When God wants me "get" something, He puts it in front of me repeatedly. Over the last several weeks, it's been Psalm 119. I mean, Psalm 119 is everywhere I turn: daily devotion articles, Sunday School study material, a new Bible study I'm looking into, etc. I love to read the Psalms, but lately, I keep winding up at Psalm 119. And, I keep asking God what it is that He wants me to learn from it. I have a feeling it may be a long learning process. After all, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible.
Today, Psalm 119:20 stopped me in my reading. It says, "My soul is crushed with longing after Thine ordinances at all times." (NASB) Back up and read that again. If that doesn't stop you in your tracks, it should. It made me question if my soul is "crushed" (overwhelmed, consumed, breaking) with "longing" (desire) for God's "ordinances" (laws, regulations, rules, judgments, decisions, justifications) "at all times" (consistently, constantly).
Four years ago, I willingly and defiantly abandoned any desires for God's ordinances. It was an issue of the heart, a sin called pride. When pride is present in one's life, there's no room for the humility of desiring to obey God's commands. Pride creeps into one's life in the forms of superiority or inferiority. We must be careful to check ourselves for any evidence of pride, and repent when we find that it's present. In my case, pride crept in, and by the time I realized it, I was on a path of destruction. Proverbs 16:18 became a reality in my life: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (NASB)
I think I allowed pride to enter my life through small, seemingly innocent decisions. I didn't pray before I took on tasks. No matter how good a thing may be, it's not wise to take part unless God leads you there.
Over the past three years, I've learned that I cannot trust myself. I MUST take a matter before God for His approval before I can enter into a situation. So, this morning as I read Psalm 119:20, it struck a chord with me that my soul should continually be desiring God's decisions for my life. Without it, I'd be trusting myself and allowing pride to creep back into my life.
What about you? Is your soul, the deepest part of you, continually longing for God's ordinances? Or, has pride taken root in your soul? There's no room for both.