PSALM 119 Devotion Part 2 Psalm 119:9-16A Prayer especially for the young man. V.9      “How can a young man keep his way pure?  But keeping it according to Thy word.” Perhaps the most [potentially] unrestrained sinful nature in mankind is that of a young man; he’s full of testosterone.  It takes a much greater power than the young man to restrain and properly guide those passions.  For a young man, left to his own sinful nature to nurture (or feed through porn) those passions only makes them fiercer, more unrestrained!  So many young men make life-shattering decisions because they’ve not taken control of their passions and desires.  These years often shape and form the character of the young man – for good or bad.  The Proverbs[1] are full of exhortations to the young man; and if heeded, will literally save his life from potential foolishness.              While the young man often throws care to the wind, he doesn’t realize that he’s sowing seed that will produce fruit; good or bad, it will reap a harvest.  A man must reap his own harvest (Gal. 6:7,8).  No matter what we do to escape the consequences of our own behavior, we eventually must receive (eat) the fruit that comes from what has been sown.  Unfortunately, the sowing in a young man’s life is often unbridled.  The passions are easily roused and quieted with great difficulty.  The answer is not to feminize the young man!  Or lay so many restrictions on him that he feels like a caged animal.  The answer is to bring these (God-given) passions into submission to the omnipotent God of the Universe through His Word and by His Spirit!  Develop a zeal for God (Titus 2:11-14).               What a valuable window of time to harness that passion and appetite for the Lord Jesus Christ!  How can a young man keep his way pure?  By knowing and obeying God’s word!  The teenage years and young twenties can be some of the most fruitful time in a person’s life.  This is a time of amazingly growing strength – physically, emotionally, mentally and, yes, spiritually.  There’s a potential wonder-working power in a young man’s life and God is jealous for the vessel.  His way can be kept pure!  His ways can be established (V.5)!  God’s Word is what will discipline the heart and will of the young stallion to reach its full potential!  God’s Word is the single most powerful influence on a young man’s heart to keep it channeled in God’s way as opposed to the way of the world.  I Jn. 1:13-14 says, “¼I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one¼” “¼I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”  God’s word, understood and trusted, is the literal power of Jesus Christ at work.  As Jesus used God’s word to resist and subdue the enemy (Lk. 4:1-12), so must the young man… and there will be victory. Develop a craving for the Word of God.  Just as you would discipline yourself consistently in the gym, discipline yourself for consistently studying God’s Word and seeking His face in prayer!  Do you have some passion that you know is not of the Lord?  Do you want deliverance?  Find out what God’s Word says about that area and immerse yourself in those passages; memorize it, meditate on it, study it, pray through it – (regularly).  Offer the members of your body to the Lord as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:11-13); consider yourself His bondservant in thought, word and deed (Col. 3:17-21).  You’ll find yourself walking in the “pure” way of the Lord in that area.  V.10    “With all my heart I have sought Thee; do not let me wander from Thy commandments.” What causes me to wander?  You may have guessed it… my [own] “wandering” heart.  I have a sheep’s heart.  Say that, “I have a sheep’s heart.  I’m prone to wander.”   Say it to God now.  “God, I am prone to wander.  I have a sheep’s heart.  Call me in.  Call me close.  God, I am seeking You with all my heart – now.  “With all my heart I have sought Thee” Pray now, “Lord, show me what it means to seek You with my whole heart!  Do not let me wander from Your commands.”  Take it from a pastor, wandering sheep get into serious trouble; wandering sheep often head straight for the “slaughter” house – that’s what Satan wants for the sheep and the sheep away from the shepherd and the flock is the most vulnerable animal in creation.  Romans 8:36b says, “We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  From the beginning (Gen. 4:2) sheep have always needed a shepherd; they’ve always been helpless and vulnerable alone.  If you have your sensibilities about you as a sheep and you’re staying close to the Shepherd along with the flock (the local church) and you see another sheep wandering¼.  Do what James 5:19,20 says¼ Go to them and gently turn/beckon them back to the Lord and the fold.  You may be saving their life!

 
 
V.11    “Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.” What is the correlation between treasuring God’s Word and sin in my life?  The Psalmist goes on to pray in verse 133, “Establish my footsteps in Thy word, And do not let iniquity have dominion over me.”  There’s a direct relationship between treasuring God’s Word and abiding in Christ in sanctified (sin-free) fellowship?  The child of God cannot maintain a close, abiding relationship with the Lord apart from treasuring God’s Word.  You may say, I just can’t drum up such a desire for His Word?!  My lusts and passions seem to have so much more of an influence on me!?  Well, good at least you’re honest.  If you don’t desire the Word then tell God (He’s got big shoulders, He can handle it).  Confess that lack of desire to Him.  Ask Him to stimulate your desire.  Principle: don’t focus on the sin¼ Focus on the Word.  If there is an area of sin that is plaguing you¼ Pull out a concordance and find out what God’s Word says about it and meditate, study, memorize, pray through specific passages related to it.  Gain the victory!  “Play the man” (I Cor. 16:13)!  Treasure His Word (Prov. 2:1-5). 
 
