9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:9-11 NIV)
A friend first shared these verses with me not too long after I became a follower of Jesus. It was the summer before I went to college. I’m sure not young any more, but this Scripture made an impression on me back then that has stuck with me to this day. It provides incredible guidance for young and old, men and women, and boys and girls. “How can a person keep their path pure?”
The list of things that clutter and pollute our paths are endless. We can always name the obvious: sexual sins, drugs and alcohol, violence, cussing like sailor, taking what is not ours, and the list goes on. These can sure clutter our path, hinder our walk with God, in a hurry. It is the not-so-obvious things that oftentimes trip me up. What are the “not-so-obvious” things that pollute my path? Great question! I’ve come to realize that they aren’t so much a list “bad” things to avoid as they are good things that I make too important. I know the stuff to stay away from, but it is the “good” things in life that can really clutter my walk with God. Like work for example. My work is intended by God to be a good thing, but I can make it out to be more than God intended and work can end up cluttering my path. My family is very important to me, but I can move them from their proper place and make them out to be more than God intends and as a result really pollute my path and theirs also.
The Psalmist says that there are three things that I can do to keep my path “clean” or “pure.” 1) I can seek to live according to God’s Word. 2) I can seek God with all my heart. 3) I can hide God’s Word in my heart. For a nuts and bolts kind of guy, a hands-on kind of guy, this is something that I can really begin to put into practice. I can make it a point of every day to “hide God’s Word in my heart.” I can take one verse and think about it throughout the day. I can seek to live it, try it on for size as I go about my day. As I am applying God’s Word to life I can seek Him with all of my heart, talk to Him, listen to Him, throughout the day. I’m learning that the more consistently I practice this the less polluted my path, as well as my heart and mind, become. The more I put these verses to work in my life the more my path, my walk with God, grows clean and pure.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will help me to begin to implement the truths I’ve read today. Help me to begin to hide Your Word in my mind and heart. Help me to think about You during the day. Help me to be aware of how I can apply Your Word to my life today.