Read- Psalm 25:1-10 The Paths of God are Steadfast Love and Faithfulness Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Scripture says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). Let us do so by applying His truth to our lives.
First, if we are not lifting up our souls to God, directing our soul’s gaze to Him, adoring, praising, and coming to Him in worship no matter how much truth we know or have memorized, and no matter how many books of theology that we have read or podcasts we have listened to, we are not using the truth of God as it is intended. If our knowledge of God leaves us prayerless and praiseless, it is worthless. We are acting as Scientists of the Christian variety and may not even be Christians. That may be a tough thing to hear. But I’m convinced that hell is full of theologians. The Pharisees knew much Scripture but little of God. The Bible is a book to be lived, not just read, and God is to be worshiped, not studied like part of His creation. If your belief does not lead you to communion with God, it is not faith but mental ascent. Faith and mental ascent are as different as gold is from lead. Do not confuse the two; you will do so at your peril. Faith and the love born from the spiritual sight it brings do not comprehend God, but they do apprehend Him. They grab hold of Him and ask as Moses did, “If I have found favor in your sight, show me your glory.
Second, let us follow David’s example of faith and contemplate the Scriptures, turning them over in our minds. When David calls on God to remember his works of mercy from of old, as I said, he was really mulling them over in his own mind. I listed many of the stories we teach our children, but they are for us too. We have not yet plumbed the bottom of any story in the Old or New Testaments, much less the theological passages. Have you ever considered that the theological passages, with few exceptions, can be traced back to the stories and prophecies of the Old Testament, the Life of Christ, or the parables of Christ? When was the last time you took a parable and turned it over in your mind asking, “What is this really saying?” You can do this while driving, folding clothes, washing dishes, or any mindless task. Take out your earbuds and turn off your music and podcasts for a while. Contemplate the truth of God for yourselves. This is biblical meditation. We must restore it as a practice. Christians have so little grasp of truth because they have done so little thinking about it. What it takes is an unbusy mind. What it takes is the pushing out of the noise. What it takes is boredom. I believe David learned through contemplating the truth of God while watching his father’s sheep what he needed to defeat Goliath and become king. David had a heart after God because he had a heart filled with contemplating the truth of God and the works of God.
Third, if you have little desire to know the ways of God, if your heart is cold, pray, “4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.” Everyone who has been a Christian for an extended period can identify with what God says about us in Isaiah 1:3 “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Our hearts grow cold, but we must remember and pray by faith that God would give us a refreshing of the Holy Spirit. Like David, we must claim the promises of God for ourselves. Here’s one for when you do not feel the way you ought.
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
But when you pray for this, pray as one who believes God will give what He says He will provide if we ask.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
God rewards those that draw near to him, believing.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
If you struggle in faith, pray as the father of the epileptic child in Mark 9:24 “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”
Fourth, when He grants the prayer for refreshing or if your heart is pliable before the Lord, give way to Him, be led by Him. Become a glove for the hand of God. Let the Spirit of God move you. Be led, and put up no resistance. Consider what it is to pray “lead me not into temptation.” Many continue long in temptations because they resist God and do not allow Him to lead them away from their temptations. The truth is we like our temptations because they lead us to the sins that we love, the presumptuous and secret ones. Something that I’ve discovered through the years that I hope I can communicate well here is this: my greatest temptations were overcome by my falling down before them. I resisted them by just laying down internally and becoming willless, and in that state, God picked me up and carried me away from them.
In some cases, the day God carried me out of the fires of my passions and desires was a day of permanent deliverance. That’s the best I can do to e this form of resistance to you. Be led by Him.
Fifth, do not give up on humility and meekness. Strive for them. Put off the American way of obnoxiousness, power-seeking, and self-glorification. But if you are willing to lift your soul to Him, meditate on His Word and Works, and desire to know His ways and paths, then humility will be yours. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. Because those things,
- Lifting your soul to Him in worship and adoration
- Meditating on His Word and Works
- Desiring to know His ways
This is what it means to be humble. That is biblical humility. It will lead you to become a more gentle and understanding person. It will cause you to have less confidence in yourself and your abilities and knowledge. You will find out how much you do not know compared to how little you do. You will become small in your own eyes, and the Triune God will tower over you as He should. You will grow in all the graces because you will learn how much grace has been and is constantly extended to you. You’ll see the smallness of your love and the staggering unfaithfulness you bring forth. But you will also discover as God leads you in His paths that
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.