PUTTING IT WHERE IT COUNTS
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Sinning is way too easy. If I don’t do something sinful, then I’ll think something sinful. Sinning is as natural as breathing. Look at me the wrong way on a bad day and I’ll have a soulish response that was conceived in a flash. God offers me another way to live. He says that if I store His word in my heart, it will be a deterrant to sin. How does that work? I certainly know what doesn’t work.
- I’ve had umpteen versions of the Bible on my shelves throughout my life. Their presence in my bookcase did nothing to prevent sin.
- Framing scripture verses on my wall did little to prevent sin either. For a while, they struck me as inspirational. After a fashion, they were just wall art.
- Some have written scripture on the foundational timbers of their home. Since I’ve never built a home, I’ve never had the privilege of doing that. However, doing that by itself doesn’t make the inhabitants of the house holy.
- Committing scripture to memory isn’t successful either. When I was in the 6th grade, I memorized the book of Ephesians to win a contest in our church. If you’d asked me what any of the verses meant, I’d have been at a loss. Sooner or later, memory fails all of us and the scripture can go with it. I’ve known many who know the Bible but sin quite easily, without conscience.
The answer is to allow scripture to intersect my heart. When I make God’s words my treasure, ponder it, apply it, study it ~ then the Word actually makes an imprint on my soul and that impression is eternal. When the temptation to sin comes, it rubs up against the treasure. If my heart guards what is precious, sin will not be attractive.
My legalistic upbringing taught that ~ “A verse a day keeps the devil away.” That’s true and not true! If the verse is handled only to put it to memory, it will not do much long term to deter sin. If however, the verse is internalized by the heart, it becomes a great deterrant. Sin will be seen as a threat and my heart will violently react against it. Today, as I read His Word, I engage my heart. It is the only place where His Word can not be stolen.
Write Your law in my heart. I will not want to sin against You. Amen