Read: Psalm 119:97-120
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
There are two kinds of people in this world, directionally speaking. People who pay attention to where they’re going, and people who don’t. I fall into the latter category, much to the chagrin of my directionally savvy husband. Years ago, we were staying with a large group of friends at a cabin on the side of a mountain in the Monongahela National Forest and we were out on a relatively short hike towards the end of the day. Because we were a large group, we were spread out along the trail in smaller groups of 3 or 4. I was bringing up the rear with a few friends and we were all just talking and enjoying the beautiful fall day that was quickly becoming a beautiful fall night.
I had been to this cabin and on this hike numerous times but, paying no attention to where I was going, I missed the turn-off to the cabin and soon began to wonder why this short hike was taking so gosh-darned long. And why the trail was now heading down the other side of the mountain. And where was the rest of the group. It was beginning to get dark and me following a trail in the light of day is iffy enough – me following a trail in the dark is a recipe for disaster. But by the grace of God we had enough sense to backtrack and eventually we were able to see the light from the cabin through the woods. Thank God for the cabin light – if it hadn’t been there we would have spent the night outside on a very dark and very cold mountain.
Today’s text is all about the blessing of living under God’s rule – His law – being obedient to His commands. Walking in the light as opposed to walking in darkness. As followers of Christ we have the light of Christ within us, but we still walk through a very dark and fallen world. Hard things come, confusion, doubt and fear will rear their ugly heads and it will feel like we’re stumbling down a dark path. But God offers us a really powerful flashlight – His Word – that is like a lamp for our feet, a light for our path.
This is why memorizing scripture is so powerful. The Bible is stuffed full of God’s words of love, compassion, wisdom, guidance, hope – but if we don’t know His word, the darkness remains. Being a Christian but not knowing the Bible is kind of like carrying a flashlight but never turning it on. It’s nice to have, but it ain’t gonna help you much.
Having God’s word engraved on your heart is a life-changer. It may not change the path that you have to travel, but it changes how you feel as you walk that path. When my little, lost group saw the lights of the cabin, immediately the fear was gone, our confidence was back, and we laughed and giggled our way back to the cozy cabin in the woods.
So think about what’s out there in the dark that scares you. Is it fear? Then memorize Philippians 4:6-7. Is it loneliness? Then memorize Isaiah 41:10. Do you need assurance of your salvation? Then memorize Ephesians 2:8-9. What the heck, let’s just memorize all of them. Pick up your flashlight and go for it!
Heavenly Father, thank you for not leaving us to walk around in the dark. Thank you for your words of life – please write those words on our hearts so they would do the job of lighting our path. We love you, Lord. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.