Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Teach Me Thy Ways...

Psalms 86:11 “Teach me Thy ways, oh Lord, and I will walk in Thy Truth; unite my heart to fear Thy name.”

There is so much in that single verse. So many things go through my mind. So many things crowd my thoughts. What should I say? What would do the Word justice? What is worth saying?
“Teach me Thy ways, oh Lord…” Jesus told his disciples to “…teach all the nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have taught you.” Matt 28:19, 20 The word observe means, according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “to conform one’s actions or practice to; comply with.” Jesus taught us how to Love. He was Love. He is Love. He always will be Love.

There are so many things that I could talk about on that single verse and I’m having problems comprising my thoughts into one coherent theme. So many scripture verses go through my head. So many parables of Jesus are there for our learning.
We are told to “read the Bible.” It seems like such a daunting task. I once heard a quote that went like, “Many things in the Bible, I don’t understand. Many things in the Bible, I only think I understand. But there are many things in the Bible I cannot misunderstand.”
I was once told by someone that they didn’t need to read the Bible because their priest would tell them what they needed to know. We, as a people, are lazy. We close ourselves off to the awesome wonder of who God is, by not seeking the Lord through prayer nor through His Word. John chapter one declares that “The Word was with God and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh.”

We are given a great and wonderful privilege of knowing God intimately. Many have tried to cast doubt on God’s Word. Many religious people cast doubt on God’s Word. Many have twisted the Word to say what it does not say. Context, context, context. We must be “…rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.

There are so many supplemental sources for study to help us along, but our main text should first and foremost always be the Bible – the Word of God. Sure, there will always be things in the Bible we won’t understand. Sure there will be points when you say to yourself, as I have said, “What is the point of this or that verse?” But I’ve also taken the attitude that, “Okay God, I don’t understand that right now, but there is still a whole lot that I do understand. Please guide me along as I get to know you more intimately through your Word.”

Consider Job. Lost his money, his family, his health failing. All he wanted was an answer from God for his troubles. Instead he gets criticized by his ‘comforters.’ When God does come on the scene all he gets from God is questions. Does Job get mad? No. Job was given the privilege of being in intimate contact with the one true God, and instead of puffing himself up, he humbled himself before God. He put his faith in God, not his situation. His end was greater than what he had before.

Perhaps you don’t get an answer for your troubles. Perhaps you won’t get an answer. Perhaps the people you are consulting, like Job’s comforters, have all the seemingly correct religious answers, but are you seeking God Himself? Have you gone to His Word? Perhaps you don’t find the answer you are looking for, but are you looking for the Truth? Are you developing an intimate relationship with the One who created you? Have you developed a peace that passes all understanding based on your faith in the One who gave His life that you might have life?
My finite knowledge can not grasp the depths of the Infinite. I can’t understand the depths and breadths and heights of the God we serve. I cannot understand why everything happens. But, you want to know something? I don’t need to know. We are told that “the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

My simple prayer is “Teach me Thy ways, oh Lord, and I will walk in Thy Truth; unite my heart to fear Thy name.” That should be everyone’s simple prayer.
Read Proverbs 2:1-5 for a final thought on the subject.

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