Delight in the Law

IMG_2406.JPGThe longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. It has 176 verses and 174 of them mention God’s law, statutes, word, or scripture in one way or another. The longest chapter of the Bible is dedicated to the Bible itself.

Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.

-Psalm 119:97;165

Sometimes I feel like I rarely actually know what I’m reading when I read the word of God. I try to understand. I do research and study and read and re-read, but I’m still often left with wonderings, musings, and questions. And sometimes I adore the law. I love the scriptures. All I want to do is study it and learn from it and read it. But other days it is a chore to get myself to open the Bible. I want to do anything but read Jeremiah.

This is the last blog I will write during my time at YWAM Orlando doing the B.C.C. Three months ago, in January, we read Psalm 119 to get ready for the time dedicated to study the word. Then when we finished, we were sent off to read Psalm 119 again, to wrap up the amazing twelve weeks where we were fully and deeply saturated in the word of God.

I was completely in over my head these last three months. I was drowning in scripture and the presence of God. It was wonderful and exhausting. And then as I left, I feel like I instantly entered a moment of self-doubt.

I fear I will forget everything I learned.

I fear I will never again have that intense desire to learn from the word.

I fear I’ll never be in over my head again.

I know this is normal. I’m exhausted and resting and trying to start a new stage of life where my time isn’t built in with classes and hours dedicated to reading the word. I have to fit that in myself. It’s an addition to my new schedule, not the schedule itself.

IMG_2561It feels like I was floating in the living water for so long and then I had to climb out and enter a desert where I’m too tired to seek out even a small pool of refreshing water.

Okay, it’s only been a week, I know I’m being a bit overdramatic, but it is a big change. And I’m having to fight all these feelings of inadequacy.

Maybe I’m only good at studying the word when I’m being told to, when I’m being graded. Maybe I’m only dedicated to learning about God when I don’t have to do anything else. Maybe I’m only a fierce believer when I’m surrounded by fierce believers.

Maybe I’m basing all of my “success” on my own abilities and forgetting that I serve a God who has already won. Who has chosen me to be on his side. Who will never leave me alone to fend for myself.

Romans 7 is one of the most confusing books of the Bible, in my opinion.

For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Romans 7:5-6; 10-12

Paul is hard core talking in circles here. When we studied this at B.C.C., I spent a good three hours just in this chapter, trying to wrap my head around what Paul was trying to convey to the church in Rome. We died to the law, don’t have to follow it, the law caused us to sin, but we love the law and it is holy and good.

Seems a bit contradictory to me. Do we follow the law or not? Does the law cause us to sin or is it righteous and good?

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 7:22-25

Paul says he delights in the law. David dedicated 176 verses to talking about how much he loves the law.

I can’t help but walk away from this knowing that I should delight in the law as well.

But I’m also painfully aware that my body, my flesh, constantly wants to sin. I know I’ve died to that time of my life, but sometimes I feel like I never was raised again. Or perhaps I’m wanting to return to death just so I can keep sinning.

Wretched woman that I am!

If it were up to me, I would fail again and again. I would never read the word. I would sit in my own fear and filth and be too afraid to take a next step.

If it were up to me, I would never have died TO sin but I would have died BECAUSE of sin, and never raised again.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:4-8; 11

But because it is not up to me, I did die to sin. And in that act, I was unified with Jesus himself – the word made flesh (John 1:1). I was united with the Word and raised to a new life with God, the one who has already walked away completely victorious.

If the Word is God, if Jesus is the law himself, if I’ve died to sin and I get to live with him, then why would I NOT delight in the law? In Jesus, my Savior, Abba Father, Redeemer, Friend.

Because in my weakness, when I fail, when I struggle with thirst, God is strong, he has succeeded, and Jesus is the living water.

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