Journal Ps 119:121-152 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: (The Psalmist) “With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep your statutes. I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” Ps 119:145-148
Observation: It appears that the Psalmist is pretty stirred up with the intention to seek God.
Am I as stirred up?
Analysis: If I look in Psalms, I will experience this: “I like this; I like that; I don’t understand what he is saying here or there; that is too dark; I want to read something light, enjoyable, and uplifting…”
In other words, I will cherry-pick according to my momentary desires. I might want to call it “being led by the Spirit”, and so it might be. I am certainly not saying otherwise.
But I know from my own experience that I may be confronted with a challenging section of Scripture, and…I slide right over so that I don’t dwell and develop a pesky condition called “conviction.”
It is happening right here.
The first simple challenge is waking up early—consistently; greeting the dawn! The Psalmist is pretty stoked on this challenge and shouts to himself. Make no mistake, the Psalmist is trying to pump himself up:
“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn!
I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Ps 57:7-10
The second challenge is to be transparent before God:
- I will shout your Name.
- I will call upon your Name (and not just in the silence of my mind).
- I will do these things with my whole heart (and figure out just what that means and not try to explain why not to do it).
The third challenge is to put meat on the bones of these statements:
- I will keep your statutes.
- …that I may observe your testimonies.
- I (will) hope in your word.
- I may (want to) meditate on your promises.
These challenges are not wistful; not just good intentions to write about. These are things the Psalmist is modeling for believers so that we may know what to do, where to go to increase in maturity, to be intentional about our Christianity.
Ricky Two Shoes