I Will, I Will, I Won’t

I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil… Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. I will look with favor on the faithful in the land. Psalm 101:1-6

Every holy resolve includes wills and won’ts, and David’s psalm sets for us a good tempo of balance between the two. Making a joyful noise to God lifts the heart and spirits to gladness and satisfaction in the LORD of all. When we sing a new and continual song, our mindset is delight in Him, and so infuses all our choices from then on. Determining to focus on God’s love and justice, to the world seemingly disparate and unreconcilable divine attributes, fixes in us our sense of accountability to Him, this lavish, merciful, and righteous LORD. Making music to Him awakens desire for blamelessness and integrity, and establishes our course of action before Him and among others within our house and outside. (Psalm 96:1-2; 100:1)

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And in order to walk uprightly, there are certain bents we must check, practices we must not allow, “I won’ts” that free us to keep on the right path. It is hard to stay on the straight and narrow when we are fascinated with the world’s idols and involve ourselves thickly in worldly entertainment, business practices, vocabulary, ideologies. We must make choices about the regular company we keep and the places we recreate, which affect the topics we ponder and the manner of our living, relating, spending. Haughtiness, arrogance, unfaithfulness are poisons that seep into our psyches and open doors to perverseness we may not otherwise deliberately choose. Resolving to favor good over evil, developing companionship with those who exemplify faithfulness over deception and infidelity, choosing to praise God rather than criticize and complain about others, all make a huge difference in the way we will live. (Matthew 7:13-14)

For what will I use my voice today? What will I decide to put away, to reject, in order to sing to my LORD with all my being?

“Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.                                                                                                        Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne.
”                                                ~Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

Father of all goodness, morning by morning, fix my mind and heart on so You that my mouth pours out songs of praise and gratitude. Grant me discernment in every observation and holy courage in every choice, that You are exalted in my life. (Colossians 3:1-2,16)

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