Psalm 119:25-32: Enlarge My Heart
June 4, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
What do you do when you don’t feel like studying the Bible? All of us at some point or other find that our feelings do not match our commitments. Worse still, what do you do when you find that you don’t feel like seeking God at all?
The doctrine of our day and our time would be to follow your feelings. Anything else is viewed as repression and being disingenuous—or not true to who you really are. In that case, then, the answer would be to not study the Bible if you don’t feel like it, or not to seek God if you don’t feel like it either. But there is a better way, and that is to pray the prayer of this psalm.
The psalmist finds that his “soul clings to the dust” (119:25). He finds that his soul “melts away for sorrow” (119:28). This is not a happy bunny. This is someone who realizes that his feelings are far from diving into earnest Bible study, and instead leading him to feel broken down and melting away. What do you do then? What you do is you pray.
- “Give me life according to your word” (119:25).
- “Teach me your statutes” (119:26).
- “Strengthen me according to your word” (119:28).
- “Graciously teach me your law” (119:29).
You get the idea. When you are not feeling like being committed to God, ask God to give you life, to strengthen you and to teach you. The task of life is to bring our feelings into line with truth, and to cause those feelings to generate action in line with that same truth. Don’t wallow in negative feelings; ask God to transform them, to give you life according to his Word. But not only does he pray, then also he decides.
- “I have chosen the way of faithfulness” (119:30).
- “I set your rules before me” (119:30).
- “I cling to your testimonies” (119:31).
- “I will run in the way of your commandments” (119:32).
Prayer generates commitment, and the commitment is made: “I have chosen,” “I set,” “I cling,” “I will run.” This morning, not only pray to God for help, but also commit to God to do what it takes to understand his Word and to follow his Word. The psalmist finishes this section with a repeated note of prayer and of humility. He will do all this “when you enlarge my heart” (119:32). May God enlarge our hearts to follow him and his Word!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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