from one obsession to another, always looking for greener grass.
There is a reason that God calls us sheep.
Even when we determine to follow God, these hearts of ours still venture away from His way.
The psalmist recognized this in Psalm 119:10 –
With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.
He sought the Lord with his whole heart, but he quickly prayed for God to help him not to wander. That’s me! Life can throw curve balls that quickly unsettle my best intentions.
In this section of Psalm 119 (verses 9-16), I find some help for my tendency to stray.
- Hide God’s word in the heart (verse 11). The more that God’s word is in me, the more I am able to stay near to Him.
- Ask for God’s instruction (verse 12). I often try to figure the right way out for myself, but God wants me to seek His guidance.
- Confess God’s word to others (verse 13). When I love something, I talk about it. The more I talk about God’s word, Who He is, and what He does, the more I grow in my love and trust of Him.
- Find joy in God (verse 14). I tend to stay close to where I find joy.
- Meditate on and honor God’s precepts (verse 15). Thinking about God’s way and His word helps me see Him working in my life each day.
- Delight in God’s word (verse 16). Again, I tend to remain close to the things or persons that make me happy, so finding delight in God’s word makes me want to stay close to Him.
What does all this look like in my life every day?
- I am reading and memorizing scripture as I ask God to help me understand and apply it to my life.
- I am talking about God and His word to others.
- I am rejoicing in what God is doing and in His precious promises.
- My thoughts are on Him throughout my day.
I am prone to wander just like a silly sheep on a hillside. Reading and studying God’s word keeps my eyes on my Shepherd, and He keeps my drifting feet and thoughts in line.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
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