Psalms 17: Make a Decision to Improve

I know that it is easy to make excuses, but sometimes we need to take responsibility. We need to set our minds on something and actually follow through with it. That is what we hear from David in Psalms 17.

Psa 17:3  Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

I want to call attention to that second phrase. David was purposed to not speak evil. Sometimes, I am sure that he did say something that was wrong. However, he made a focused effort to avoid using bad language.

I think that we can extend this to the rest of our lives; it isn’t just applicable to language. For instance, we can set our minds to avoid pride. We can try our best to rely on God and move away from pride with His assistance (we know that human effort doesn’t always work well).

You can really fill in the blank with whatever particular struggle you might have, but the point is that we can set our minds to work towards improvement.

Let me pull it from another more popular passage in the Bible.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

If we are walking in the Spirit, we have made the decision to walk. You don’t start moving without effort, and you don’t start moving for no reason. Remember, as this verse mentions, that some of the improvement that we are working towards will be entirely contrary to the sin nature that we previously held, but we still need to make that decision to move. It isn’t like the temptation instantaneously disappears just because we want it to. Sometimes, I have heard that this can happen for people, but I also know that that is not the majority experience.

We need to step up, take responsibility and step in the right direction.

About Zak Schmoll

Zak Schmoll is the founder of Entering the Public Square, and Managing Editor of An Unexpected Journal. He earned his MA in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University and is currently a PhD student in Humanities at Faulkner University. His work has been featured on several websites including The Federalist, Public Discourse and the Fourth World Journal.

Posted on November 29, 2013, in Psalms and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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