Journal Entry // February 20, 2021
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.Psalm 48:10 ESV
God’s right hand is filled with righteousness and he will do what is good and right for his namesake. And because of this, we are called to rejoice because of his judgements as we think on his steadfast love and bring praise to him.
Do I rejoice over God’s right hand being filled with righteousness and his holy judgements? I don’t think I really do. I think I let my thoughts lead to an unhealthy fear of God. The Psalmist tells us that this should all lead us to rightly fear the Lord because he is righteous and pronounces good judgements. But I still think I am living in a manner that fears the Lord not because his judgements are righteous and holy, but because I am not and I continue to fall under his righteous wrath.
I want obedience in my life to be driven by a delight in the Lord. That I will seek righteousness simply because it is the path to the heart of God. That all pleasure and joy can be found only in him and the faithful servant will obey his commands because it is a joy and delight to seek the heart of the one I love and the one that loves me.
Yet oftentimes, I find myself battling temptation with the strength of my own arm, which is not filled with righteousness. I find myself trying to convince myself that obedience is the right way because God is worthy of my fear. It’s not that this statement is wrong. It’s that the motivation is wrong. I rationalize that the right and proper response to fight sin and temptation is to gird up my own strength and show the Lord my commitment to faithfulness. That I can fight the evil one myself essentially. I never really say that and I never really even think that or believe that. Yet that is what I essentially bring to the fight at times… and every time I fail.
I continue to miss the key point. I need to cling to Jesus before I fail. In my head I warp the message and believe I should try my hardest to fight sin and temptation, then cling to Jesus if I’m not successful. The better answer is that when temptation comes, I should cling to Jesus. Jesus is surely there for me when I fall and that is never in doubt. But how I want to live is in a moment by moment clinging to Christ. This is delighting in the Lord. When temptation comes, and it will surely come, then I want to battle and fight in humility.
I want to understand that success is not measured by how I do in resisting temptation in that moment. Success is measured in how I cultivate delight in that moment. That temptation is an opportunity to rejoice over the Lord. To celebrate his righteousness and steadfast love. To make every opportunity about Jesus. He is gentle and lowly. We can come to him at any and every moment. We don’t have to wait for failure of defeat. No, we can run to him when we are happy and glad, mad and sad, at the end of the battle, during the battle, and even before the battle.
Delight in the Lord is something I need to cultivate in my heart. It’s a lot like cultivating a garden. It’s not as simple as just doing a few steps on a checklist. It takes care and attention to detail. It takes time and patience. It takes the right hand of God moving in my heart to draw me closer and closer to him each and every day.