“Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.”
In our previous devotion, we looked at Psalms 119:27a: the Psalmist said, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts.” The First Reason the Psalmist petitioned God to “make me” is “to understand” (or to perceive, to see, to know, to have knowledge of) “the way” (that is, of the ‘how’ to perform His Will in his present circumstances) “of thy precepts” (or of His Word, which reveals His Will and the way to perform His Word and Will).
Now in verse 35, we see the Second Reason of the Psalmist’s petition to God to “make me.”
This second reason is “to go in the path of thy commandments.” That is, I know What to do (to do Your Will), I know How to do (by Your Power). But now Lord, make me “go.” Make me perform Your Will exactly as You instruct me to do it. It is one thing to know what to do and how you can do it (or by what power) – but the actual ‘doing it’ is a completely different matter.
There are several things that face a believer when he actually transfers from a “hearer” of God’s Word to a “doer” of God’s Word (James 1:22).
Note the following:
First, he must face Excuses of the Flesh. Look at Exodus 3:11; 4:1, 10. Moses was called and commissioned by God to be His spokesman to Pharaoh of Egypt, and to be the deliverer of God’s people out of Egyptian bondage. Moses was instructed the What and the How. But Moses put up three excuses:
- “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh,” (Exodus 3:11). Remember God, I am a nobody to Pharaoh. In fact, I am an escaped murderer from Egypt. I am a lowly shepherd. God, for forty years, I have been in this desert tending sheep. I am no general; I am not a soldier; etc.
- “But, behold, they will not believe me… for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee” (Exodus 4:1). I have no power within me to prove I am their deliverer.
- “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent… I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10). God, I am nobody, they will not believe me. I can’t even talk well.
You know the rest of the story; God supplied Moses with all he needed to accomplish his calling as the deliverer of God’s people out of bondage.
And so it is many times today with a Child of God – when actually faced with ‘doing,’ he begins to make excuses.
Second, he must Count the Cost. When faced with actually ‘doing’ God’s Will, the ‘doer’ realizes there is a great cost to the flesh. Read Luke 14:26-33:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” (Luke 14:28)
“Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,” (Luke 14:29)
“Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” (Luke 14:30)
“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:31)
“Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.” (Luke 14:32)
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
In these verses, Christ explains the cost of being His Disciple:
- You must hate, or turn from, anyone who stands in the way of you serving Him – even your family, and your own life;
- You must bear His cross;
- You must count the cost of what it will take to carry out His calling and mission;
- You must forsake all that you have when counting the cost.
The flesh says – No, you cannot do these things. Therefore, the believer must have God working His Power in the believer to perform God’s Will:
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” (Ephesians 1:19)
The cost is too great to be Christ’s disciple, without the Power of Christ working in you.
Third, he must Be Ready for Resistance; even suffering of persecution. See John 15:18-20:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:20)
The believer knows that he is not of this wicked world. He knows he will be hated and persecuted by this evil world, as Christ was; “The servant is not greater than his lord.” Jesus in fact stated, “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Knowing this fact, the believer knows as soon as he walks as Christ walked, the persecution will begin; and it could even end in his death for the Name of Christ.
This is difficult for the believer, because no one wants to suffer as Christ did, even as the Apostles did, and as thousands of others who have gone before him. (See Hebrews 11:23-38; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; 11:23-31.) No one wants trials, tribulations, and persecution; especially those which affect his own immediate person and family.
Therefore, the Psalmist prayed, “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments.” For he knew the Path of God’s Way was hard on the flesh; he knew he would have to forsake all; lose all things, his material things, even his reputation, etc. He would face persecution, maybe even death. So, he confessed – God, Make me (teach me, empower me, lead me, guide me, shepherd me).
Reader, don’t be ashamed of these same feelings that the Psalmist, Moses, and all of God’s servants face; when actually faced with the ‘doing’ of God’s Commandments. It is the first response of the flesh. This is why you must petition God as the Psalmist did:
- “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts…” (Psalms 119:27); that is, tell me the ‘What’ and the ‘How.’
- “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments…” (Psalms 119:35); that is, give me the power to ‘Do.’
Acknowledge and confess your need of God’s Power and Sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5) to do His Will. God will supply your need.