Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! Psalms 119:1 - 8 (NLT)
Living a life of integrity is not an easy thing! Just about the time you think the war is over, and the enemy’s been defeated, a new skirmish breaks-out.
Most Christians understand that living a life of absolute perfection is not a possibility. Jesus did it, but who would claim to be His equal? Yet, who doesn’t crave the sense of joy it would be to stand clean before God, conscience clear and open?
The Psalmist knew that to “know God” is to live in obedience to His commandments. Yet, at the very end of these verses he offers up a peek into his soul: Uh, God…please don’t give up on me!
The Psalmist knew what we know – the struggle of life lived in light of God’s truth is a struggle with me, who and what I am, as opposed to what I was created to be. It is a life of wanting to live clean and pure before God, yet blowing it time and again!
Paul, the great apostle nailed it:
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Romans 7:21-23 (NLT)
Each of us Christians, mature and young, is like that; we fail to live up to the standard. And it is discouraging, even demoralizing to live this way. Paul’s transparent letter describes life measured against God’s standard:
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Romans 7:24 (NLT)
Now, if that were the end of the story we would all be prone to give up on life, pull the covers over our heads and wait for the end. But it’s not the ending – realization that God’s standard is impossible is just the place we have to reach before we find the beginning.
In answer to that question, who will free me….Paul wrote:
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:25a (NLT)
God knows you need him – and because you fail in your quest to be perfect, God will let you fail, and fail, and fail….until you come to the end – until the body of this death is so real, so overwhelming, that you can see no way out; all you can see is God’s loving hand reaching down….to lift you up!
When it looks IMpossible, God removes the “im”.
If you’ve been struggling with trying to be good enough for God – stop that.
Let Him be good in you.
Let Him be big in you.
Rest in Him!
Experience WHO the deliverer is! It was never you in the first place.
And when He does the delivering, the cleaning, the building of integrity deep within you, standing before Him will be a joy unspeakable and full of glory!