Psalm 119:10

from
Psalm 119: An Exposition
by
Charles Bridges
(Rephrased)

"With my whole heart I have sought you;
Oh, let me not wander from your commandments!"

Attention to the word, however important, can never be practically effective without earnest prayer. Indeed, this is the character of the Lord's people--a generation of seekers. And yet how much do we lose of the comfort of our religion and obscure the glory of our profession by neglecting to bring our whole heart to this work! When sin is vigorous and our spiritual affections dull, when various hindrances to prayer join forces, then at this crisis strong faith is needed to overcome and to persevere. But here the soul too often yields to the difficulty and is content with heartless complaining, or with just enough exertion to quiet the voice of conscience and produce a delusive peace within. But the Lord will not be found in this way. His promise is not to such seekers as these. If we are satisfied with this state, then we must look for a very scanty measure of spiritual success, and this accompanied by the total absence of spiritual enjoyment.

David's appeal was in a far different spirit --"With my whole heart I have sought you." And instead of producing self-confidence, this assurance (so far as it is genuine) will invariably show itself in a prayerful acknowledgment of our weakness--"Oh, let me not wander from your commandments." The feeblest desire and attempt to seek the Lord is the Spirit's rising beam in the heart and a day of small things not to be despised. It is distinguished from every other principle by the simplicity of its goal--"One thing I have desired of Yahweh; that will I seek." Let us pray, "My God, my Savior, with my whole heart I have sought you. The desire of my soul is for your name and for the remembrance of you. With my soul I have desired you in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek you early."

When the soul is conscious of following the Lord fully there is a peculiar dread of wandering. But in a careless or half-hearted state wanderings are not curbed, so long as they do not lead to any open decline. Secret prayer will be hurried over, worldly thoughts will not be resisted, time wasted in frivolous pursuits will be indulged--all without much concern. Not so, though, when the heart is fully in pursuit of its object. Then there is a carefulness lest wandering thoughts should become habitual. Then there is a resistance to that first step which might lead into a devious path. The soul remembers the "wormwood and the gall", the roaring lion, the devouring wolf, and in the recollection of the misery of its former wandering dreads any departure from the Shepherd's fold. The flock of Christ should cherish this blessed state of mind with godly jealousy.

Yet let it be remembered that daily progress in the heavenly walk is not maintained by yesterday's grace. Humble and dependent prayer must fetch in a fresh supply continually: "O let me not wander from your commandments. Lord, I feel my heart so prone to wander. My affections are often scattered to the ends of the earth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Concentrate my every thought, every desire in yourself as the one object of attraction."

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