The Psalmist concludes the Nun stanza in Ps. 119:112 with this wonderful expression that is essential for sanctification. The Psalmist has inclined his heart to do God’s commandments forever and ever. He’s not interested in a few days of godly living or a few weeks or even years. He’s not willing to coast while he congratulates himself after a 24-hour period of victory. No, he knows he will always have to battle the flesh, the world and the devil until the day he dies and thus he makes lifelong commitments. It turns out the content of v.112 was actually from his prayer back in v.36—Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain.
Incline means to turn towards. He knows his natural bent, so he resists that by turning his heart toward God. This is illustrated in Joshua’s final instructions to the people of Israel in Josh. 24:23 “Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” This is the OT version of the sanctification paradigm put forth in the NT in passages such as Eph. 4 and Col. 3. In order to be faithful, we must be putting off sin and putting on righteousness and that comes about through the transforming effect of renewing one’s mind in Scripture. In other words, we must be directing our hearts to the truths of Scripture and not allow them to drift toward a fleshly mindset. The word is the Psalmist’s possession and joy, yet he continually directs his heart to the word by first saying “no” to the flesh. This is an essential step in honoring God’s word.