“My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end.” -Psalm 119:112
As the psalmist looks ahead to the end of his earthly days, his desire to finish well is of most importance to him. This should be the cry of every child of God who longs to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when we meet our Master face to face (Matthew 25:14-30). Only spiritual maturity cultivates this desire in a Christian. Perseverance is not easy, especially with the slings and arrows of this life. Yet God has graciously given us His Word and the Holy Spirit, as well as other means of grace, to faithfully guide us to the end, fighting the good fight. Like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress we shall have our faith become sight if we keep on the narrow path. We submit our will under the Lordship of God’s will, trusting His wisdom and care for us.
Jesus perfectly obeyed His Father by submitting to His will to suffer on the sinner’s behalf. Was it easy for our Lord? Of course not. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane three times for God to take away the bitter cup of wrath He was about to drink. Yet Jesus says, “not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). He is our example to follow. He set His face toward Jerusalem to endure the wrath of God so every believer does not have to. In prophesying what the Messiah would encounter Isaiah writes “I offered my back to those who beat Me, My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard; I did not hide My face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set My face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame” (Isaiah 50:6-7). We know that Jesus’ sacrifice resulted in God’s Glory and the eternal good for His elect. Praise God for Christ’s obedience. Praise God for the psalmist’s determination to live a life of holiness. May this be our desire too. Because of what Jesus has done for sinful, damned humanity, what other response is there? The outcome of setting our hearts to obedience will culminate in the joy of living in God’s presence forever and ever (Psalm 16:11).
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Isaiah 53:10-12; Luke 9:51; John 13:1; 14:15-26