A Word Filled Life Offers True Security
DYG: Message Three (030706AM)
Our focus is that Old Testament Giant of the Faith – EZRA. His testimony is the 119th Psalm. He gives us in these 176 verses the content of his personal HABITS or RESPONSES to the Lord, and his personal resolves or HOPES in the Lord.
One of the first things we notice as we look into this Psalm is the intensely personal nature of these verses seen in the overwhelming use of the 1st person pronoun “I”.
A Word-Filled Life is a Life with Habits of Scriptural Responses
First, Ezra shares in Psalm 119 a list of his Habits or SPIRITUAL RESPONSES he had cultivated toward the Lord. There are at least 10 of them.
1. He wanted the Lord. Psalm 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
2. He wanted the Word. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Have you ever had a treasure so precious, or a possession so fragile, or a favorite cereal, drink, cookie, etc. that you wanted so badly -- that you hid it away so that no one else could take it from you?)
3. He loved God’s ways. Psalm 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
4. He obeyed the Word. Psalm 119:22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
5. He talked about God. Psalm 119:26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
6. He followed the pathway of God. Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. (Did you know your pathway either gets clearer and better, or darker and harder -- ever day we follow that pathway? Proverbs 4:18-19 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. )
7. He was stuck to the Word. Psalm 119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
8. He was excited about God! Psalm 119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. (Do you know what one of my constant prayers is? That everyone who goes out on Saturday night and get fried by all the garbage in the movies would feel so miserable on the Lord’s Day that they would start figuring out that to watch things that so diametrically oppose God’s Way flattens your spiritual brain waves, deadens your spiritual appetite, and dampens your spiritual fervor. In other words – IT IS NOT WORTH IT!)
9. He feared disappointing God. Psalm 119:39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. A teen once demonstrated this heart attitude as his friends suggested that they go to a certain restaurant for a good time. “I’d rather go home, my parents don’t approve of that place.” “Afraid your father will hurt you?” one of the girls asked sarcastically. “No,” he replied, “I’m not afraid my father will hurt me, but I am afraid I might hurt him.” He understood the principle that a true child of God, who has experienced the love of God, has no desire to sin against that love.
10. He longed after the Lord. Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
A Word-Filled Life is a Life with Habits of Scriptural Resolves
So, First Ezra shares in Psalm 119 a list of his Habits or RESPONSES he had cultivated toward the Lord. Secondly, he records his hopes or RESOLVES
1. Psalm 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
2. Psalm 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
3. Psalm 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
4. Psalm 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
5. Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
6. Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
7. Psalm 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
8. Psalm 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
9. Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Literally ‘in my hands I will carry…’ God's Word was close at hand).
So how did Ezra do this on a consistent basis? By meditation. Remember Meditation is a soul that thirsts and drinks of God in His Word; that longs for the waters of life and drinks them of God in His Word; that drinks from an ever present oasis in the arid, sun baked, lifeless deserts of life through finding and communing with God in His Word.
Seven times Ezra confesses his secret, it is called meditation (after finding God's Word and eating it – then we digest or meditate upon it). Here is his pathway:
- PURIFYING MEDITATION, look at v.9. Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
- ILLUMINATING MEDITATION, look at v. 18. Psalm 119:23 Princes also sit and speak against me, But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
3. REFRESHING MEDITATION, look at v. 25. Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
4. TESTIFYING MEDITATION, look at v. 46. Psalm 119:48 My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, Which I love, And I will meditate on Your statutes.
5. REFINING MEDITATION, look at v.75. Psalm 119:78 Let the proud be ashamed, For they treated me wrongfully with falsehood; But I will meditate on Your precepts.
6. focusING MEDITATION, look at v. 101. Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
7. INTERCEDING MEDITATION, look at v.147. Psalm 119:148 My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.
A Word-Filled Life is a Life with Habits of Scriptural Prayers
Finally, mediation freed Ezra to just ask the Lord for each area he needs to live fruitfully for the Lord. Remember Ezra faced a worldly congregation, soaked in all the worldly ways of
Thirty-three times with eleven phrases, Ezra cries to the Lord.
The secret of his fruitful life was his choice to invite the Lord into every part of his life, and invite Him into every part of his day.
1. Teach me: 12; 26; 33; 66; 68; 108; 124;135.
2. Remove from me: 22.
3. Make me: 27; 35.
4. Give me: 34; 73; 125; 144; 169.
5. Revive me: 37; 40; 88; 107; 149; 154; 156; 159.
6. Help me: 86.
7. Save me: 94; 146.
8. Uphold me: 116; 117.
9. Redeem me: 134; 154.
10. Hear me: 145.
11. Deliver me: 153; 170.
So how do we adopt Ezra’s strategy? Here are so elements to practice getting alone with God.
- START WITH HIM: Try to spend at least 12 minutes each day in reading God's Word and seeking to find one truth to hold on to all day long.
- SPEAK WITH HIM: From that time alone with God, think through your entire day. Ask HIM what would be the best use of your life for this day.
- STOP WITH HIM: Try to also get in the habit of a weekly time of evaluation. Just a half hour reflecting on where you are, and where you are headed in life and ministry.
- STAY WITH HIM: Finally, try one time of strategic planning each month, to truly reflect on life for a couple of hours. Take a spiritual retreat. Sit with a pad of paper, your calendar, and an open Bible. List your priorities for the next month. Pray over them, change them, decide upon them and then do them!
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