“Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” Psalm 119:5
This is from the first stanza of the acrostic poem (psalm 119) and it is a very deep reflection on the author’s own heart. The stanza begins with “how happy” [blessed] is the man whose way is blameless, and how happy are those who do no wrong and who seek the Lord with their whole heart. Then the author says (my paraphrase), “for this is what your precepts demand: a diligent, obedient heart.” And then he interjects His heart’s cry (here in 3 different translations):
“Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” (ESV)
“Oh that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!” (NLT)
“Oh that my ways were directed and established to observe your statutes [hearing, recieving, loving, and obeying them]!” (AMP)
Most people would catch this as a moment of weakness. And I guess that could be supported. But, as I ponder that, I realize that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. That this cry was more than just a frustration the author was feeling: it was a prayer (another translation actually includes that in the text).
You see, the author realized that he was saying all of this stuff, but realizing that he was really missing it. He words seemed empty to him. He probably wasn’t feeling very “blessed”-happy. But he still had the strength to cry this out to his Father.
Have you cried that out recently? Maybe instead you cried out, “I wish I were ‘better'”? God doesn’t want better, He just wants you. And if you want to have a heart that is obedient, He gives you the strength–just come to Him with this psalmist’s cry: “Oh, that my ways were steadfast!”
Proverbs 3:5-6 say,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him (note: it does not say, “in all your ways be perfect” or “in all your ways, you must be steadfast”, but it says, in all your ways–admit to Him your weakness, and His strength will sustain you), and He will make your paths straight [fixed; steadfast].”
1 John 3:20
“For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.”
He knows your heart. What are you crying out to Him?