I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately on living everyday life in faithful and joyful obedience to God. While reading Psalm 26 this morning, I was struck by what David says in verses 2-3:
“Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness."
Just for a bit of context, David is writing this song quite possibly because he has been the victim of some undeserved wrong. He declares his determination to follow God “without wavering” (v.1). The Hebrew verb means “to slip, slide, totter, shake.” In spite of mistreatment, David is resolved to trust God without slipping or sliding under the burden.
In verse 2, David is opening up himself to the Lord. He invites the Lord to “Prove…try…test” his inner being (see Psalm 139:23-24). David wants God to scrutinize his very heart, to make an examination of his motives and desires. When wrong comes David’s way, he turns to God to test his character so that he does not give in to sinful attitudes or responses. He is trusting that God knows his innocence in light of this mistreatment.
David continues to in verse 3 by declaring his commitment to remember God’s “steadfast love” and to live obediently in God’s “faithfulness.” No matter what comes along, David is resolved to view all of life through the lens of God’s steadfast love. When tough times come, David’s eyes on are on the Lord’s love, and his guide is the Lord’s truth.
David is declaring his willingness to obey God no matter what. The proof of David’s love for God is his obedience to God. Remember what Jesus says about the proof of love for him?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15)
"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21)
"Jesus answered him, 'If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him'” (John 14:23)
Our love for God manifests itself in faithful and joyful obedience to God. Our obedience to God is motivated by God’s love for us in Jesus.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
Our willingness to obey is coupled with our ability to obey because we have the Spirit empowering us to obey.
"Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 3:24)
No matter what you’re facing today, resolve to walk in faithful and joyful obedience to God. Mediate on his steadfast love toward you. Saturate your heart with his faithful promises found in his word. If you’re struggling to obey, ask God to transform your heart to learn to walk in his ways in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).