Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. – Psalm 119:129-136
Disciples are not just men who followed Jesus while He lived on earth. Disciples are not people who have it all together. They don’t walk around with halos and sing hymns around the clock. You are a disciple. Every single born-again believer in Jesus Christ is a disciple. The word disciple implies two key thoughts: First a disciple is a follower. We get this idea immediately when Jesus called His first disciples. They immediately dropped their nets and followed Him. They went everywhere that Jesus went. They forsook their lives, families and occupations to follow Jesus. Secondly, disciples are learners. It would not have been enough for these men to just follow Jesus around on earth. They did not just observe, but they learned and imitated Him. They were learning about how to live and about how God’s Kingdom worked. Disciples ask a lot of questions. Actually, Jesus often taught His disciples by telling them more stories, or by asking them questions in response to their questions. It was assumed that a disciple was a teachable person.
How teachable are you? Are you willing to unlearn certain things that you have wrong? What if what you believe to be true is actually clearly taught as wrong in the Bible? What is your response? Does your way win or does God’s? Daily reading God’s Word brings truth to our heart and enlightens us to His ways. Does your worldview line up with the Bible? Or do you interpret the Bible from your worldview? If you are honest, you probably do a little of both without fully realizing it.
The Psalmist knew that the only way to learn was to be immersed in what God had said. He is declaring that God’s words bring “light”. Light has an startling relationship with darkness. It repels darkness. If you shine a light into a dark room you will be able to see where you are going. Without the light you might stumble and fall or might possibly even hurt yourself. What do you do though, when light is shining and you do not like what you see? This is why understanding your identity, as a disciple, is crucial. We must always be yielding our will and spirit to His truth. Even though it might be painful.
A teachable spirit gives way to a thirsty soul. Psalm 119 convicts me repeatedly. I am just stunned, however, over the words he uses in verse 131.
“I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.”
Wow. If I don’t read my Bible today is my soul left with this same kind of thirst? The honest answer to that question is embarrassing. I don’t believe he was saying that he was craving a fix, like someone does with his or her morning coffee. He knew that his soul needed the Word to live! He desired the nourishment and refreshment that the Word brought him. He needed God’s light to shine upon his heart, to learn more about himself.
Always be teachable. Read, learn and apply God’s word to your life. Stay thirsty! I pray that the Spirit will cause the Light of the Word to cause a thirst that makes you pant with an undying need for God.