Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:37
The Psalmist begs the question: what are worthless things?
Once, Jesus was at the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha scurried about cooking the food, straightening the house, making sure everything looked beautiful for company; Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and paid rapt attention to his teachings. Jesus tells Martha that she is worried and anxious about many things, but one thing is needful—and that Mary recognized what is truly needful.
The Psalmist prays that God give “life in your ways” and Jesus shows that his words are life—in this world and life eternal. His words give forgiveness and love. Jesus’ words create purity within you and friendship between God and man. This is truly needful.
So, does that mean that food and cleanliness and all the other things in life are worthless? No, but these things are not eternal. After you eat, you have to do it all over again a few short hours later. The cleaning seemingly never ends. But the love of Jesus is eternal and never fades. The blood that Jesus shed is an eternally living, eternally forgiving blood. The words Jesus speaks give life everlasting.
We pray that God would lead us to realize this and to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, trusting in his promise that he will add the other things we need to them as well.
As we focus on his word, and trust in his provision, we also pray that God would keep away from us those things that would distract us or cause us to fall into sin. We pray that God would keep temptation at bay, defeat the schemes of the devil, and even the temptations that arise within us.
Such a prayer—that we would be attentive to his word, trust in his promises, and keep sin away—is pleasing to God and he will grant it for the sake of his Son, Jesus. Amen.
Lord God, bless Your Word wherever It is proclaimed. Make It a Word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send It; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.