Psalm 119 is probably one of the best reads in the Bible, filled with verses that demonstrate a tremendous understanding of an individual’s need for the Lord.
The unknown author’s words reveal human frailties and fears, and a determination to follow the Lord for much needed sustenance. The key to appropriating the truths in this Psalm is found in Psalm 119:10 (KJV):
“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”
What does it mean to have a “whole heart”?
A whole heart is one that is entirely focused on a specific objective. The objective is pursued with all possible means, with nothing deterring. Anything less than a whole heart demonstrates a total lack of commitment to the Lord.
It is difficult to have a whole heart because of the many distractions of a busy life. Too often our hearts are consumed with ungodliness and worldliness, leaving little to no room in our lives for our Lord. Sin grieves His heart. When the Lord God Jehovah is forgotten or ignored, the light of truth and righteousness is dimmed. Sin abounds.
Our sin is often rooted in the mundane things of life. Sin ultimately keeps us from attaining the whole heart for the Lord we seek. The everyday, ordinary details of life often keep us so busy, we have little time for the Lord’s plan for our day. Overcome with the “have to’s” of life, we miss the magnificent opportunities of being whole-hearted toward the Lord. We miss the joy of being utterly consumed by our relationship with our Lord.
What does it mean to “walk in His ways”?
“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” Psalm 128:1
To walk in His ways means to follow His commands. Living on this side of the cross, we believe that Jesus Christ came to take upon Himself God’s penalty for sin. We believe Jesus is God’s Son, and believe the Holy Spirit came after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven.
When we read in the Old Testament that we are to fear the LORD, we understand we are to obey God. Jesus taught us by His example the meaning of whole-heartedness. We are to be Christ-like, not a copy or imitation of what we think Christ is like. We are not just to be Christ-like outwardly, but to be Christ-like on the inside because our heart, the inner man, is submitted to our Lord.
What is the secret to submission?
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” Psalm 119:11-16
The Bible holds the answers to life’s issues. When we read the Word, we must read it with understanding. Once read, we must apply it to our own life. The reading must be focused. Then, when we understand what we have read, we meditate upon it so we can see avenues of application. It is a step by step process that, once begun, is unending. It is a lifetime commitment of pleasing the Lord through obedience, not of duty, but of love.
What an amazing commitment the psalmist has made to the Lord! May we too be committed to have a whole heart for the Lord!