Daily D – Psalm 119:59
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. PSALM 119:59 (NLT)
When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
A service repairman was due at our house at 11 AM. He was late. Some repairs take longer than estimated. No big deal.
The phone rang and the repairman quickly apologized. He entered our address into his GPS incorrectly. It took him a few minutes to figure out he was going the wrong way. He was delayed due to his mistake.
Life is like that, isn’t it? Sometimes we go with the flow, the traffic moves smoothly, and then we realize we missed our exit.
When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees.
One important sign that we are maturing in our faith is our recovery rate. It is the distance between our sin and our repentance. It is the time it takes us to realize we require a course correction. These three translations of this verse help us see this truth.
The New Living Translation gives us four strong words to describe the nature of repentance: ponder, direction, turn, follow. The emphasis is on recognizing the wrong direction and considering where it leads. Highway 287 from Fort Worth will never get me to Dallas no matter how badly I want to go there. I will have to make a turn somewhere along the path to arrive in Big D.
The Message says, “When I took a long, careful look at your ways, . . .” Plato tells us Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The path we are on is worth examining not merely regarding what we want to happen when we arrive at our destination, but also if this is really, truly the direction we should choose.
Here is what we know for sure: God’s paths always lead in the way we should go. He always wants to give us clear direction to his highest and best for us. His path is the way of love and life abundant. Every other path is a poor imitation at best. The trail God blazes is full of adventure and deep joy. Where God guides, God provides. We do not have to be afraid of anything when we journey with him (Psalm 23:1-4).
The New Revised Standard Version emphasizes the shift, the return to God’s path: “When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees.” Our Father in heaven cannot and will not lead us falsely (Psalm 23:3). Every step with him is a step in the right direction. Every step with him is filled with meaning and purpose (1 Corinthians 9:26).
Repentance, returning to God’s path, is not to be feared. It is as simple as admitting you are not going to Dallas via Highway 287 and acknowledging that you need to exit onto Highway 67 North. Self-loathing is not required. It may even be helpful to laugh at your mistake. Whatever you do, do not allow pride to keep you on 287 all the way to Ennis. You will have wasted time and gasoline, and you most assuredly will arrive much later than you otherwise planned.
How quick are you to recognize and acknowledge you are on the wrong path? How quick are you to make necessary course corrections to get back on the right path? The quicker we become at recognizing and returning, the better. This is a sign of growth and development. This is evidence of spiritual maturing.
I will return back to the right path as quickly as I realize I have left it.
Our Father, show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Lead me step by step, moment by moment, thought by thought, and word by word throughout this and every day. I want to go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do. Where shall we go today? Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”