When I Think on My Ways | Psalm 119:59

When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;

Psalm 119:59 ESV

Thus far, in our present stanza, the psalmist has confessed that the LORD is his portion and promised to keep His word; however, knowing his sinfulness, he also entreated the LORD’s favor, not according to his good works but according to the God’s own promised graciousness. Now the psalmist turns again to his resolve to keep God’s Word. In this verse, we see a twofold movement toward obedience. First, he gives thought to his ways. Second, he turns his feet toward God’s testimonies. We would do well to consider both actions ourselves.

When I think on my way… This, of course, implies that the psalmist had a regular habit of thinking upon his ways, of considering the course of his life and upon what path he was walking. Scripture repeatedly gives paralleling imagery to the two paths that each person must choose to walk upon. One is of life, and the other is of death. They are also described as being paths of either blessing or curse, wisdom or folly, fruitfulness or desolation. Like the psalmist, we would do well to regularly pause and consider which path we are walking upon. 2 Corinthians 13:5 urges us to do so: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

When it comes to such self-examination, we ought to keep two pitfalls in mind. First, the sheer volume (both in terms of content and sound!) of entertainment constantly set before us wars against quiet and deliberate consideration. Thus, we can only properly think upon our ways once we have disconnected from the noise all around.[1]

Second, we should also be wary of the self-centered self-examination that the world regularly promotes. The purpose of considering our ways is not to be more centered or enlightened; it is to turn our feet toward God’s testimonies. As Christians, our self-examination should not be self-centered because our ultimate focus is upon God and His Word. We simply examine ourselves in order to be aware of how we fail to walk in obedience to Him so that we might repent and turn our steps toward Him.

[1] Indeed, there is a reason why God so frequently meets His servants in the wilderness rather than in the busyness of regular life.


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