Read: Psalm 119:57-64
Consider: The psalmist describes his conversion in the two phrases ‘considered my ways’ and ‘turned my steps’. This describes how conversion comes about for each of us.
While we recognise that a person must think about how they are living life and particularly their status before God, the truth is that it is through the work of the Holy Spirit that a person is brought to faith. There are two possibilities contained in the word ‘consider’. How we see ourselves before and after conversion. Paul, sums up the state we are in prior to conversion in Romans 3:23 in these words: ‘… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …’ When we see our sinful state in this way, there is no place for comparing ourselves to others as somehow less sinful. In God’s eyes everyone has sinned and all are in need of forgiveness. The second aspect of considering is how we see ourselves after conversion. Once we are saved by Christ, we are in a renewed, forgiven state before God and he no longer sees our sinfulness. Of course this does not mean we can do what we like, as God calls us to live holy lives.
Thinking further about how we see ourselves post-conversion, Paul says this:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith (Philippians 3:7-9). As Christians we must always remember that there is no place for pride in ourselves and our accomplishments, as everything pales into insignificance when compared to what Christ has achieved for us.
Turning to the phrase ‘turned my steps’, the psalmist is speaking of repentance. The Hebrew word translated as ‘turned’ conveys the additional meanings of ‘turn back’, ‘return’, ‘turn to God’ and ‘change your mind’. All of these give insight into the process of repentance that involves a turning to God, often described as an ‘about face’, a complete reversal in the direction of our life.
If you haven’t as yet committed your life to Christ, let me ask you to consider your way of life and how your sin separates you from God. Acknowledge your sin and ask God for forgiveness, committing your life to Christ.
Pray: Father, we recognise that we need to consider our ways at all stages of life. May we be willing to accept your forgiveness and submit our lives to you. Amen