Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.(Psalm 25:4)
The reason for delay in an armies advance might be the wait for supplies, but might also be a waiting for instructions or waiting for orders. If the last dispatch has not been received with the final orders of the commander-in-chief, the army dare not move. Even so in the Christian life is our deep need of waiting on instructions.
See how beautiful this comes out in Psalm 25. The writer knew and loved God’s law exceedingly, and meditated in that law day and night. But he knew that this was not enough. He knew that for the right spiritual apprehension of the truth, and for the right personal application of it to his own peculiar circumstances, he needed a direct divine teaching.
The psalm has at all times been a very peculiar one, because of it’s reiterated expression of the felt need of divine teaching and of the childlike confidence that this teaching would be given. Study the psalm until your heart is filled with these two thoughts- the absolute need, and the absolute certainty of divine guidance.
The Father in heaven is so interested in His child, and so longs to have his life at every step in His will and His love, that He is willing to keep his guidance entirely in His own hand. He knows so well that we are unable to do what is really holy and heavenly, except as He works it in us, that He means His very demands to become promises of what He will do, in watching over and leading us all the day. Not only in special difficulties and times of perplexity, but in common course of everyday life, we may count upon Him to teach us His war and show us His path.
For those of us who are grown now and perhaps have children of our own, we know the drill. For some reason when you’re young, you think you’ve got life already figured out. You have moved your parents from hero to zero. The dad who used to be able to fix anything is now the dumbest guy in the neighborhood and the mom who knew everything now knows nothing. You’re so smart, you no longer need instruction. There’s nothing you don’t know and can’t do by yourself. Then you get out on your own and maybe you’re now a parent. If your children are young enjoy the days of being the hero. If they’re teens and they remind you of you, be patient the realities of life will kick in. If they’re young adults on their own, wait for the call, especially when the children come along😳. And so the cycle repeats itself every generation. The older generation is sure the world will fall apart under the leadership of those young whipper snappers. The younger generation thinks that the older generation is out of touch with the now reality and live in the dark ages.
Let’s apply this application to the child-father relationship with God. I wonder if the reason we don’t consult God about everything is the same rational children use when they cease seeking parental advice and knowledge. Do we feel we know how to manage life on our own? It seems with all the decisions being made now that there’s this underlying idea that we know best. Maybe, especially if our parents gave us the impression, we feel that God is too busy with the universe to fool with us. So we’re left to our own to figure out life.
Can we not learn from the stories in the Bible of those who sought the counsel of God and those who made decisions on their own? If there’s ever a time to wait on instructions from God surely it’s now. Whether as individuals, families, communities, churches, or nations, is there any who honestly knows what to do in all these things facing us? I know there’s a lot of talk but so far I haven’t heard anything except guesses and speculation. I challenge us to go to the source of knowledge, God. During my life, I worked on a lot of things. I’ve built buildings, repaired machinery, rebuilt vehicles and tinkered with almost everything imaginable. Now if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that there are a lot of “experts” and most of them have never actually worked on anything. The second thing I’ve learned is that you can spend a lot of time and money experimenting in an attempt to fix something that you know nothing about. The third thing I’ve learned is that the inventor knows more about their invention than anyone else. Finally, I’ve learned that if you read the instructions which the inventor wrote it always solves the problem if you apply them properly.
So I think since God created this world and us it would be worth the trouble to ask Him for instructions and wait before we tear things apart in a mad frenzy to fix them. It might just save time and resources.
Dr. John Thompson