Psalm 119.97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. 106 I have sworn [an oath] and have confirmed it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances. 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, even to the end.
Lonnie Chavis, a child star from the hit series, This Is Us, famously declared in a viral response to bullying, “fix your heart.” It was a powerful and convicting reminder that we all must give an account for the posture of our heart.
As we see David describing here in Psalm 119, the posture of our hearts directly reflects our closeness to the Father. ‘Are we near or far to Him’ is directly correlated to our heart’s posture.
I love David’s heart here in how he describes clinging to God’s law, precepts, and statutes. How he hates evil. All of which is not just a matter of formality or personal benefit, but David finds sincere pleasure in keeping what is important to God, important to him.
How much different would our world look if we took seriously what is serious and important to God? We are not saved by works but God does instruct us on how to live. And we must work in our salvation. God cares about it. It matters to Him and should matter to us how we live.
David understood that he could only be as close to God as much as he inclined his heart to Him. And he inclined his heart to God by keeping the ways of God — desiring what God desired.
Most importantly, he inclined his heart to God by yearning to please the heart of the Father in how he lived his life. How can we be Christ-like and not want and thus pursue the things that God wants?
Perfection vs. Obedience
David wasn’t perfect by any stretch and did some horrific things. But he made what pleased God important to him. He wanted what God wanted. And always God honors our heart posture even when He can’t honor our behavior.
It’s true that obedience is not always easy and in fact often contradicts what we really want. True obedience is a life that’s willingly surrendered to Christ. And it becomes so much easier to obey when we want God’s heart and the things that He wants.
Obedience then becomes less of an ‘I have to’ and more of an ‘I want to’ because He transforms the desires of our heart.