Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Psalm 119:73-80 (NRSV)
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right,
and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.
Let your steadfast love become my comfort
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame,
because they have subverted me with guile;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
so that they may know your decrees.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
so that I may not be put to shame.
Independence Day. We celebrate freedom, a freedom that depends on our voluntary submission to the laws of our nation. It’s an interesting paradox. The psalmist submits himself to God’s will and is committed to learning God’s laws. He longs to be an example to others: “Let those who fear you turn to me, so that they may know your decrees.” Through this voluntary submission he finds freedom: “Your law is my delight.”
When my siblings and I were young, my father smoked. One day Daddy tossed a cigarette butt into the fireplace and it bounced back onto the hearth. My brother picked it up and pretended to smoke it. Daddy scolded him and asked, “Why would you do something like that?” Momma responded, “Look in the mirror. He wants to be just like you.” Daddy stared at her for a moment, then threw the rest of his pack of cigarettes into the fire and never smoked again.
In her best moments our nation has been an example, a beacon of freedom to the world. As Christians we should earnestly desire to be just like God, to say with the psalmist, “Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice.” It’s a big responsibility—for a country and for a Christian.
Lord, “give me understanding that I may learn your commandments,” and be a faithful example to others. Amen.
Go with God.