Teach Me Your Paths

Friday, January 10, 2014, 4:00 a.m. – When I awoke this morning, the Lord Jesus put the song in my mind “Fully Surrendered.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalms 25 (NIV). http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms 25&version=NIV

I Trust Him

In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you…
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.
…Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

To trust means to have faith, belief, hope, conviction, confidence, and expectation. To trust in God means to place our reliance upon and our dependence in him, to believe he is who he says he is, and that he did and will do what he says he did and will do. It means that we give him our loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, fidelity, dedication, allegiance, endurance, steadfastness, perseverance, and single-mindedness of devotion and heart. Yet, none of this is possible absent of his grace and his great salvation which he provided for us via the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, who shed his blood on a cross for our sin so that we could be set free from eternal punishment, free from slavery to (the control of) sin, and free to walk in his righteousness and holiness in the power, strength and wisdom of God living within us and out through us in the person of the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who love him, and who have trusted Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives.

When our trust is truly in the Lord Jesus, we will desire to hear from him daily, to fellowship with him, to praise and to worship him, to give him thanks, to know his will and his ways, to have him teach us, and to follow him wherever he leads us. We can learn his ways, his paths and his truth via the written word of God, which we have been given to instruct us in the ways of the Lord, and via the Holy Spirit within us who quickens our hearts and minds to hear from the Lord and to understand what he desires to teach us; and who counsels, guides, teaches and directs us in God’s paths.

God’s ways are his practices, direction, course of action and/or way of living, involving his divine character, motivations, heart, mind, purpose and will, etc. We can learn all this by spending time each day in his word, listening to him speak to our hearts, and by doing what his word instructs us to do, in full submission and surrender to our Lord Jesus because of what he did for us, because we love him, and because his Spirit within us puts within us that longing for him and for his words, and because he gives us the desire and enables us to obey our Lord and to walk in his paths and in his truth. Apart from him, I can do nothing.

So, why is it important that we walk in his ways and in his truth? – Because he saved us, not just so we could go to heaven one day, but so we would be delivered out of the bondage of sin and living for self, and because he gave us new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived in his righteousness and holiness within us. So, to trust in his salvation means that we believe in this purpose and that our desire becomes his desire, and our goal now is to please HIM.

I Revere Him

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose…
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them…

To fear God is to respect, honor, revere, obey, worship and adore him. To honor God means to treat him with honesty, integrity and to behave towards him in every way as he so deserves to be treated, because of who he is and because of all he has done. To show him respect means to demonstrate careful thought, attention, concern and appreciation, not only for who he is and for what he has done for us, but for his word, his instructions to us, his will and desire for our lives, and for the very purpose for which he died, which was to free us of the control of sin over our daily lives and so that we could walk daily in his righteousness and holiness. When we go our own way each day, and we give him and his word little regard in our daily lives, we dishonor him and we show him enormous disrespect.

To worship God is more than just singing praise and worship songs in a worship service. True worship of God is to offer our bodies (our lives) as living sacrifices to him, holy and pleasing to God. This is our true and proper worship. We should no longer conform to the pattern (ways) of this world, but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds via the working and power of the Holy Spirit within us (See Rom. 12:1-2). We should not “honor” God with lip service only while our hearts are far from him, for that is no honor at all (See Mk. 7:6). We should worship God with reverence and awe (See Heb. 12:28-29). And, we should worship him in spirit (or in the Spirit) and in truth (See John 4:24), i.e. in the true and right way which is appropriate to his divine nature, and pleasing to his will.

When we have the fear of the Lord, and we honor and respect him, he will teach us the way in which he would have us go – the way we should choose – and he will confide in us and will make known to us and will give us understanding of his covenant relationship with us. God reveals to us, by his Spirit, what he has prepared for those who love him. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God;” and the Spirit gives to us the mind (thinking, heart and attitude) of Christ so that we can know his will for our lives (See 1 Co. 2:9-16). In other words, the things of God – his truths, his ways, etc. – are not something we can truly comprehend and/or even apply to our lives of our own accord, but they are discerned only of the Spirit of God and may be applied only in the power, strength and wisdom of the Spirit living within us and out through us for his purposes and for his glory.

Do we truly trust him with our lives? Or, is our faith just a religion, a notion, an emotional experience, and/or a mere intellectual acknowledgement of who He is and what He did for us? Is it merely tradition, culture, form or duty? Or, does our Lord truly have our hearts, devotion, commitment, honor, worship, and respect? Is our desire for him, for his word, and to follow in his ways and in his truth, or do we tend to go our own way with little regard for him and his will for our lives? Is our all on the altar of sacrifice laid, or do we still hold on to our own lives and choose our own paths, and thus he is more of an afterthought? Do we look forward to our time with him each day, or is it drudgery? May we all fall in love with Jesus Christ and be passionately desirous of him and of walking in his ways. Amen!

Fully Surrendered / Alfred C. Snead / George C. Stebbins

Fully surrendered—Lord, I would be,
Fully surrendered, dear Lord, to Thee.
All on the altar laid,
Surrender fully made,
Thou hast my ransom paid;
I yield to Thee.

Fully surrendered—life, time, and all,
All Thou hast given me held at Thy call.
Speak but the word to me,
Gladly I'll follow Thee,
Now and eternally
Obey my Lord.

Fully surrendered—silver and gold,
His, who hath given me riches untold.
All, all belong to Thee,
For Thou didst purchase me,
Thine evermore to be,
Jesus, my Lord.

Fully surrendered—Lord, I am Thine;
Fully surrendered, Savior divine!
Live Thou Thy life in me;
All fullness dwells in Thee;
Not I, but Christ in me,
Christ all in all.