V.12    “Blessed art Thou, O Lord; teach me Thy statutes.” Isn’t this interesting¼  This is a plea to the Lord to teach me His Word.  You can learn directly from the Lord.    I don’t know of a time where I have stopped and asked God to teach me or help me understand a passage when He didn’t give me insight and wisdom into that passage.  When you’re lacking wisdom.  Ask.  Be specific.  Again, if there is an area that you lack God’s perspective and you want it¼ Be specific and ask Him (Jas. 1:5).  The Psalmist goes on to say in verse 130, “The unfolding of Thy words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”  Be specific about the request and be willing to search/study His Word.  Your pastor is readily available to give you passages you could look up regarding any question, problem, issue you may have.  I may not have the answer, but I can send you to plenty of passages with the “light” that you need.  One of the requirements for understanding is not education or knowledge; it’s humility.  God’s wisdom is given to the “simple,” the “humble” (Prov. 1:7).  Pray and tell God, “God, I’m totally ignorant in this, I’m very simple minded, I’m in a spiritual, emotional, moral, whatever FUNK!  Please give me light.  I’m tired of groping in the darkness; I’m tired of spinning my wheels.  I’m ready now to reject to knowledge of the world.  I want the wisdom that comes to the humble and through Your Word. I need something to anchor my inconsistent double-minded soul, I need concrete truth about the matter to meditate on or I am going to lose it!  Please teach me; I am humbling myself; I am listening.”
 
V.13    “With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Thy mouth.” How has God been using my mouth today?  I’m going make a bet that the man or woman who’s heart is immersed in the Word in the morning… their lips will be overflowing with God’s Word appropriate to the circumstances throughout the day.  Are my lips a willing are ready instrument?  Well, out of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt. 12:34; Lk. 6:45; Prov. 4:23; 10:11).  We all need to pay attention to the heart issue and cultivate godliness in our hearts.  The heart is directly affected by my walk with the Lord and the lips will follow.  Pray, “God, search and change my heart; use these lips of mine to graciously give your truth to[ward] You, myself and others.”
 
V.14    “I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.” This passage is a great test or thermometer of my spiritual sensibilities.  What is it that rejoices my heart; and, have I experienced this joy in the word recently?  How many times does the Word compare the Word with great riches and the riches or this world fall woefully short of His Word (Ps. 11:162; Prov. 2:1-4; 15:6; 22:1,4).  There is no true joy or wealth or prosperity apart from a heart stayed upon the Lord.  
 
V.15    “I will meditate on Thy precepts, and regard Thy ways.” Meditate “siyach,” to ponder, or to converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (trans.) utter:-commune, complain, declare, meditate, pray, speak, talk (with).  Study.  The passage also says, “I will regard Your ways.” Regard “nabat” from a primary root that means to scan, i.e. to look intently at; to regard with pleasure, favor or care:-(cause to) behold, consider, look (down), regard, have respect, see (Strongs).  Believer, this is more than reading; it’s real concentrated alone time with God and interacting with His Word; it’s a mixture between studying and praying.  You’re bringing a passage of scripture to bear on your life’s circumstances through prayer; you’re communicating the content of that passage back to God in light of your own heart and its response to your circumstances.  Take notes.  Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible.  Journal.  Many times the difference between reading and studying is a prayer and a pencil.  Whether you use a pencil or not, time, place and solitude is of essence when you meditate on something.  We all need to set aside some time to get away when no one else is around so that we can bring our wandering heart back to the Lord and His Word.  Set time aside and go where no one will bother you.  Be jealous about your time with God alone.  If you haven’t been spending this time with God every day, then try three times this week.  If you have never been able to establish a long period of time, then try ten minutes three times a week and then work from there.  Ten minutes might sound like nothing, but if you didn’t spend any time with the Lord alone last week, thirty minutes this week is a lot better than last week!  The important thing is that you establish specific time and place with the Lord and His Word. 

V.16    “I shall delight [myself] in Thy statutes; I shall not forget Thy word.” As in verse eight, this is another desperate promise from a sinful man.  I think God understands our frailty in making promises to Him (cf. 103:14).  But we need to understand how dependent we are on His grace in order to fulfill any promise we make.  We’re to be very careful when we make promises to the Lord, always calling on His mercy and grace to help in our time of strengthlessness (Heb. 4:16).  I usually preface any promise I make to the Lord with, “By Your grace, Lord…”  Try that on this passage. A note to young men:  Make it a practice to read a chapter of the Proverbs each day of the month.  Do it every month, month in and month out.  Whatever the date of the month is, that’s the chapter you’ll read.  If you miss a day, don’t worry, just read the chapter corresponding to the date.  You’ll pick up the missed chapter next month.  You need a boatload of wisdom to negotiate through these years – these years that have so much potential.  Don’t waste any time.  God’s will for you today is to walk closely with Him.  Study Psalm 1:1-3 alongside this portion of Psalm 119.  You may need to man-up and drop some of your loser friends.  Don’t worry about them, they’ll find other loser friends.  You’re not going to bring them up; don’t try.  Don’t negotiate with them or appease them – it’s like trying to appease your own sinful nature – it never works.  Drop them like a hot potato.  Head’s up… you don’t need lots of friends like a bunch of school-girls.  You only need one or two good friends.  Make them godly and it could literally save your life.  Walk with the Lord and wait on the woman He has for you.  If you do what we’ve discussed here, believe me God is going to bring you HIS VERY BEST (Prov. 31:10-31)!  He doesn’t cast his pearls before swine.  You’ll get a treasure.