“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Someone came to me with a problem and said, “Preacher, how do I get victory over…” This person was not a bad person; rather, they were the average believer who battled a sin that seemed to get the best of them. When looking at Psalm 119:9-16, you will find the answer to cleaning sinful ways. Let me share with you several steps you must take if you want to clean a sinful way.
First, admit your problem. In the verse above, the young man knew his way was dirty. You will never get victory over sin as long as you justify your sin. If you don’t see your sin as dirty, you will continue it. Moreover, if the only reason you want to cleanse your way is because you got caught, your sin will continue to have victory in your life. You must admit you have a problem with your sin before you can go any further to cleansing your sinful way.
Second, listen to the instruction of God’s Word. You will never be able to “take heed” to God’s Word without instruction. If you have all the answers, you will continue to struggle with your sin. If you have all the answers, why do you continue to struggle with your sin? You must realize that you don’t have the answers and be willing to listen to the instruction of God’s Word from those who want to help you.
Third, have a whole-hearted desire to seek God. Verse 10 makes it clear that your desire is to be filled with God’s ways. The reason sin is getting the victory in your life is because you have filled your ways with sinful desires. My question for you is this; are you willing to seek God to the point that you will remove whatever is contributing to your sinful way? Until you have this degree of desire to overcome your sin, you will continue to struggle with your sin.
Fourth, you will only overcome your sinful ways by memorizing Scriptures. Verse 11 talks about the importance of hiding God’s Word in your heart. Memorizing Scripture has a way of replacing the filth you have stored in your mind. God’s Word is the only thing that can clean the mind. Your problem with sin is more of a mind problem than it is a physical action. The only reason you physically do wrong is because your mind has been filled with the wrong information. Replace those wrong thoughts with God’s Word, and you will replace sin with righteous acts.
Fifth, set up guards of protection. Verse 12 says, “…teach me thy statutes.” A statute is a law the determines your actions. You will continue to succumb to sin if you don’t set up guards in your life to keep you from doing wrong. My friend, standards must be kept to keep you from sin. Though many have derided the use of standards, standards are the guards of protection against sin.
Sixth, be a soul winner. Verse 13 talks about declaring God’s judgments. Being a personal soul winner has a way of motiving the believer to overcome sin so they can better reach the lost. Becoming a personal soul winner is the way you motivate yourself to get victory over sin.
Seventh, protect your quiet times. Verse 15 talks about meditating in God’s Word. Let God’s Word be the thoughts upon which you dwell when you’re alone. Let your quiet times be filled with God. When you fill your quiet times with God, you will find sin’s temptations will die.