Lord, I Want to Know Your Ways

Psalms 86:11-13 ESV

“Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”

It is important that we are taught the ways of the Lord, and that we are taught them correctly, so it is critical that we study the Scriptures for ourselves (in context) and that we do not rely on other humans to tell us the truth, for it seems not many are telling the truth these days. But we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to open up the Scriptures to us and to speak truth to our hearts. And we should guard against always assuming what the Scriptures mean, for some of us were taught some of them wrongly.

I know that for myself personally, the more I studied the Scriptures the more I began to see some of those things I was taught wrongly, and I began to see them in a different light, in the light of the truth of the gospel. Long time ago I tried to make them fit with whatever I had been taught, but so many of them didn’t fit, and so I let the Holy Spirit teach me what they were really saying, and then I began to embrace more and more of the truth and to reject more and more of the lies (or misinterpretations).

So, if we truly want the Lord Jesus to teach us his ways, so that we can walk in his truth, then we need to be open to him showing us some things we have believed wrongly and for us to then learn the truth of what is being taught so that we can apply those truths correctly to our lives. But getting at the truth is very important so that we can walk in that truth, and so we are correctly handling the word of truth to the best of our understanding in the power of God’s Spirit whenever we are sharing the Scriptures with others.

Now the whole point of being taught the truth is so that we can walk in it, so that we can put it into practice in our daily lives. Now, we are not under the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, purification and dietary laws and restrictions. But we are under the New Covenant. But the New Covenant is not lawless. All throughout the New Testament we are taught that we must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands under the New Covenant, and there are plenty of them about what to put off and what to put on.

Now, we study the Scriptures, not to gain head knowledge, but to gain heart knowledge. We study them so that we can know what they teach and so that we can do what they teach, where it applies to all Christians. So context is very important because we can see the culture of that time period and we can see if instructions are just to certain people in particular circumstances or if these instructions are to have a broader application to all believers in Jesus Christ. And knowing the context helps us to not interpret them incorrectly.

Now another important element here in being taught the ways of the Lord is that we must have the fear of God before our eyes. We must be those who honor Christ with our lives, who are living in submission to Christ as Lord, who are not living in sin, and who are walking in holiness and in righteousness, in the power of God, in obedience to our Lord’s commands. And we must be receptive to hearing from the Lord whatever it is he wants to teach us, and then we must obey what he teaches us.

And we need to have thankful hearts that appreciate all that Jesus Christ has done for us. For by God-given faith in Jesus Christ we were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we were raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was put to death with him so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness. So, if we are thankful, we will show it by our obedience and by our submission to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Psalms 86:14-17 ESV

“O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”

Now, when we are walking in the truth of God’s Holy Word, and so we are also walking in obedience to our Lord, and we are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, and so we are also refuting the lies of the enemy, the enemy Satan is going to come against us to try to discourage us and to try to get us to lose faith. He is going to attack us in many different ways, and he will use even our family members or other professing Christians, or even pastors or people out in the world to come against us, too.

So, we should not be surprised if the closer we get to Jesus to learning his ways and to walking in them that the further away from us some people may become, or the greater their hostility will be against us. And it is because these people are not seeking to learn the ways of the Lord so that they might walk in them, but they are following after the ways of the world and the ways of the flesh and the thinking and reasoning of humans. And so we will be an offense to them because the gospel is an offense to them.

But the Lord allows these situations in our lives or they could not happen. And ultimately they are for our good to draw us closer to the Lord, to make us even more determined to keep following Jesus with our lives, to humble us, to make us more like Jesus, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, to make us more loving and compassionate, to teach us perseverance, to make us holy, and to get us ready for our Lord’s return. For we are all a work in progress, and so we need to mature in Christ.

But now the Lord will help us through these situations to remain faithful to him and to keep walking the walk and to keep obeying him, and to not be afraid of what other humans might do to us or say about us or to us. He will give us the wisdom that we need to make the right choices, and he will lead us in the way that we should go. And if we are following him, and so we are his sheep, he will not desert us. We can count on him to carry us through it all. And so we lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways we acknowledge him, and he makes our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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