If someone asked you to tell them in one word “What did Jesus come to do?” what would you say?
I rediscovered this passage written on a memorization note card this week while driving to work.
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
I love the pattern. Chosen, set my heart, hold fast, run. Way of truth, laws, statutes, commands.
I have chosen: note the intentionality and the decisiveness. Past tense. Done deal. This is the way I’m going.
Set my heart: all in. Believed with your whole being.
Hold fast: hang on. Whatever is going on, I’m not letting go.
Way of truth: So, if I’ve intentionally chosen the way of truth, by principle then I have not chosen the way of lies or deceit. When faced with lies, negativity from the enemy, false truth, attacks on who I am or my worthiness – I set my face towards God in Jesus – that is my choice. I will not entertain lies – they are not my choice. “Get behind me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:23). Paul also focuses on forward movement in perhaps my favorite passage, perhaps why the subtitle of my blog is “straining forward” –
12Not that I have already(AB) obtained this or(AC) am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:(AD) forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for(AE) the prize of the upward(AF) call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are(AG) mature think this way, and if in anything(AH) you think otherwise,(AI) God will reveal that also to you. (Phil 3:12-15 ESV)
Laws, statutes, commands: His revealed will – the Bible. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to understand it.
Do not let me be put to shame: Kind of interesting how this is thrown in the middle here, but it shows the humanity of the author. This is a big fear of all of us, let’s face it. We don’t want to be put to shame, look embarrassed, have things happen to us that make us look bad, to live trapped in guilt and shame. Interesting how cry for help to God is buried in the middle of the praises to God for his Word. His Word is sufficient, trust in it, it testifies of new life in Jesus. Trust in Jesus. “Whoever believes in Him shall not be put to shame.” – Rom 10:11 Why? Because if you have come to faith in Jesus he bore all your shame and your sin and your guilt on the cross and when he rose again from the dead, you rose again to new life!
I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free: What a great thought. Usually we think of laws, statutes, commands as burdensome. The Psalmist says they actually provide freedom. Looking above to the Phil 3:12-15 passage we can also see that when we are running ahead in freedom, we aren’t looking back in bondage. There is no bondage, Christ freed us. I have this mental picture of a little kid just running free in their backyard because they know their parents are home and they love him and they are protecting and caring for him. There is true and total freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel. 2 Cor 3:17 tells us – “The LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”