“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Have you ever been to the point when you felt that you will never be able to overcome that one sin that easily besets you? There is no doubt that many Christians have come to that point. Satan would love for you to succumb to defeat because he understands that a spirit of defeat will keep you from doing everything the LORD has for you to do. The verse above gives the Christian several steps that they need to take if they want to cleanse their way from sin.
First, you must realize that overcoming sin is a choice. “By taking heed” is a choice by the believer. Sin always comes down to the individual making a bad choice. You are going to have to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit when He tells you not to do something. Nobody ever sins without knowing it. We choose to sin, and until we acknowledge that the sins we commit were our choice, we will never overcome them. If you are going to cleanse your way from sin, you are going to have to make better choices.
Second, you will only cleanse your way by studying the Word of God. If you are going to take heed to God’s Word, you are going to have to study it so that you will know what to obey. You will never cleanse your way from sin if you don’t have a daily time in the Scriptures. God’s Word is the cleansing agent for the soul; you’ll never cleanse your way without studying it.
Third, you will only cleanse your way by seeking God through prayer. Verse 10 says, “With my whole heart have I sought thee…” Not only must you have a daily time in God’s Word, but you must have a daily time to seek God in prayer. Prayer is the time when you gain strength to overcome your weakness. Until you spend time daily seeking God in prayer, you will continue to fail to cleanse your way.
Fourth, you cleanse your way through memorization of Scripture. Verse 11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The greatest way to push out the filth to which you succumb is to fill your mind with God’s Word. The more you fill your mind with God’s Word, the more filth that is pushed out. The more filth that is pushed out, the less temptation that you will face. You will never cleanse your way of sin until you start taking time to memorize God’s Word.
Fifth, part of cleansing your way is through teaching others. You will find that one of the ways to cleanse yourself from sin is by teaching others to do right. One reason you need to be involved in a church is so that you can continue to cleanse your way of sin. Teaching others has a way of making you accountable to those you are teaching. Teaching others gives you a sense of responsibility that you must do right; thus, it helps you to cleanse your way of sin.
Sixth, you cleanse your way by having a spirit of victory. Verse 14 talks about rejoicing in God’s “testimonies.” You will never cleanse your way with a defeatist attitude. A spirit of victory helps you to believe that you can overcome sin. Having a right spirit is imperative to cleansing your way.
Seventh, you will cleanse your way by respecting the ways of the LORD. Verse 15 encourages the believer to “have respect unto thy ways.” When you realize it’s a privilege to represent the LORD, you will find it much easier to refuse sin.