Back in 1991 a book was released called DOS for Dummies which gave simpler instructions for computer operating systems. It paved the way for a series of how-to books geared for those of us who need simplicity. I don’t think God views us as dummies but He was the originator of instruction manuals.
The second series of eight verses from Psalm 119 (vs. 9-16) is similar to a how-to book. If you stayed with me last week you’ll remember that each section, or octave, begins with the consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Step One: open your Bible.
The first Hebrew word translates ‘how’. How do you walk in the Spirit? How do you stay clean or pure in God’s sight (vs. 9)? That’s the question the Psalmist asks and answers in these eight verses. Step Two: guard where you walk as instructed in the Word of God (vs. 9). I think you get the drift; there are some places you shouldn’t go, some things you shouldn’t see, and some things you shouldn’t do. God cautions us to pay attention to those influences; they can tear you down in a moment.
Step Three: seek God (vs. 10) with all that you are, your whole heart. Prayer and Bible study aids our spiritual walk by giving us direction and therefore not wandering aimlessly through life. Having His Word in our heart (vs. 11) keeps us from the temptations to sin which daily bombard us. Look at verse 12; the writer prays that God would teach Him how to live in the Spirit through His statutes or decrees. Those are specific instructions for each of His children and He encourages us to find them. That’s seeking God.
There’s something powerful about verbalizing the Word of God (vs. 13): Step Four. Whether reading a verse aloud in prayer or quoting it to someone; speaking and therefore hearing brings increased awareness. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak. (2 Corinthians 4:13 ESV)
We close out this section (vs. 14-16) with a declaration of delight in what God is doing in our life and testimony and it brings renewed commitment. That refocus causes the Psalmist to state four “I wills.” I will meditate on God’s word, I will focus on His ways, I will delight in His instructions, and I will not forget His Word. When we come into alignment with those commitments, as a mission in life, we’ll find the same delight. Our how-to instructions for walking in the blessings of life in the Spirit are evident in Psalm 119. Read this octave carefully this week, maybe even reading it out loud as a prayer to the Author of Salvation and watch Him slowly change your thinking and your attitude in life.
Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2a NKJV)