Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Incline my heart...

It's March 1 (who can believe it?), which means it's time to start memorizing a new Scripture.

(Quick confession: I'm kind of behind. I keep choosing Scriptures and moving forward, but I haven't nailed down the last couple. Just keeping it real. I plan to knuckle down and get after it!)

Anyway, the verses I've chosen for the next two weeks were inspired by the new Bible study we're doing at FBC Wisner - Jonah - Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. In the video for Session 2, Priscilla was talking about our "want-to," our feelings, and how we let them keep us from obedience when God "interrupts" our lives. Jonah just plain didn't want to go to Ninevah. He was probably looking around at the other prophets and wondering why their call seemed easier. He was comfortable where he was. (Ouch!) And he flat out ran away. Even though we don't always physically run, we sometimes delay obedience (also known as "disobedience") or grudgingly go through the motions while our hearts and minds have boarded a ship bound for Tarshish.

One of the Scriptures Priscilla used was Psalm 119:36-37:

Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.

Priscilla said David turned his "want-to" over to God. Knowing full well the inclination of his own heart, he ask God to turn it...to incline it toward Him and away from selfishness. I love that we don't have to fake a "want-to," a desire to do what is right. God knows the inclination of our heart. We can ask Him to shape it, to turn it, to make it right. When we lack the will to "turn our eyes away from worthless things," we can ask God to do it. Hmmm.

"Preserve my life" is translated in other versions as "revive me in your ways" and "restore to me vigorous life and health in your ways" and "give me life in your ways." I want that. Right now.

And I love how many times (in Psalm 119 especially) David asked God to do something "according to your word" or "according to your promise" and "according to your steadfast love." Knowing God's word, knowing how well we are loved, can give us peace and assurance when we ask Him for anything "according to His word."

I'd love to know what you're learning in God's Word this week, or what you're memorizing and why!

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