“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
Psalm 119:9 is a passage for the ages, as young men and women battle the influence of sin in this world, especially in our times. The younger generations are encouraged to be free, to experience all that the world has to offer, to find their “own” way, and make decisions that will make them happy whatever it might be. It is all about satisfying one’s desires and wants with an inward-looking focus.
Often youngsters, and in-fact all proclaiming Christians can compartmentalise God in their lives. This compartmentalisation is usually in the form of having a “real-life” and a “spiritual life”. Proclaiming you are a Christian, reading the Bible, praying, going to church and at the same time none of these activities has a transforming influence in your life. Instead, you are no different from your peers or sinful nature of worldly living. Rather. Christ becomes an add-on to your life.
This reveals that youngsters may desire moral purity and holy living according to God’s terms, but the world makes it difficult for them to achieve it. It isn’t easy for a young man or woman to keep themselves pure because of the worldy pull. There is a desire to gain independence from any authority on their lives, youthful energy and a not thinking of repercussions in life, physical and sexual desires that may not align with God’s expectations, the desire for riches, and the moral uncleanness the world promotes.
In another sense, these same things can be experienced no matter the age, whether young or old. Some say that the “young man” is mainly mentioned in Psalm 119:9 because they are more susceptible to carnal lusts and sensual pleasures, providing guidance on overcoming this.
Psalm 25:7 says “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!”
No matter what age you are, if you are struggling with temptations, addictions, sensual desires, and are pulled by the world’s sinful nature, then there is a way to overcome this. It is only possible by God’s pure word and by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 34:11 says “Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible and shows that the word of God must have top priority in our lives. God’s word gives us the foundation to live a morally pure life accords to God’s ways.
Charles Spurgeon said:
“Young man, the Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he does not take heed to it.”
God’s word is a map and instruction for life, powerful for your sanctification. Jesus says in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Jesus spoke about the power of the word to cleanse us and keep us pure. John 15:3 says “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”
In conclusion, to those who are young in age, young in the Lord, infants in spirituality – the key to be pure is by reading and meditating on the word of God. As you build your relationship with Jesus – do not compartmentalise God when you need Him, and live a worldly life when it suits you. Instead, commit your ways entirely to God and may His word purify you. Read the word, meditate on the word, allow the Bible to teach you the ways of the Lord, and follow the commandments of the Lord, bringing glory and honour to Jesus Christ. Amen.
In closing let us ready Psalm 119:10-11 saying “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”