Psalm 119 – 169-176

May my cry come before you, O Lord;

give me understanding according to your word.

This cry is the voice of the human spirit, now rising up to God whether things are good or bad – now I can remain in heartfelt communication with my Lord.  And my cry is – continue to teach me, so I can learn and grow in your Word – with Jesus, by the Spirit, with your word on my lips, speaking and living in your paths, righteous and sanctified and glad to act!

May my supplication come before you;

deliver me according to your promise.

My cry – my appeal – should repeatedly reach the throne of God, say simply ‘Sanctify me, save me, according to your promise, your word, your Son, the promised one, the living Lord Jesus!  Save me in him and in his spirit!’

May my lips overflow with praise,

for you teach me your decrees.

I want my mouth to be overfull and for words to pour out constantly, praising God for this, my prayer, is being answered now [sic.8.6.14, but also 7.11.16].  As I write this, as I read it again in the future, whether times are hard or easy, he is teaching me this pattern of life, his way of doing business.

May my tongue sing of your Word,

for all your commands are righteous.

I want to sing!  To be noisy in your word – for and through the Spirit of Jesus – because your way of ruling is proper, good, upright, effective and able to redeem your people.

May your hand be ready to help me,

for I have chosen your precepts.

I am going to need your help, Lord – but now I understand that to ask in the Spirit is to prophesy – to ‘speak into being’ – to ask with faith is to begin to receive.  We can’t have faith in the wrong things, because faith comes from the Spirit, so what we have been given holy faith to believe, we should pray wholeheartedly for and act upon.  This is to choose God’s precepts rather than our own way of living.

I long for your salvation, O lord,

and your law is my delight.

Being saved is so exciting!  I want to run on in it – because your words and ways fill me with gladness and excitement.

Let me live that I may praise you

and may your laws sustain me.

Yes – this is life to the full – to worship in Spirit and Truth – in understanding of the real state of affairs – and sustained by God’s living law, by the Spirit of Jesus living in us as his word, showing, explaining, drawing our attention.

I have strayed like a lost sheep.  Seek your servant

for I have not forgotten your commands.

And this is the power of God’s law – I strayed – I spent all this time trying to do it – but I have not forgotten your commands because they have continually acted upon me.  As long as God seeks me, holding me on the path through his law, through his Word, his command is to follow.  His command is impossible to resist – his command is the person of Jesus – his person is the greatest command, commanding us to know him by his very presence in the world he created.

A Spiritual Diet

I was talking with the Lord last year over a meal and heard him clearly tell me to eat up my dinner.  Three times.  After that sort of amusing word, I’m always intrigued.  This is how the Lord likes to hook me, I think!

Protein builds muscles, he reminded me.  So I began to think about this with some new insight, for everything that is true for our physical body is reflected in our spirit, I’m learning.  When we do things – when we exercise – our muscles are torn and worn and it is in the repairing of them, using protein we’ve eaten, that they are strengthened.  So what is it that makes us stronger in the spirit?

It is the Word – scripture – God’s speaking to us – that builds us up.  We know this!  But our diet must be coupled with exercise – with obedience to the word.  Without the tearing and the wearing out of our human abilities the muscles of a human spirit cannot be rebuilt as muscles of Jesus’ spirit in us.  God works in these organic ways, growing and replacing from within – we see it all the time.

To continue the analogy, rice gives us energy.  Carbohydrate is the fuel of our continuing life, allowing us to move.  What is it that energises us in the spiritual realm?  Surely it is praise and worship!  You can go a day without carbs, but your body will need to re-wire and re-plumb and improvise to find some energy somewhere – yet you are designed to burn that carbohydrate in every cell of your body!  Now sometimes we think we can get on without worship, yet worship is the thing that gives us energy – spiritual energy – to do the work that God has for us.  As we burn the fuel – make the offering – give the sacrifice – we ourselves are cleansed and changed and made ready to act.

I think the analogy could go even further – I love to shove a metaphor – and I wonder whether prophecy might not fill some of the place that minerals and vitamins do in our earthly diet…  But there are so many things to be explored here!  Suffice to say, I’m convinced that getting the two big blocks sorted for growth is a good place to start – the protein of the Word, exercised through obedience, and the carbohydrate fuel of worship, burnt to give us life!