By, Stephanie Bowman
Right near the middle of your Bible is a mountain of a chapter that, maybe like some of you, I have almost avoided until recently. Sure, I have read through Psalm 119, but I never really took the time to dig deep into it and mine for the truths that are in the 176 verses found there.
I decided to take it one section at a time, because Psalm 119 is divided ever so neatly into 22 sections of 8 verses each. This first section really hit my heart deep, for in it was almost a rebuke to me and the push I really needed to get serious about studying the word of God.
In Psalm 119 verse 4, we are told “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently." Commanded. Let that sink in—we are commanded to be in the Scriptures. And we are to be in them diligently. Webster’s dictionary defines diligent as “constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken”. Being in the Word of God daily will show us what the Lord desires of us. When we are in the Word, we walk in the ways of the Lord, and we are not put to shame.
When we spend time in the Word, we are keeping the Scriptures in front of our eyes and heart, and our way will be steady and our path clear. There is a blessing that is placed on those who do this—those who always keep the law of the Lord in their hearts and minds. This is one of the most beautiful forms of worship that we can present to our Lord.
I do not pretend that I have arrived, that I am consistent every day in keeping this commandment of God. As a mother and a wife, there are days when things just pile up and sadly, my time with the Lord sometimes gets set aside. It is a constant work in progress. A few things I have found to be helpful are:
1. Make a consistent time to read, even if it is for just 10 minutes. I have found that the evening after the kids are in bed works well for me, as well as after I take my 3 kids to school in the morning.
2. Have a plan. Pick a passage and stick with it. I like to take a chunk of verses and focus on them for one week. I will read them every day and write down anything that sticks out to me.
3. Pray. Ask the Lord for help in being consistent. It seems like such a simple thing, but yes, He will even be your help in this!
4. Accountability. Find someone who you can partner up with to keep each other consistent. Shoot a simple text saying “did you read today? What did you learn?” It’s hard….I struggle with this one, but it helps so much!
Our prayer should be that of the Psalmist’s in these first 8 verses—to be steadfast in keeping God’s statutes, to fix our eyes on His commands, to praise Him with an upright heart, and to learn His righteous rules.
My prayer is that you will join me in diligently keeping the precepts of God in your hearts and minds.