Journal Entry // February 14, 2021
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.Psalm 40:8 ESV
This is the natural outworking of putting my hope in God. The Lord has saved, reconciled, and redeemed me from the slavery of sin and rebellion that gripped my heart. Not only has he promised to bring me safely home to be with him, but he has given me a new heart and placed his Spirit within to dwell there with me. And in my heart is written his law.
I think in some fashion I have always viewed statements like this as a restraint leading to a lack of freedom. Rules and laws always seemed to be designed to take away freedoms and choices. So, I was inclined to view God’s law not as a pathway of freedom or even guardrails on this path of freedom, but as a set of rules designed to inhibit my freedom. In my head, I knew all the right answers about the law and its intended purpose. I knew that the law was there to protect me and to reveal the heart of God. For God’s law reveals to me his great love for me and tells me a lot about how character.
But I did not delight in God’s law. I viewed his law as something that has to be done… A duty. It was this standard I needed to live up to, even though his word tells us that’s impossible. What I have been missing is that obedience is the demonstration of my love for Christ. It is not a sacrifice to obey the commandments of God. It’s not as though we are giving up something good and precious to us as we obey God’s law. Obedience to his law is requiring us to give up sin. The very thing we should be about.
So turning from a view that sets the law against my desire and understanding that as I delight in the Lord, I will obey the law. To truly delight in the Lord, I must naturally love and cherish his law. For not only is the law a revelation of God’s goodness, but he has written it upon my heart. That’s the importance of obedience. I don’t have to keep a copy of the law with me for reference. He has written it upon my heart, so that it is ever before me.
As Jesus taught, “if you love me, you will obey my commandments.” I need to move from duty, to desire, to delight. It is adequate to dutifully fulfill the law. It is admirable to desire God’s word be lived out. But it is love that finds delight in obedience to the law of God. Joy and happiness in obedience and faithfulness. Not perfectly of course, but a true delight in obeying. This is where I am working and striving to live. Delighting in God’s law and him drawing me close in his love.