Psalm 25:4-7 ESV
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
The ways of the Lord are righteous. So, if we want him to show us his ways, and if we want him to teach us his paths, then we need to surrender our lives to him. We must submit our lives to his Lordship over our lives. And, we must leave our sinful practices (habits, lifestyles) behind us to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, for those are his ways.
We aren’t supposed to live anymore like we did before we believed in Jesus. It doesn’t mean that we will be perfect, but it does mean our lives are no longer to be given over to fulfill the lusts of our flesh. We shouldn’t be living for self-pleasure, always needing to be entertained, always cracking jokes, and always talking about what is of this world.
We should be different, unique, unlike the world and the worldly church, too. We shouldn’t sound like, talk like, and think like the world does. And, we should not take on the attitudes, values and principles of this world, either.
When we gather together with other Christians, our gatherings shouldn’t look like and sound just like get-togethers that non-Christians have. It should be evident that we have been with Jesus and that our lives are about him, not about the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. And, we should be encouraging one another in the faith, and talking about the Lord, and sharing what the Lord is doing in our lives.
If we want forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life with God, too, then we need to be no longer living for the flesh, but we should now be walking according to the Spirit of God in holiness, purity, honesty, faithfulness and righteousness, for the glory and praise of God.
Psalm 25:8-11 ESV
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
We have all sinned. Not one of us is righteous in his own merit. All we like sheep have gone astray. So, we can only be made righteous through Jesus’ death on a cross and through God-given faith in him and in what he accomplished for us on that cross.
For Jesus, although he was sinless, became sin for us on that cross. In his death he put sin to death on our behalf. And, this was in order that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. With his blood he bought us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Co. 6:20; 1 Pet. 2:24).
His salvation he provided for us was never intended to be merely forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven when we die. It was always his plan that we would humble ourselves before him, that we would deny self, and that daily we would take up our cross and follow (obey) him. His plan was never just to rescue us from hell, but it was to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we can walk in holiness and righteousness in his power.
His grace was never intended to erase repentance and obedience. For, his grace instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. He still commands that we repent, that we leave our sinful lifestyles behind us, and that we follow him in obedience. For, he didn’t die just to forgive us, but to transform us through and through.
So, if we walk in obedience to his commands, according to the Spirit of God, as a matter of course (of practice), then we have the blessings of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. But, if we don’t, and if we think salvation is just a free ticket into heaven but that we are not required to obey our Lord, and so we don’t, then we must know that scripture teaches us that heaven is not our eternal destiny, but hell is.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9]
Psalm 25:12-15 ESV
Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
The Bible teaches us that we who are followers of God, of Christ, are to walk in the fear of the Lord. This is taught both in the OT and in the NT. And, that means that we are to live to the honor and praise of God, doing what he requires, following him in his ways and in his truth. So, we need to know what his ways are, and the best way to learn that is to read the New Testament, Matthew to Revelation, verse by verse, in context.
But, we can’t do this in our flesh, with us still on the throne in our own hearts, living life mainly to please our flesh, with God on the side. We can only do this by faith in Jesus Christ and as empowered of the Spirit of God living within us, guiding us each step of the way. And, we can only do this as we surrender our lives to the Lord, and we submit to his purposes, and as we walk (in practice) in obedience to his commands.
Then, he will instruct us in the way that we should go, because we are open to hearing his instructions, and because we are prepared to submit to his will and to do what he says. And, he will confide in us, and he will show us his will and his ways because we honor him for the holy God that he is, and because we respect his position of authority over our lives. And, he will use us for his glory, perhaps even in ways we didn’t even imagine or think possible. And, that is because it is him doing it, and not us.
Our eyes need to be ever (always) on the Lord. That doesn’t mean that we go around quoting scriptures and praying all day and all night, but that our minds are set on the Lord and on his Word. It means that he is the focus for our lives. He is our inspiration, our motivation, and our purpose for living. We don’t spend 5 or 10 minutes a day with God and the rest for ourselves.
Our minds, our hearts and our time are given over to him to be used of him any time of the day or night when he chooses to use us and in the ways in which he chooses to use us. It is like we are on call 24/7. Our lives are no longer our own, for we were bought with the price of Jesus’ blood.
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”