I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not Your commandments from me!
This world is not our home, so what do we have as our guide to keep us on the straight and narrow path towards life? What do we have to guide our desires and hopes, to keep us from being entangled in trying to make this barren place a home for us?
The answer, given to us in Psalm 119, is the Word of God. We need God’s Word to guide our steps as sojourners, and to remind us of home as exiles. Therefore, we look to His commands and promises for our strength and hope in these days. Words like 1 Peter 2:11 guide and direct us in this life: “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” In the same way that a map guides lost travelers home, God’s Word acts as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path to keep us on the straight and narrow road that leads to life.
We also need God’s promises to sustain our life of temporary homelessness on this earth. In Philippians 3, Paul contrasts lost people “with mind set on earthly things,” with the hope of Christians: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from there we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” To keep our minds off of ensnaring earthly things, we must turn our hearts to the promises of God– promises of restoration, healing, fellowship, joy, and life. In this way, we will be like Paul, whose sufferings and sacrifices were sustained by the hope of his “crown of righteousness laid up for me,” and like those saints in Hebrews 11 who were “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose builder and architect is God.” We need God’s Word every day in our life as strangers and exiles, for His commands guide our steps, and His promises give us strength to keep walking until we reach our true home.
Dear God, Thank you for giving me everything I need for life and godliness in the pages of Your holy Word. Thank you for Your gracious commands, for teaching me how to honor You and rely on Your Spirit and live a life of love while I am waiting for my final redemption. And thank you for Your precious and very great promises, which take my affections away from earthly things and fix my eyes on things above, where Christ is seated. O Holy Spirit, keep my eyes there forever!
“Faith arms and fortifies itself with the word of God.” ~John Calvin
This post is written by Brendan Beale, author of Cross Connections