Take note of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life. Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth.
Your righteous decisions are eternal.
(Psalm 119:159-160 The Message)
Back in the day, a high-powered executive would speak authoritatively into the office intercom sitting on his desk, summoning a secretary to the office. Within seconds, the secretary would be "front and center", ready to do the bidding of the executive. It was not an uncommon thing to hear the words, "Take a note", implying that the secretary was to listen carefully, capturing the thoughts of the executive, then preparing a finished document with the dictated words.
To "take note" is really saying "observe with care" or "pay special attention to". In other words, when summoned, the secretary had to put out of her mind all other thought in order to focus on the current needs of the executive. Here, our psalmist is asking God to "take note" - - now this is an interesting turn of events! He is asking God to "pay special attention to" his determined efforts to live in obedience to the revelation God gives! In turn, he asks God to prolong his life!
As we have studied the various portions of this lengthy psalm, one theme consistently comes through. I wonder if you have been "taking note" of this theme as you have studied along with me? Have you seen it? The theme? Here it is: The Word of God is true! Since it is true, we can rely upon it!
Since it is true, a reliable source for our every need, we can not only "hang our hat" on the truth revealed within the Word, but we can allow it to affect our lives. Did you catch that? We can ALLOW it to affect our lives! Changed life is a matter of giving access to the Word! Here's the sad truth - - we often take the Word "IN" without allowing it to affect what is "IN" us!
There are both active and passive definitions of this word "allow". In an active sense, it means we actually "give permission" or "grant access to" the Word. This implies an active participation in not only taking it in, but in applying it to the various areas of our life until our emotional well-being, our spiritual health, and our physical strength is impacted. In a passive sense, it means we "concede" to the action of the Word. Now, in a sense, this is not always bad, but when we concede, we are giving up a fight! This means we were resisting to begin with!
I wonder how long a secretary would have kept her job back in the day if her response to the executive was, "I am pretty busy right now" or "The task you require of me is just not in keeping with what I want to do at the moment"? I'm thinking not too long! Yet, God is faced with these types of answers from us each and every day. We give one excuse after another - - avoiding the action(s) he requests of us. In turn, we wonder why we live weak, impotent Christian lives.
The "connection" made throughout this entire psalm is the relationship between what is taken IN and how it is allowed to affect what is on the "inside"! We might resist change - - but even resistance training brings great benefit to the muscles of our physical body! We might embrace change with open arms - - but it is likely we might not fully appreciate the "cost" of change until we are deeply entrenched in the "process" of change!
I cannot report that I have consistently embraced the Word without any lack of resistance - - my own final attitude of "conceding" to the affect of the Word in my life is probably more evident to those looking upon my life as observers of the change more than it is to me! The important thing is the moment of "concession" - - the turning of our heart from resistance toward obedience. This is the hope we have when this occurs: God takes note! He is paying close attention to the very moment of our shift in mindset - - our heart response!
Today may be your day - - the moment you "shift" from resistance toward obedience. It may be the day the Word you have taken IN begins to affect what is on the INSIDE. If so, know this: God is taking note! It blesses him greatly when one of his kids takes even the smallest step toward obedience! He stands right there beside you today. Know what he is saying? I do! His response to our obedience is the title of today's blog!!!