Series theme: how to work out your salvation with fear and trembling thru disciplines of grace (not earn salvation but work its implications into all of life- relationships, psychology, etc.
Freedom in our culture and time is defined almost always in the negative – free from something.
The Big idea: true freedom is found in obedient subjection to the God of the universe.
1. What’s wrong with trying to be your own ultimate spiritual authority?
A. Vs37. You are naive to think that you are not under worship of something right now. What is your emotional center, ordering you around?
B. Vs 45. Ignores the nature of how real freedom works. Hebrew for ‘broad place’ means freedom. Finally there is freedom BECAUSE we are Gods own. I have true choices. I am no longer a slave to fear. Freedom is finding the right restrictions like a glider. The glider would sink if in water but the restrictions of the physics of aerodynamics makes it soar as it was made. Like a fish who is not free on land as they are not built for that. The ultimate environment for the soaring of the human soul is the service of and enjoyment of God. All other service is slavery not freedom. Gods commands are our water for us built as fish.
C. Ignores the paradox of love. The more we want true love there is less freedom. Restrictions in love bring a deeply intimate love relationship in a mutually sacrificial lationship. Vs40. I am love sick / dying of thirst on and for Gods commandments. He is filled with delight. When falling in love, you are making lists of the other person’s joys and distresses so you can comfort your behavior for the look on their face. You are submitting to the law of their nature so that you can go deeper in the love relationship. This is not busy work for the Psalmist but an expression of love to see God’s nature (quote from Lloyd Jones). John 14:23. If you love me, you will obey me and I become more real to you says Christ.
Becoming free by losing your independence, becoming yourself.
2. How to put yourself under Gods authority.
How to Transfer spiritual authority from yourself to God. Four way:
A. Accept the Bible’s full authority (or else you can’t escape the cultural moment you are in nor have a relationship with God). Ie embarrassed by great grandparents writings and certain views. We have some blind spots now too. We are not the ultimate generation. You can only have a relatationship with someone who can argue with you and talk back to you or else you have a ‘stepford God’.
B. Accept the Bible’s scrutiny: interpret the text so that it can interpret you. How can I apply this and be different today because of it?
C. Accept the adventure: follow the thread that God is laying out even thou you don’t know where the path leads. Dietrich Bonnhoffer went back to germany from the USA and was ultimately killed and now thousands are inspired and he is in glory.
D. Accept the finisher of the race: vs 32. Christ in not just the pioneer of our faith but the finisher. He is not merely an example. He is our substitute who ran the race for us and pleased God for us. There is no way laws will be a joy until you accept that the race is already finished for you. Read this verse in light of heb 12:1-3
Passage: Ps 119:
25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! 26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! 29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. 31 I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame! 32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. 38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. 39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. 40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; 42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. 44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. 49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.