It is easy for a young Christian who is facing temptations on a daily basis, to slip and fall. Often they see others who seemingly have the strength of the apostle Paul, and who rarely ever show signs of being tempted by worldly pleasures and other such things which seem to distract people from their duties as a Christian. And they wonder how this is possible. It seems as if those people are simply strong by nature and don’t notice those temptations. Usually this is not the case. It may be some are stronger simply due to their parental teachings and living an exemplary life before them. Even in this case, it still is primarily caused by the powerful word of God.
The Psalmist writes the longest chapter in the Psalms in chapter 119, which is also the longest chapter in the entire Bible, exalting the word of God and listing numerous attributes as to its value. The second verse points out an excellent note of advice.
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! (Psalm 119:2 NKJV)
This is not only good advice, it is the answer to the strength of a Christian. Many feel that simply obeying the basic steps into the kingdom of Christ, will make them strong and they will be able to coast right on into heaven. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Living according to the dictates of Jesus Christ is difficult and requires the total devotion of one who expects to live a life pleasing to God. But, it can be done and the reward is worth our every effort.
In keeping with our subject statement, verses 9, 10 and 11 of Psalm 119, gives us insight as to how one is strengthen.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119-9-11 NKJV)
The last two phrases, “Oh let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”, is indeed the answer to how one may become a much stronger Christian and even the degree of strength is determined by how diligently one garners and keeps the word of God within his heart. Three things, which this writer has personally learned, albeit late in life, is to diligently study God’s word on a daily basis, meditate upon those words you have studied, and pray regularly that God will help you keep his word in your mind (heart).
It would be beneficial for one to begin this process with Psalm 119. Meditate upon each of it’s verses and consider what the writer intended. There are also numerous other admonitions in the Holy Scriptures which encourage this practice, in both the Old and New Testaments. Read:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 KJV)
And almost the very same words are repeated again in Deuteronomy 11:18-25.
I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me. (Proverbs 8:17 KJV) Note the word “diligently”.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8 KJV)
Paul, in his first letter to the Christians in Thessalonica encouraged them with, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)
The admonitions to study, learn of me, hear, pray, meditate, keep God’s word in your heart, etc., are frequent throughout the Bible. Also, such statements as, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) and “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Hebrews 11:6), solidifies the necessity of regular study and meditation upon God’s word. The more one studies, the stronger his faith becomes and thus, facing temptations without sinning becomes easier.