Derek: To walk or to tread; this word is most often used metaphorically to refer to the pathways of one’s life, suggesting the pattern of life.
Psalm 25 is a treasure for those who want to learn “how to” and the “why” of waiting on God that to spend some time here will be fruitful.
Psalm 25 will bring us to want to understand the word ways in the Old Testament. The easiest description of this word as it is used in the Scriptures is to think of it as the way that that all believers in YAHWEH are to live. These ways are for all believers; for you and for me alike. Ways are to be distinguished from paths which we will discuss later.
The following selections on ways in this blog series relate how the disciple who is waiting on God with a hopeful disposition will discover the Lord’s ways for his life. God wants to reveal His ways and has done so in His Word the Bible.
Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
This passage exhorts us to wait with hope for instructions from the Lord, and to do so all the day. To get direction for every move in life the believer needs to go to the source of all life, to the God of our salvation, the Author and Finisher of our faith. This Psalm teaches both the need and assurance of God’s divine guidance. This is because He is the God of our salvation. We are to wait for our instructions all day is a reminder of the constant need of His direction now that we are saved. The Father knows His children need His care at every moment and is calling out to those who will listen. With the “self” restrained through waiting His voice becomes clear and is our ever present hope. His teaching gives light to our path, moment by moment, as we wait on the Lord with great hope.
Make me know Your ways. Do you want to understand the whys in life? Do you want to know the big plan of God and how He operates in the lives of the believer? We can never this side of heaven know all there is to know of God for He is inexhaustible (I would even say on the other side of heaven we could not fully understand the ways of God, but we will understand a lot more than we do now – 1 Corinthians 13:12). Yet the Lord will always reveal what is beneficial for us to know when we need to know. This is what is promised to us in this passage.
Ways in the Old Testament also refer to the manner of living that God desires for all His people. If we want to know the will of God we need to know His ways. One discipline we use to learn the ways of God is through the study of His book the Bible.
The Scriptures tell us we can learn His ways:
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. (Psalm 51:13, NASB)
The Master Teacher desires to teach His ways to willing disciples. What an opportunity the Lord gives to us who seek Him by waiting on Him. Waiting is an attitude of being ready and able to learn His ways. When we yield to the Holy Spirit we receive the lessons of His ways. Life for the disciple is learning His ways as we go through life following in the dust of the Rabbi from Nazareth. Life is where the lessons are given. True life is a life the Lord of all creation teaches the sinner His ways. Let us make the choice to put ourselves in the position to be taught in the school of His ways by submitting to Him while waiting on God with hope.
And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths. (Isaiah 2:3; NASB, see also Micah 4:2)
In order to be taught there is action required by believers. One of God’s ways is being teachable, but first they must go up to the mountain of the LORD. This could be in church; it could be at home with the Bible open in front of you; or it may be your prayer closet. The location is not important (though each of these examples are important to practice), and all of these disciplines are part of a healthy discipleship lifestyle. The believer must put himself in position to be taught the Word of God. Where to you go to be taught His ways? Wherever it is go there often and wait on the Lord to teach you His ways. Wait on God with great hope.
Trust God to reveal His ways when you need to know them. Pray right know to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you to be a disciple – a disciple who waits upon Him. Commit right now to know His ways and learn all you can about whom He is and His character. Then you will be available to be transformed into His image, in His timing.