“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” — Psalms 119:9-11 NKJV
At first glance as I read this passage, I was thinking how can a young man cleanse his way? He can’t! Only Jesus can do that for you. But the psalmist David contends it can happen “by taking heed according to your word”— And we know Jesus is the living word. We may get a totally different reading if we substitute the word Jesus for the word word.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Jesus. With my whole heart I sought you …
Yes exactly, when you wholeheartedly seek Christ, he does give himself to you in a way that cleanses you, and a new an intimate fellowship, completely different than anything you’ve ever known before. And it becomes your life.
Then David says let me not wander from your commandments — and again at first glance I would say that was silliness because God is not interested in our keeping the law; his grace already made a way for us. But then when you consider that Jesus gave his companions a new commandment, the commandment to love, this also makes sense:
I’m daily praying to God don’t let me wander from your love. From showing your love to others — from being your Love in every situation. So, this makes sense as well in light of this new life I’m living in Christ.
And finally David says “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Of course I don’t worry much about sin, because I know Christ has done away with all sin for all time already. But I certainly have hidden him in my heart — and I know that my life is hidden with him.
So this passage works as well — that intimate knowledge of Christ keeps me from sin… And the only sin which I could commit would be not to accept his love and not to tell others that God is their father and they are his beloved children. And that sin I won’t commit because I’m living from a heart that is love. Because it is Christ.