9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word. 10 I have sought you with all my heart; don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. 12 Lord, may you be blessed; teach me your statutes. 13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. — Psalm 119:9-16
Becoming Thoroughly Immersed in God’s Word and Ways
by Zac Rigsby
Growing up, I was continuously subjected to a saying I’m sure others have also been subjected to. My parents, particularly my mom, would catch me watching a movie I shouldn’t be watching or listening to music that was inappropriate for me. She would always stop me from watching or listening to them. Then without fail, I would ask why I had to stop, and she would say, “Zac, we have to be careful what we put into our minds. Remember: garbage in, garbage out.” I would then try to hide my eye roll and go find something else to do.
Time moved on, and I heard this saying less and less often—but it stuck with me. Garbage in, garbage out. I liked to think I had the ability to distinguish what I heard from how I acted. Foolishly, it took me a while to see how true that saying was. What we surround ourselves with and what we immerse ourselves in impacts and influences how we act and respond to life.
The psalmist in our text is getting at a similar idea: we should fill our minds and hearts with the Word of God. We were created to live in relationship with the Lord. But do we truly treasure His word in our hearts as this writer does? In the “plenty” of modern America, would we say, “I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches”? No matter what these “all riches” are, still the treasures of God are more to be rejoiced in. We read here that God’s Word can be sweet, joyful, and delightful—but if that is true for the psalmist, why is it not true for us?
Well, this writer didn’t attain this joy all by himself—he needed God’s help. In verse 12 he says, “Teach me your statutes,” and in verse 10, “Do not let me wander from your commands.” I pray that we too will beseech the Lord for His wisdom and ask Him to guard our steps. We need to rely on the Lord to teach us His words and statutes.
We are constantly allowing our hearts and minds to be influenced. It is not a matter of if, but by what? Psalm 119 clearly shows the extent to which we should hide the Word of God in our hearts. It demonstrates the joy to be found there and the passion with which we should pursue that knowledge.
So, instead of “garbage in, garbage out,” how about the Word of God in and the Word of God out? May we fill hearts and minds with the eternal things of God, the truths and promises found in the scriptures, rather than the temporal things of this world. Then what we do and say will flow from God’s Word hidden in our hearts and minds.
- Do I take the time to fill my heart and mind with scripture?
- How have I filled my heart and mind with things not of scripture?
- What one thing can you change today to hide the Word in your heart? (For example, reading scripture, memorization, intense study…)
- Who is someone I can share this with?
Zac Rigsby is the ministry resident on the discipleship track for the Brentwood campus. He has recently moved here from Louisville, Kentucky where he attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to seminary, Zac attended Clemson University where he served on the Clemson Men’s varsity tennis team. He was raised in Greenville, SC by Karen and Monty Rigsby and has a twin brother, Andrew Rigsby. He has grown up as an athlete and therefore appreciates just about every sport. He also enjoys reading and writing.
The discipleship track is particularly meaningful to him because of its importance within the church today and what it means for the church of tomorrow. He has a passion for caring for and investing in others for the progression of the gospel and the kingdom of God.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.