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Real-time Growth
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastor

 

I’m one of those kinds of Christians who really likes using a Bible reading plan to structure my devotional times. It assures me that I’m reading through the entire Bible on a regular basis. I’ve found that to be so helpful in becoming familiar with all the books of the Bible and not just my favorites. I love seeing more and more clearly all the links between the individual books, the links between the testaments, and the flow of God’s redemptive purposes.

 

Anyway, in my reading plan I recently read through Psalm 119 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I took more time to really chew on verses and stanzas. One of the passages that struck me and challenged me was Ps. 119:59-60.

 

       When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies;
       I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.

 

I so appreciate the Psalmist’s steadfast commitment to obey God in his life. He not only wants to be careful to obey God because God commands it, but he so obviously loves God and wants to honor Him with his life. And he loves God’s Word! He doesn’t just love the parts of the Scriptures that give him comfort and hope and encouragement. He even loves God’s commandments! (See Ps. 119:20, 24, 35, 40, 47, 48, 77, 92, 97, 103, 111, 127, and many others…)

 

So he has a great desire to be pleasing to the Lord. What can we learn from the Psalmist here?

 

First he says, “When I think on my ways…” In order to grow in holiness, I need to look in the mirror. Often. I need to make a regular habit of reflecting on my behavior and my attitudes and my speech and my motives. I need to think on them. Be reflective. And not only think on them, but to examine them in light of Scripture. Were my words edifying right then, or were they a bit too biting or judgmental? Were my thoughts toward him gracious or were they critical? Am I being careful in my internet use? Am I being lazy or am I being proactive in my responsibilities? And so on.

 

And after he examines his ways, if the Spirit convicts him that his ways are sinful, he turns his u turnfeet to God’s testimonies. I love that imagery. He turns his feet. He was walking a sinful way in his life, and he finds that he needs to turn and walk the other way – toward godliness. That’s repentance. I agree with God that my behavior or attitude is sinful and then I turn my feet in the other direction – committing to replace that sinful attitude or behavior with a righteous one.

 

And how fast does he make the correction toward godliness? Pronto. Lickety split. “I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments!” To hasten means to act with swiftness. To move quickly. I recognize my sin and then I move quickly toward righteousness. I don’t nurture it. I don’t play with it. I don’t ignore it. I don’t try to justify it. I sense the conviction of the Spirit, confess my sin to God (and whomever I’ve sinned against), put off that judgmental or critical spirit and put on grace and patience and love. I take the sinful thought captive right now in the power of the Spirit.

 

That should be my regular practice. Real-time repentance and growth. Feel the conviction, confess it, repent, and put on righteousness. Post-haste.

 

I know, easier said than done, right? But in Christ I can grow in that direction. And the result is the peaceful fruit of righteousness and greater glory to God.

 

 



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