Here’s my heart, Lord, speak what is true…
Truth is a precious commodity, but it doesn’t come to our hearts easily. The age that we live in is evil, the prince of the power of the air is the father of lies, our minds are futile, our understanding is darkened, and even our own hearts condemn us (Gal. 1:4, Eph. 2:2, John 8:44, Eph. 4:17-18, 1 John 3:20). This is a grim prospect if we were left to ourselves. How can we escape delusion? How can we experience the freedom of abiding in the truth?
The answer is not mysterious. All too often it is lying on a shelf right before our eyes, or increasingly right beneath our fingertips. The primary way the Lord speaks truth into our lives is through the scriptures. The Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). It is literally “God-breathed”. If we are yearning for the thunder of God’s utterance to come and silence accusation and shatter the veil of confusion, we need look no further than what is most likely lying dormant on an app in our purse or pocket.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…The unfolding of Your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.” (Ps. 119:105, 130)
At this point we all nod our heads in agreement and maybe even start humming a hearty rendition of one of Amy Grant’s greatest hits. He is light breaking through! The problem is that it’s not just the concept of scripture, but the substance of scripture that is transformative and enlightening. Simply liking the idea of reading the Bible doesn’t do anything to move us closer to the truth. And neither does pausing just long enough to hit the little heart icon below the Instagram post with a nice verse laid over a beautiful landscape as you scroll down to see your cousin’s new haircut.
“Your word I have treasured in my heart…My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times…O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day…How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!...I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for your commandments.” (Ps. 119:11, 20, 97, 103, 131)
How many of us can nod in agreement now? It is wonderful to sing this anthem of Here’s My Heart on a Sunday morning, but where is our attention the rest of the week? With hands lifted high we ask the Lord to speak what is true, but then go on our way and fail to give heed to the very place His truth is found! On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus cried out “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth!” (John 17:17) These verses from Psalm 119 beckon us to relate to His word in a way very different than the modern Church has groomed us to. Sermons have one slide with a verse taken out of context followed by thirty minutes of a motivational speech. We think of our devotional Bible reading like a therapeutic boost of sentimentality akin to our spiritual cup of coffee. God wants to us to feast on His word as our daily necessity.
“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)
More so than any other generation of men who have roamed the earth, we are assailed with distractions. The endless buffet of entertainment and social media will always be there to ruin our palate unless we insist on devouring Word of God.
“Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for a me a joy and the delight of my heart…” (Jer. 15:16)
Our desire for truth must translate into concrete decisions concerning what we think about, how we spend our time and what we look at on our phones. We cannot approach the Bible casually, like icing on the cake of our busy lives. We must instead pursue truth ardently and with intensity. Through the disciplines of daily reading, memorization, study, and meditation we can become “mighty in the scriptures” and have the word written upon our heart by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 18:24, Heb. 8:10) This is the doorway to walking in freedom, where we can glorify Jesus and love those around us in the way God intended. In the week ahead, make it your ambition to say with the Psalmist, “I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect your word!” (Ps. 119:16)