Ps. 101: Blueprint for Leadership ~ Maintaining Pure Habits

Psalm 101

I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
    Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
    within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
    anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
    it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
    I will know nothing of evil.

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
    I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
    I will not endure.

I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
    that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
    shall minister to me.

No one who practices deceit
    shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
    shall continue before my eyes.

Morning by morning I will destroy
    all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
    from the city of the Lord.

One of the surprising and little known facts about President Theodore Roosevelt was his devotion to God. Raised in the Dutch Reformed church, he was the product of a household of faith as well. In early years, Roosevelt assisted his dad, a wealthy philanthropist, in ministry efforts to help those less fortunate. He taught weekly Sunday school classes during his four years at Harvard. He also wrote for Christian publications. Roosevelt said, in his acceptance speech for the presidency that, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.” That particular convention featured evangelical hymns and closed with Onward Christian Soldiers being sung. Can you even imagine that happening today?

Roosevelt’s strong and godly leadership has caused him to consistently be ranked as one of the top five presidents of all time. I don’t think anyone in the last couple of decades will knock him from that spot for sure. He is one of four presidents featured prominently on the face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. He understood that he needed to rely on the help of almighty God to lead this nation in a just and right fashion.


Psalm 101: A Blueprint for Leadership

Psalm 101 is thought by some scholars to have been written when David first ascended the throne of Israel. It reads a bit like a resolution of some sort. “I WILL do these things now that I am king,” he states.  As such, it becomes a very good sort of blueprint for leadership of any kind. It is good for leaders to take inventory of and be mindful of their intended actions. And this is what David is doing here today.

[box]So if you are here today and you lead anything at all… If you lead at work, this is for you. If you lead at home as a husband, this is for you. If you lead a home school effort from day to day, it is for you. If you are the oldest child in a family, it can apply. Even if you are one of the younger children and you have to listen to everyone above you order you around, it can be for you too! Because this Psalm gives a blueprint of what should be present in a godly leader.[/box]

So the message then becomes, for all of us here in one fashion or another, how to exhibit or to recognize godly leadership. As we move through Psalm 101, we will see the heart of David the king and his desire to lead with excellence. Notice the first promise that he makes this morning.


Keeping Pure Habits – First, Maintain Pure Feet

David outlines four different ways, in this first section, that he will use to keep his habits pure before God as he enters into his reign as king. The first of those is maintaining pure feet.

Verse 2 says: I will ponder the WAY that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will WALK with integrity of heart within my house;

David is telling the Lord that he will not walk in the ways that others walk… who get into trouble. There were paths that the other kings of Israel and Judah took that got them into trouble. They often chose the paths that led to what was called ‘the high places’, which were altars kept at high elevations where child sacrifice and other atrocities were committed in acts of worship to Baal, a foreign god. There were kings of Israel who erected these high places or allowed them to be rebuilt after they had been torn down by a previous king. And then they would use their feet to walk to these places and do things which displeased God. David is saying he will not walk there.

And he does something else that could be overlooked, if we don’t carefully examine. He asks for help in verse 2. He says, “Lord when will you come to me? When can I expect you to help me keep my word Lord?”  This is key. Because one day, at a time later than when he made these resolutions, when he was operating in his own strength and he was using his feet to take a walk up on his roof when he should have been somewhere else, he fell into sin with Bathsheba. This was a time in his life when he didn’t make up his mind ahead of time that he would walk with integrity of heart within his house. If your feet lead you into sin, you need to ask God to help you overcome that sin and to walk in paths of integrity.

Proverbs 20:7 says, Blessed is the man who walks in his integrity, his children are blessed after him.

Solomon says that not only will God bless the man himself who walks in integrity, but He will also bless his children who come after him. But it takes the strength of the Lord to do this. We can plan on great things, but God is the one who provides the true ability to actually do it. Again Solomon says in Proverbs:

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

David is planning well here. He intends to do what is right in the sight of the Lord which is necessary for a godly leader. But God must help him and he must help us.

Maintain Pure Eyes

The second pure habit that David promises is to maintain pure eyes. Verse 3 says:

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:3

How much better would we all be if we purposed in our hearts ahead of time that we would not set anything worthless before our eyes? One of my favorite things that Job says in the entire book of Job is this:

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high? Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? Job 31:1-4

The Dangers of Internet Browsing

A covenant with my eyes. Lord make our eyes pure. Let them only look on what Paul talks about in Philippians, “things which are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise.” May our children’s eyes stay innocent and free from the unworthy things which can enter their gaze if we don’t protect them from it. This is a big one church. Times have changed so dramatically with the advent of the internet. Widespread use of the internet is only about twenty years old now, and the absolute filth and garbage from the world is dumped right into our living rooms and bedrooms and studies if we don’t prevent it. Someone can run into problems with these types of things without even intending to. It is absolutely everywhere and it is free and it is waiting for us to stumble.

There are a number of ways in which our eyes can get us into trouble. The first we have already mentioned–Looking at images or pictures which are not fitting for the child of God to look at. This can be pornography or perversity. There are images, videos, pictures which may not be even be of a sexual nature which are not OK to look at. It is not unusual at all to be able to see a video of someone’s death on the internet these days. This de-sensitization of our minds can cause us problems over time. Perversity can take all sorts of shapes from cruelty to animals or humans to jokes played on someone unable to defend themselves or disrespectful behavior that is captured on video. There is a camera everywhere these days! Someone is always getting knocked unconscious on camera. There are even games where this is the end goal. There is plenty of perversity that is not the best for our eyes to see.

Food for the Mind

The second way is when we read things which are not fit for a Christian. News stories, or fiction, or novels with questionable content that we feed our minds day in and day out matters.

[box] Just as what we feed our physical bodies has a great effect on how we feel and how we function during the day, so it is with our minds and our spirit.  It matters what we feed our minds just as much as what we feed our bodies. This is why it is such a good habit to begin our day in reading the word and in prayer. There is no better thing to feed our minds than the Word of God.[/box]

There is no better way to start a day out than having these words fill our minds before the other words of the day. There is essentially no end to things which are unsuitable to read. They affect our moods, they affect the way we look at life and the way we respond to others. Perhaps even your social media or phone habits need tweaking. If the things which you text back and forth are not fit for a Christian, you may need to knock that off.

Our eyes have about as many ways to transgress as you can dream up these days, so we must be purposeful, like David and like Job, to make a covenant with our own eyes that we will not look on things which are unfit for a Christian. Continued…

 Watch the full sermon on our Youtube Channel: Koinoina Livestream


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info] Pastor Dan Woody is a founding elder for Koinonia. He has been serving churches as a pastor for the past 13 years. He and his wife Peggy are the parents of two sons, Chris and Jonathan. Pastor Dan is currently studying for his Mdiv with The North American Reformed Seminary. His interests include music, and most outdoor sports like golf, hiking, tennis and fishing. [/author_info] [/author]