(Psalm 1:2) “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Are the children of God primarily motivated by “rules” set up by God? Or are the children of God motivated primarily by “delight” in the “law of the Lord”? The obedience to a set of rules can be performed by the unregenerated man as well as the regenerated; but these two types of men have obedience because of entirely different motives.
Let it be noted that the “old man” that dwells within every child of God, which the Apostle Paul calls the flesh (Rom. 7:15-24), is the reason of the war between the flesh and the spirit. The “old man,” which is crucified in the regenerated child of God, continuously tries to lead the child of God to be a servant of unrighteousness. This being a fact, it is a natural inclination of the flesh to try to “work” to have a feeling of justification; which in many cases, asceticism, tends to assure the flesh, or the old man. So-called Christians of all ages have resorted to asceticism, and the like, to elevate “self,” instead of relying upon the internal witness of the Holy Spirit that they are holy and that they are a child of God.
Many that give an exposition on (Ps. 1:1-6) major on the negatives presented in verse one:
(Psa 1:1) “Blessed is the man that
- Walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
- Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
- Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
The Psalmist’s emphasis is not on what the child of God must do to be “blessed”; but rather on the child of God’s “delight” in “the law of the Lord.” And because of the child of God’s delight is in God, and because his delight is in the law of the Lord; then, his conversation (or manner of behavior) is one of holiness, or separation, from the people and philosophy of this evil world; which is a natural action of the “new man” or the “new creation” of the regenerated child of God. The child of God does not follow to “get”; but, he follows God because he “has.” Has what? The regenerated child of God has God living in him; which means that the regenerated child of God is not controlled by his “old man” or his “flesh – where sin dwells”; but, is controlled by the Holy Spirit; (Eph. 4:24), “And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and in true holiness.”
The terms “new man” and “new creation” are phrases which prove that a sinner has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit; and has had the gift of love shed aboard in his heart. That he has the gift of faith dwelling in him; and the witness (or knowledge) that he is a temple of God; and that he is a child of God; and that his delight (or joy, or happiness, or satisfaction, or communion) is with The Light (Christ) and not with the darkness (or sin).
When a person has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God, and the Spirit has taken up residence in the believer – his delight is no longer of this world, for he has been called out of this world, and out of the lust of the flesh, lust the eye and the pride of life. And now his delight, or joy, is Christ and the “law of the Lord,” which is the Law of Love. When this happens in a person by the power of the Holy Spirit; then his goals change, his motive has changed from serving his own flesh to serving Christ and the Way of love, mercy, holiness and peace found in Christ.
Where is your “delight” or Joy or Happiness or Satisfaction? If it is in Christ; then you don’t follow the rules to “get”; but, you follow them because you “have” Him living in you and working in you and through you. The child of God obeys the rules of God because his motive originates in God and His Love abiding in the believer. It is very important to know the difference of obeying to “get”; rather than obeying because you “have.”
Obedience is not the Requirement; but the Result of Christ in the believer, “…the Hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).