Psalm 86:11 has been my prayer since 2008. It’s a prayer and a response. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth.
The rest of the verse is also a prayer and a response. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
What are God’s ways? He told the prophet Isaiah that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts. Our ways are often patterned on the world’s ways, what works to our advantage, forgetting that what we think is the right way is often the wrong way.
God gave Adam a simple test. “Do not eat the fruit of that one tree.” We think that the fruit was the issue. There must have been something wrong with the fruit of that particular tree. However, the fruit wasn’t the issue at all – the real issue was; would Adam trust God enough to believe what He said and not try it out for himself?
Just like our children who don’t believe our warnings until they get hurt trying out what we warned them not to do, Adam followed Eve who was deceived into believing that God was not telling the truth. Satan insinuated that God was withholding something good from them.
Adam brought death on himself and the entire human race by mistrusting God’s word and deciding for himself what was good and evil.
If and when we pray David’s prayer sincerely, it means that we relinquish the right to decide what is good or bad for us, and trust that God’s ways are always the best, although we may not always understand the things He reveals and the way He works.
God’s ways are always in harmony with who He is. God is love. His ways, though sometimes mysterious and incomprehensible, are always loving towards us. When we follow our own ways, we often get into lots of trouble. When we walk in God’s ways, His love guides us towards knowing Him better and learning more of His truth.
How much better it is to abandon our own stubborn independence and ask Him to show us His ways. In the end, Jesus is the way, and when we follow Him, we will find the path of truth that leads us to the Father. Jesus’ way is the way of gentleness and humility. Caring for and living for others instead of always thinking about and living for ourselves is the beginning of learning God’s ways. It is the way of unending peace.