Thursday, April 19, 2012

Making your have to's into want to's

Psalm 19:8a The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart

For the past couple of days we have been exploring the descriptions given of the Bible in Psalm 19.  Today we will be looking at a word that you may not see often - "precepts".  When the Bible is described as "precepts", the Lord is concerned in explaining the Bible's quality of telling us "how you ought to live in light of the Lord's will".  Precepts then spell out how you and I ought to live.  

Duty and Delight in the Christian life - not opponents, but friends
Do you ever find conflict between what you know you ought to do - duty, and what you really want to do - delight? For instance, Christians know they "ought" to go to church, they "ought" or "should" give 10% of their income, they "ought" or "should" be sharing their faith without shame rather than trying to "fit-in" with the crowd.  Why is it so hard to live the Christian life?

Because the things that we ought to do conflict with what this world, and at times even ourselves, desire to do.  Some Christians will try to resolve this conflict by being all about "duty".  They'll put a stiff upper lip on their face and "try harder" to love God.  Why?  It's your duty.

Others will say - no, Christianity should only be about what makes you happy.  Isn't God concerned about your joy as well as holiness?  In these types of situations, it appears that what we "ought to do" and "what I want to do" can never meet and be the same.  Which is why the Psalmist writes what he writes above.  It is only through the scriptures that my duty toward God and my delight in God can be one and the same.  You have the ability given to you at salvation to desire God.  Knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He sent is the purest definition of what it means to have Eternal Life. (John 17:3)

Only in the scriptures can my "have-to's" be made into "want to's"
This is why we have the precepts of God.  The Bible has this inherent quality of making your "have to's" into "want to's".  How many of you reading this blog have a hard time memorizing scriptures?  Many will say: "I can't do it" or "I just don't have the time".  Have you ever thought of first praying about it?  Take Psalm 19:7-14 and begin memorizing it one verse a week.  According to the verse above, as you expose yourself to the Lord's precepts, you'll being to "delight" in the word of God. 

What was formerly a "have to" now becomes "a want to".  Only by the scriptures can your spiritual life and hunger for God grow.  1 Peter 2:2 states - "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation".  God never said you could live the Christian life.  All He said was that in you and through you He desires to live it through you so that you can live it for Him. (Galatians 2:20).