The Lord’s Ways
by Lena Larsen
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.” (Psalm 25:4-5, NIV)
One of my most frequent prayers is for God’s direction or guidance in some matter. But the more I pray to be led by the Spirit the more it seems the Spirit leads those prayers in a different direction.
The summer I turned 25 was one of changes and disappointments. Some ministry opportunities (ones it had seemed God was clearly leading me to) had fallen apart. Psalm 25 became my go to passage as I cried out to God for direction. I desperately wanted God to show me what my new “way” should be.
In the years that have followed there have been moments when God clearly indicated a next step. But the ongoing process has also revealed how often my request to know God’s will masks, or is at least entwined with, a desire for control. I want to know the right thing to do because deep down I hope that if I do the right thing everything will work out how it’s “supposed to” (i.e. with as little pain and suffering as possible).
My team recently spent some time meditating on Exodus 33. As we read verse 13 a word from Moses’ prayer jumped out at me. One letter, really. He says, “…teach me your ways…” Ways. Plural. With an “S”. It was a moment of clarity when something God has been gradually shaping crystallizes.
As I have been asking God to lead me, He has been shifting the bent of my heart. I’m learning to recognize His hand and His voice in the everyday; learning to ask for guidance in how to respond in the process, not just asking to be shown the way out. It’s becoming easier to trust Him in the mess that is the process. In all the moments when He has not given me the clear cut “way” I was looking for He has been teaching me His ways.
Going back to Psalm 25 I see the plurals there, too: “Show me your ways…teach me your paths.” And I take comfort from the reminder that because of who God is He will continue to answer those prayers: Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. (Psalm 25:8, NIV)
Warmly in Christ,
“If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13, NIV)
- How is God revealing His ways in your current circumstances?
- Are you able to wholeheartedly pray these prayers with Moses and the Psalmist? If not ask God to show you what is going on in your heart (is there a fear, disappointment, etc) that is holding you back from being open to His ways.