(Psalms17:5) “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”
This is the Fifth Devotion in the Psalms 17 Series on Judgment. The previous devotion spoke of Psalms 17:4: David stated his “Determination” to follow the Standard of Righteousness, which is the Standard of God (Truth), He stated, “by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer”; which David means the Word of God. The key is to perceive what it is that David endeavored not to conform his daily words and actions unto; and what it is that David conformed his life unto. David explained this by using the negative approach.
Here in the Fifth Devotion, David continues his requests to God. David acknowledges his insufficiency to maintain and sustain the walk of a child of God. Many children of God need to petition God for the same reason as David stated in Psalms 17:5, because they too are in the flesh. The flesh is where sin dwells in the believer. Therefore, the flesh must be dealt with every waking second by the believer, so he will not fall prey once again to the flesh’s lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. These three things control the “old man,” or the “old sin nature,” that all men are born with because of Adam’s sin in the Garden (Rom. 5:12).
The believer, or the saved man, must be aware that the “old man,” or “his flesh,” remains in him as long as he is in this physical life. However, the saved man must also take note that he (after Regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and Conversion) is not controlled by the old sinful nature; but, is controlled by the Holy Spirit of God living and abiding in him. Simply stated, you were the servants of unrighteousness; but, now you are servants of Righteousness and your fruits will be unto holiness, and not of the flesh. (See Rom. 6:1-23; esp. verses 16-18)
(16) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
(18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
A. The Warning: “Hold up my goings in thy paths”
Every believer must know and review from time to time the following Scriptures:
- (1 Cor. 10:6-12-14) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.(14) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
The Apostle Paul gave this warning to the believers at Corinth first, but, also to every child of God, (12) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Paul listed several examples in (1 Cor. 10:6-11). The Apostle Paul stated, (1 Cor. 10:11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” There is a problem with many believers who have sinned in the flesh, and wonder what happened. The answer lies within verse 12; “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” The truth of the matter is, many believers who have fallen into sins of the flesh, did not take heed to the power of the indwelling flesh when the believer walked by sight, and not by The Faith, or Christ, Who lives within the believer.
Even though Christ lives in the believer, and even though Christ has released the control of the flesh over the believer – the believer must be aware of this warning, and must understand also:
- (1 Cor. 10:13a) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…”
That is, even though you are saved; you will still be tempted, as all men are. Just because you are saved, don’t think you will not be tempted by the flesh; for you will be, according to this verse.
So believer, perk up your spiritual eyes and ears; place a guard on the five gates of entry of temptation (the eyes, ears, taste, smell, and touch). The believer must remember: You will be tempted and tried; but, you must endure temptation and all trials.
(12) “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
(13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
(14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
(15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
B. The Help:
(1 Cor. 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Every believer must shout, “Hallelujah,” for this great and precious Promise of God’s faithfulness of a way of escape in the temptation. So, David made his request for help to God: (Psa. 17:5) “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” David knew the weakness of his own strength to battle his flesh, which is always turned to sin; therefore, he called on God to help in time of need. ‘God, hold me up; hold me straight; keep my eyes focused on You, God, and Your Word of Promise. God, guard my five senses from allowing sin to come in and try to derail my goings.’
David knew (2 Cor. 3:5) “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” David also knew what the Apostle Paul knew: (Php 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:13) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” This understanding by David, and by Paul, should be where every believer must be, to overcome his abiding flesh that is ever trying to deceive and defeat the believer, by leading the believer to depend upon his flesh and not depend upon Christ in him.
C. The Response of The Believer:
(1 Cor. 10:14) “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry….”
The believer wants and needs help from God. The secret is not, ‘Will God honor His promise?’ But, ‘Will the believer put on his shoes of faith and keep the commandments of God’? (Jn. 14:15) Will the believer be a receiver of the Word of God and a doer of the Word of God?
(21) “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
(22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
(23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
(24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
(25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
(26) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
(27) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The key words in these Scriptures are lay apart, receive, doers, beholdeth, forgetteth, looketh, continueth, bridleth not, deceiveth, visit, keep himself unspotted; in other words, look at the verbs of action in these verses.
Believer, you can pray or petition God all day; but, the problem is not God or His Promises, for they are “Sure and Amen” in Christ. The problem is when the believer will not be a doer of the Word of God. Believer, God will deliver; but, only when you Surrender, Submit, and Obey His Sovereignty, His Will, and His Word of instruction. You cannot halt between two opinions, (1Ki 18:21) “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word”. The key word is “follow.” Either you do it God’s Way, which is by faith; or you do it the flesh’s way, which is by sight.
Believer, success only comes when:
(Jos 1:8) “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
(Heb. 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
That is, you must follow God’s Word, Will and Way.