Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!
The psalmist prays that God would keep Him from evil. In doing so he prays specifically over 4 areas that lead him towards evil. First he prays for his heart, then his actions, then the company he keeps and then finally the things he would end up indulging in that are forbidden.
The psalmist lays out a detailed prayer that help each of us understand the depth of the fight against sin and depravity.
⁃ The heart. Our own heart will guide us astray. Our heart, though sanctified and washed by Christ, still has fleshly leanings. It still, apart from the Spirits leading, will lead us to self-preservation, self-promotion and self-gratification. “Following our heart” can get us in trouble. Therefore we must pray consistently that our hearts be guided by the Spirit. My heart has many times led me towards something that felt right but in the end was a mess.
⁃ Our actions are a result of our heart. However many times we treat them as something separate. As a man it is easy to disconnect who we are from what we say or do. The psalmist prays that his actions would be pleasing to God. He doesn’t give himself room to “busy himself with wicked deeds.” Idle hands usually find wicked deeds to busy themselves with. It is important to know that if the heart strays the actions follow.
⁃ The next is connected but important to address separately. The evil deeds are done in the company of the men who work iniquity. Who we spend time with and around will inevitably shape our behavior. We have the ability to help lead men who work iniquity away from their lifestyles, however if we are not guarding our hearts, we will be the one influenced.
⁃ Finally the psalmist prays that he would not eat of their delicacies. It is important to realize that the stuff the wicked offer is appealing to anyone. I must not think I can’t be enticed by the world. I am never beyond that. I have learned that no one is incapable of anything.
A handful of things…
-It all starts with the heart. If I let my heart slip I will find my life compromised.
-Actions follow my heart. Be quick to repent and get my heart right.
-People influence me as much as I influence them. I must be careful of who I spend time with.
-I am never above anything. I must not assume I am.
I need you Lord. Keep my heart close to you. May my actions follow.