Psalm 25:4 shows us several important things about seeking God’s will for our lives: “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.”
— First, it teaches us that our prayers are not to be that God would just bless the way or path that we have already chosen. This is where a certain brand of so- called “Christianity” goes awry. They put the focus on asking God to bless THEIR vision, dream or path. But this would actually reverse the proper roles of man and God!
It is not WE who are to instruct GOD as to which path to bless, but GOD is to teach and lead US! Thus our prayer must not be: “God bless my vision” but rather as David prays here: “Teach me YOUR paths.” There is a huge difference!
— Secondly, it also reminds us that God does have “His ways.” As Isaiah 55:9 reminds us, His thoughts and ways are not like ours. And we don’t start off knowing what those ways are — that is why we need to be “taught” them. God’s will, and His ways, are found in His word, which is why we need to be committed to learning from scripture every day. (By the way, this verse would be a good one to pray each day before we read the Bible: “Make me know Your ways O LORD; teach me Your paths.”)
— Finally, this verse reminds us that we need to apply these truths personally. David does not just pray: “Teach THEM” Your ways, or “Teach US” Your paths. He makes it personal, and prays, “Teach ME”! This is the attitude and commitment each of us needs to have. Our prayer is not merely to be: “God, teach my husband or wife Your way”, or “Teach those sinners in the world Your way”, or “teach those ornery people in the church Your way”. Those may be appropriate prayers to pray at some point, but the focus of our prayer should be where David had his: “Make ME know … teach ME.”
This is a great prayer for many of us to pray today, as we prepare to read God’s word, or seek His will for the day, or His direction for our lives: “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.”
Thanks! This is a great reminder… I think the part that I tend to have difficulty with is the follow-up. I’m thinking about where Jesus tells us, “Now that you know these things, DO them.”
Amen, Abbie; actually doing it is always the catch, isn’t it 🙂 Thanks for commenting!