How can a young man (or woman) keep his way pure? That is the question being asked by the author of Psalm 119. Is it a possible to keep one’s life pure by following a set of rules? Does that, by default, cause us to live as God intended? I would argue that it doesn’t.
Verses 9-11 of Psalm 119 asks the question of a pure life, but then quickly addresses and answers the question of how to keep our life pure and avoid sinning against God. These verses mention nothing about staying pure by following a set of rules.
In three short verses, the word heart is mentioned two times. This leads me to draw a conclusion that keeping pure has something to do with my heart. As I dig a little bit deeper into what God is saying, I realize that I must be purposeful in having His Word in my heart so that change can take place. Following God and living as He intended is more about my heart and less about following rules that cannot initiate lasting change. Following the rules will last for a time, but ultimately I will fail if that is all I have done. But sincere and lasting change is only achieved by a change of heart.
So how do I go about changing my heart? Verse 11 says that hiding God's Word in my heart is the only way that I will be able to keep from sinning against God and keep my way pure. God's Word has to have priority in my life and has to be at the center of all I do. I know that my heart's deepest desire is to live as God purposed for me to live; and hiding God's Word in my heart is the way that can be achieved.