Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 2, 2013

His decrees and our actions

Last Wednesday, I did a Mike (code in our family for making a mistake).  My appointment was about forty-five minutes from my office in the middle of rural America.  Although my last journey to this particular location was five years ago, I knew the way (famous last words).  To make a long story short, I went at least twenty miles out of the way simply because I didn’t use my GPS.  To make matters worse, I passed by the correct exit three times before finally arriving at my destination.  IF ONLY I WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS!  Yesterday while doing some reading, my eyes zeroed in on a verse that reminded me of following directions.

Psalm 119:5 (NLT)
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!

At the very beginning of the longest chapter in the Bible, we find these penetrating words.  To be honest, they jumped off the page at me.  Why?  Because I so often find that my actions are in violation of the decrees I speak about, write about, and try to live by!  Without a doubt, I believe that the word “decrees” in the above passage is a synonym for God’s Word.  The Psalmist is conveying long-term endurance in obeying the Word of God.  I can easily sense the Psalmist’s desire from the words “… consistently reflect your decrees.”  The problem with this verse for me, and I am sure for you also, is the word “actions.” Intellectual assent to obeying God’s decrees is one thing, but living a life where actions consistently reflect His decrees is another thing altogether.  In Christian America, we too often agree with His Word, quote the principles, memorize the verses, but stop short of personally internalizing the truths.  Therefore, you often find it hard to distinguish Christ–followers from just good people.

If you are like me, you’ve got the basics down of good Christian living. I talk about the principles of God’s Word daily, and even write about them, but if I am not careful I violate the very principles that I passionately convey to others.  Now to be honest, I am not talking about denying the Word or turning away from it in rebellion.  My thoughts on this verse for you and me are more of a subtle knowing (intellectually), but not doing (actions).

My wife would have never gotten lost last Wednesday.  She would have followed the GPS above all else, and not taken for granted that she could find her own way.   The contrast between her logic and mine is exactly the conflict we see in following the decrees of God’s Word.  If you want to do a Mike, then just live life, agree with the principles and struggle needlessly.  Following the directions (letting my actions consistently reflect Your decrees) won’t remove all the obstacles from life, but it will provide a guide to navigate them.

If you are a Christ-follower, there’s probably agreement with every sentence of this article.  But to make the concepts real to you, permit me to share a few statements that are action oriented. They deal directly with a life of faith and God’s decrees.  While reviewing these words, if you sense that there is a contrast between your actions and His Word, be honest and admit it. He already knows you are struggling!

…trust Him in every circumstance
…forgive others when they hurt you
…worry is wrong, it’s sin
…pray without ceasing
…walk by faith, not by sight
…in everything give thanks

My point is not perfection … that’s Heaven!  But if you desire a life where your actions would consistently reflect His decrees, know it is possible.  The six statements above are a good place to start seeking consistent obedience.  Please know that they are not manufactured, however.  Grow in His Word, yield to His Spirit, and determine that by faith you will see victory (not perfection) in these areas.  So the choice is clear: Do a Mike, or follow His Decrees!



  1. I like that your posts resound with reality. I wonder, while you were driving past your destination if there wasn’t a small still voice telling you “Get off at this exit.”

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