Dwelling on His Law vs Legalism

Posted: Jan 5, 2008 in God, Hermeneutics, Theology

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm of all, only 176 verses. However, the beauty of this passage, as is the case of the Law, is not in its keeping but in its meditation.

What would happen, if we took the Law (Old and New) and read it, dwelt in it, meditated on it, memorized it and let God work through it. What if instead of reading it proof texting it, guilting with it and judging with it we were to use it as a tool for transformation, trusting that in it God’s mercy has been revealed and that in it Christ, reveals its power by epitomizing it in death, burial and resurrection for us.

Perhaps, this wise guy is mistaken but something tells me that if we were to dwell in Spirit breathed Word of God for our own internal well being and informing that we would find its redemptive power at work in us. Is this an oversimplification, I don’t know but when was the last time you picked up God’s Word to listen for his whispering voice as it claims your heart. I know as a preacher and teacher, all too often, I come to the text looking for a Word for the body, perhaps, I should listen more for my own soul, heart, mind and body.

God help us (especially me) to listen!

From Renovation of the Heart

To bring the Mind to dwell intelligently upon God as he is presented in his Word will have the effect of causing us to love God passionately, and this love will in turn bring us to think of God steadily. Thus he will always be before our minds. As Thomas Watson beautifully wrote long ago:

The first fruit of love is the musing of them ind upon God. He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God. “When I awake, I am still with thee.” (Ps. 139.18). The thoughts are as travelers in the mind. David’s thoughts kept heaven-road, “I am still with Thee.” God is the treasure and where the treasure is, there is the heart. By this we may test our love to God. What are our thoughts most upon? Can we say we are ravished with delight when we think on God? Have our thoughts got wings? Are they fled aloft? Do we contemplate Christ and glory? Oh, how far are they from being lovers of God, who scarcely ever thing of God! “God is not in all his thoughts” (Ps. 10.4). A sinner crowds God out of his thoughts. He never thinks of God, unless with horror, as the prisoner thinkg of the judge.

In this way we enter a life of worship. TO think of God as he is, one cannot but lapse into worship; and worship is the single most powerful force in completing and sustaining restoration in the whole person. It puts into abeyance every evil tendency in every dimension of the self. It naturally arises from thinking rightly of God in the basis of revealed truth confirmed in experience. We say flatly, Worship is at once the overall character of the renovated thought life and the only safe place for a human being to stand.

– Willard, Dallas; Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. pg.106-7


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