We are starting a new Bible study on spiritual warfare. One of the verses I was led to this morning took me to another and another that reminded me that no matter what appears to be going on in our lives and world, our Lord is faithful. “For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.” (Ps 86:13)
That verse is nestled in a prayer within a prayer that captures a glimpse of vibrant spiritual vitality. “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me—they have no regard for you.” (Ps. 86:11-14) Two requests are being made: 1) “Teach me Your Way”, and 2) “Give me an undivided heart”. Each of these requests has a God-centered purpose: that the person praying would rely on God’s faithfulness (and, thus, not their own power), and that they would fear the Lord’s name.
No matter how well we know and follow the Lord, we can always ask Him to increase our awareness and improve our obedience. Jesus echoed one of these requests in the sixth beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matt. 5:8)
In an earlier psalm, David also prayed, “I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. 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.” (Ps. 25:2-5) So how do we receive God’s guidance? The first step is to want to be guided, and to realize that God’s primary guidance system is His Word.
Psalm 119 tells of the endless knowledge found in God’s Word, and again, asks the Lord for His wisdom: “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.” (vv10-12) By reading the Bible, studying it, and hiding it in our hearts, we will gain the wisdom to perceive God’s direction for our lives. We may be tempted to demand answers from God, but David asked for direction.
Biblical wisdom was described by the Hebrew word chakmah. It was more than common sense and was characterized by skill and craftsmanship, cleverness and cunning, and prudence in everyday matters. Wisdom graced the lives of many biblical figures—Daniel, Ezra, Joshua—and brought them great success.
How do you find wisdom today? The answer is to go to the source of all wisdom, God Himself. He is the one who created you—He has placed His gifts and callings within you and understands their worth. Certainly, He is a good steward of His gifts and will develop them to their maturity. God is also the one who understands your past and future—He has intrinsic knowledge of your weaknesses and strengths. The Lord will protect you, yet challenge you to grow in your Christian walk.
Finally, God will lead you along a path that will fulfill His plans for your life. He is the one who knows the direction you are to follow and will lead accordingly. When we seek God, learn from His Word, and obey His commands, then we will receive His specific guidance.
- Life Application Study Bible (NIV)
- Divine Direction: Bringing God into Your Big Decisions