I mentioned yesterday that I am painting the downstairs trim. I approached this project scientifically and went online to see how to do it like the experts. The helpful man in cyberspace spoke of a technique called "cutting in," which is evidently a way of controlling one's paintbrush like you're the boss, and not the paint.
This reminds me of when my college boyfriend taught me to drive, and said to "turn into the curves." That is advice that has stood me in good stead for decades, and again involves a degree of voluntary pressing into the object at hand.
This morning I happened to read the following Psalm, with lessons of painting and driving fresh in my mind. David wrote:
"… I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God …" (Psalm 17:3-6).
Feel the forcefulness and willfulness of the tone. David knew the Word of God is to be pressed into-"cut into," "turned into"-not merely read with listless poetic appreciation.
We tend to be afraid to handle the commands of God as commands, but David shows no such daintiness. He says "I have purposed [determined] that my mouth will not transgress." He believes that there is reward to be gained by seeking God wholeheartedly. God says so Himself:
"… he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
The Kingdom of God comes forcefully and forceful men lay hold of it. They master themselves (Genesis 4:7; Psalm 34:13; Matthew 5:48; 1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Corinthians 9:27), by the grace of God available to them. They lay hold of the promises of God like David did, letting no slothful spirit rob them of the unspeakable things God is ready to pour out on those who love Him (John 14:21; 1 Corinthians 2:9).
It's just a matter of being like Jacob:
"… I will not let you go unless you bless me" (Genesis 32:26).