The Way of the Lord
“Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth…” (Psalm 25:4-5a)
Scripture repeatedly describes the believer’s life as a journey which will take place on a path prescribed by the Lord. This odyssey is not traveled in the realm of space—as if the person is moving from one physical locale to another—it occurs in the realm of time. The trip begins at rebirth and goes on until the person’s existence on earth has been terminated.
Wherever we live on this planet, whatever our employment and family situation might be, there is a “way” to live our lives that has been prescribed by Scripture. It is the “way of the Lord.” In other words, the lifestyle we lead should reflect God’s character and should do so increasingly as we go.
In today’s verse we see David making three requests of the Lord. First, he asks God to help him to know His ways. This is a worthy prayer for anyone desirous of being a follower of the Lord. Several hundred years prior to this Moses had prayed, “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight.” (Exodus 33:13) Moses and David—perhaps the two most distinguished believers of the O.T.—asked God for the same thing: they wanted to have intimate, personal knowledge of His manner of life; His perspectives, behavior and so on. In short, they wanted to know His character.
The second part of David’s petition is the request to be taught His paths. I tend to think this is where the prayer turns more personal. God has a path laid out for each of His people from long before they were even born. It is His will for their life and all that that signifies. Charles Spurgeon said, “Unsanctified natures clamor for their own way, but gracious spirits cry, ‘Not my will, but thine be done.’”
The last phrase expresses David’s desire to be personally conducted along life’s road. He is not satisfied with mere teachings; he wants a personal tour guide who will show him every step of the way in which he should walk. This guide is one of the pillars of God’s character: His infallible Truth. If a person can stay within the boundaries of Truth, everything in life will work out well.
It would do us all well if we kept this three-part petition—or some form of it—in our daily prayers. “Lord make me to know Your behavior patterns; reveal Your will for my life; guide me along life’s way within the confines of Your great reality.
And how about you? Can you see the need to seek God in this way? Why not begin incorporating these requests into your daily prayer life? Why not do so now?