Turn On the Light
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” —Psalm 119:105, NIV.
There is a big different between using Scripture as a “proof text” to support an argument and making your argument the detailed explanation of a Biblical text.
Today’s sermons, and the endless supply of books written for the Christian audience, often make me feel as though I am having to shuck a lot of oysters of human thought and cute stories just to find one pearl of divine truth.
So when I come to a verse like this one from Psalm 119, I recognize again the importance of THE Word in my life, not as an “add-on” but as a guiding principle. Without it I can’t see where I am supposed to be going, or what the dangers are that lie at my feet.
The psalmist makes huge claims for the one who takes his connection with the Word of God seriously. If we look back a few verses in this wonderful tribute to God’s Word, we read this: “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless. Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts” (119:96-100).
I listened to an online radio program yesterday afternoon. The theme was revival, and the speaker was outlining the conditions necessary to prepare the ground for a new movement of the Spirit of God in the church. These conditions included humility, a heightened awareness of sin, repentance and confession, prayer, and a return to expository preaching. That’s the kind of preaching that explains the text detail by detail rather than throwing in a verse or two to “sanctify” human thought.
I love books, but when I replace THE Book with some other book as my guidebook for life, it is as though I have replaced the love of my life and committed adultery with someone who resembles that love of my life. That’s a strong image, but there should be no substitute for God’s Word in my life, or in any believer’s life.
Since I really don’t want to stumble and break my leg or my neck in either the physical or the spiritual sense, it seems logical, and critical, to make sure I can see clearly what lies beneath my feet and what lies ahead of me. It’s a lot easier, and less messy, to avoid danger than it is to blindly fall into it and then try to extract myself from it.
Psalm 119 also contains this key statement, relevant to the importance of the Word of God as our guiding principle. The psalmist writes: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (119:11).
Conserving energy by using a 25 watt bulb doesn’t work when it comes to our spiritual lives. The 10,000 watt bulb of the Word of the God shining on our journey of life is what we need to show us the safest way home.