Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life. (NIV)
A Holy War Cry
Start the day with a Holy War cry unto the Lord.
I want each of you to give a holy War cry. You call that a war cry.
Since the days when our ancestors pounded on each other with wooden clubs there have been battle cries. A battle cry was intended to show the enemy how determined and hostile their opponent was. The purpose of a battle cry was to frighten an enemy into fleeing before the battle even started.
With that in mind, when we wake up in the Morning, Satan should know that we awoke because of our war cry. Satan should start shaking in his boots because a Christian has awakened. The gates of hell should tremble, knowing that a committed Christian is on the warpath, looking to kick butt and take names.
A Christian’s life is more than just a journey; Christian life involves spiritual warfare. We are in a war, fighting for God or against him. In the morning, we decide if we are the new person who committed their life to Christ. The new person who is fighting to kill the old person, or are we to be the old person who wants to live life by their own rules?
In this war there is no middle ground. There are No Neutral parties. We are either with God or we are against him.
Every day when we wake up, we should wake up ready to battle against Satan and the old us. Every day, our goal should be “how can we give Satan a black eye and break the chains that link our old life to our new life?”
Since we are at War, we need to train everyday that we aren’t in battle to be ready for the next battle we have to fight. There is an adage that many of you may have heard: “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in War.”
The psalmist realized that if he was to keep his life in line with God's Word, there would be a struggle – and he needed to train. He turned to his leader and begged for more training, so he could be prepared to fight. This is why he said to the Lord, “Teach me; lead me.” He was turning to his leader, saying, “Help me train for my battles. Help me do my part to win the war.”
One attribute any good warrior has is discipline. I was taught that discipline is instant willingness and obedience to orders.
We should be obedient to God because it’s something we love to do. When’s the last time you saw a parent have to make a child eat ice cream! We might have to make a child eat their vegetables, but we have trouble keeping them away from the cookie jar. We might have to make them practice their piano lessons, but we won't have to force him to run and fetch our wallet when we get ready to give them their allowance. In our willingness to be obedient to God, we should be as eager as the child seeking ice cream or their parent’s wallet.
Obeying God should not be something we have to be made to do. It should be something we do without thinking. It should be so ingrained in us that we follow the commandments before we even think about it. If we love God, why would we have to be made to walk along a path we delight in?
We have to, because we battle against ourselves. We are not comprised of one person but rather two. There is the old person we were before we found Christ, and there is the new person who we want to be now, that we know Christ.
The new person loves the path that God’s commandments help us walk down and the old person doesn’t, and so, the fight is on.
In this battle we swing back and forth between the old man and the new man. One day we have the discipline needed to be obedient and several days later the old person wins. And we go back and forth. The new person seeking to turn to God fully, and the old person hunting for a return to a life of drugs, sex and rock ’n’ roll.
The old person desires to slip back into being too proud, telling lies, looking at pornography, sleeping around, getting drunk and stirring up trouble at work and at home.
If we want the new person to win the battle more often we need to have discipline. We should echo the words of Lord Tennyson, “Ours is not to make reply, ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die.”
It is discipline that allows a person to make such a statement.
In this struggle between the new person and the old person there is no quarter. There is no retreat back to safe ground. In the end, there can be only one. Either the new person or the old person will be triumphant.
That’s why we should say as the Psalmist did, “Lord, I need your discipline. A discipline higher than anything I currently possess. Lord, I need you to help me walk in the path of Your commandments.” That is the mark of a true believer, an obedient child.
The psalmist wanted God to help him be obedient. He asked, “God give me your strength to wage my war. Turn me away from the person I was. Help me follow You.”
The difference between the old person and the new can be seen in difference between the prodigal's going-away petition and his coming-home petition: Going away he just said, "Father, give me..." Returning home, he humbly begged, "Father, make me as one of your servants…"
The man or woman who can say to God, “Father, make me one of your servants” is a true believer.
There are those who read it and forsake it…rebelling against God's Word. There are those who read it and forget it… simply allowing it to be crowded out of their lives. There are those who read it and are wise enough to want to live it
We need to be warriors who battle to keep their lives in line with the Word of God. We need to train for battle against the old person we were. We need to start every day with a war cry to the Lord. Amen.