My family and I were sitting down for breakfast awhile back and I was reading out of Psalm 119 (the longest chapter in the Bible). Psalm 119 is a magnificent portrait of the beauty of God’s instructions. It is like a poem with each stanza beginning with a letter of the Hebrews alphabet and there is a common theme running through it: The law of God is a precious gift that proves His love for us. After the reading was finished, one my boys asked me point blank, “Daddy, why do you keep talking about the law?” It was a good question. So I answered him, “Buddy, God loves us so much that He tells us exactly what to do so that we are happy and not sad.” I think that gets at the heart of God’s law. He does not tell us how to live because He doesn’t love us. He tells us how to live because He does love us.
This love sick longing for the instructions of God is a sign of a changed heart. The hard heart recoils from God’s commands. The soft heart absorbs the commands of God like a sponge. This is really where the miracle needs to happen. Until a child understands that daddy’s instructions are motivated by love, he or she will fight it tooth and nail. When the eyes are opened to see the abounding and steadfast love of the father (daddy), the instructions will be embraced, loved and longed for.
How do you see the law of God for you? If you are avoiding, ignoring or rejecting His good instructions, here is a suggested prayer for you to use. It’s verse 36, “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” In other words, “Put a longing in my heart to know and live by every word you’ve spoken to me. Keep me from being selfish and self-centered so that I can be happy following you.” Affections for God are always stirred by prayers of desperation. So feel free to say it the way it is and ask God to meet you where you are.