We all need a good word of advice from time to time. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” When people embark on new experiences such as college or in preparation for a new job or marriage, good advice is appropriate. David, in Psalm 119:9-11, offers some good advice worth following:
First, we can take heed. Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” A person can “clean up his act” when he constantly heeds or obeys the word of God.
King Saul learned his lesson when he was rebuked by Samuel: “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23). We had better listen to what the Lord says. The Bible only promises salvation to those who obey the Lord (Hebrews 5:8-9). A warm, fuzzy emotional feeling of love toward God is not enough!
Second, we can take hold. Psalm 119:10 says, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” A person should follow God completely and whole-heartedly. Jesus told the lawyer who sought to tempt Him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). A weak Christian has no spiritual guidance in this world for their mind is far from God. To what will we hold? An experience? The word of a preacher? The religion of our parents? The opinion of our friends? What about holding to God’s unchanging hand? Paul exhorted the Corinthians by writing, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Third, we can take help. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” A person should hide God’s word in his heart so that he will be strengthened against the attacks of Satan. Follow our Lord’s example of using scripture when tempted. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13, the Lord used the phrase, “It is written” to combat Satan’s temptations. Paul promised that “… but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The power to fight temptation is found in the word! You will never regret committing passages of scripture to memory so that they can be recalled in times of trouble.
Will you take heed, take hold, and take help? Often, the harshest teacher is experience. It does not have to be that way. If we will listen to those who are wiser than we and have the strength to stand fast against temptation, a life of serving God can be much freer from transgressions.