“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD” (Psalm 119:1).
Do you wish to feel no shame the next time you open your Bible or hear a sermon? Then pray for a complete walk, a stable walk, with set patterns of obedience and an established lifestyle. No, do not just pray, but yearn, yearn with Spirit of the Christ, who cried to God in the prophetic psalms, “O that My ways were directed to keep Thy statues! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments” (Psalm 119:5-6).
Thus begins the largest chapter in the Bible–a psalm with ocean swells of deep spiritual emotion, all in prayer around the law of God.
Is this legalism–to focus on the law of God in our Gospel age? No. The Psalm itself is the Spirit of Christ Himself, breathing out His perfect prayers through the prophet David (cf. Acts 2:29-31). Further, we who are truly Christians have been justified by His blood and sanctified in His Spirit that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:4). True, in Christ, the Sabbath and other cultural and ritual practices of the Old Testament have now been fulfilled, taking on new shape due to the New Order (cf. Galatians 4:1-11; Colossians 2:16-23); however, the moral law, rooted in the nature of reality, is just as relevant today as ever, and the more we are filled with the Spirit of Christ, the more we also will breathe out the aspirations of the psalmist to obey that law. This is so important, for God has not given His commandments to be left unexamined or dismissed as irrelevant. He expects us to keep them “diligently” (Psalm 119:4).
Do you? Do you yearn to learn, and long to obey His law? Jesus did. He delighted to do God’s will, whose law was within His very heart (Psalm 40:8; cf. Hebrews 10:5-10). It is my conviction that such a spirit is not common today. To observe God’s testimonies and to research God Himself is not the heart-throb and dogged commitment of many, but it is of the blessed (Psalm 119:2). Such are the “blameless” (verse one, quoted above)–not those who are absolutely sinless, for none are (Ecclesiastes 7:10), but those who live a life of integrity before God and men, having no gaping inconsistencies between heart, hand, and mouth. That such is possible for us now is shown by the plural adjective of verse one: “Blessed are the blameless [plural] in way, who walk in the law of the LORD” (author’s translation).
May the Lord bless you with such aspirations today! You will find yourself isolated, but you will have Him with you–and the prayer at the end of the paragraph will make much sense: “I will keep Thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly” (Psalm 119:8).