Be Still Know
Psalm 27:11 NLT
‘Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path.’
When I started out as a Christian, I thought I would soon learn and master God’s ways. This was less arrogance than self-confidence in my learning ability. After all, learning had got me into Oxford, so I must be good at learning, surely? But the ways of God are challenging, demanding and counter-intuitive.
In my principal discipline, history, it was enough to be conversant with the events and the contributing social, economic and political factors. Following Jesus is something both rooted in history and yet current in each present moment. I easily grasped that I might not serve God and mammon; however, I subtly created my own definition of what constituted mammon, for fear of missing out on my personal preferences.
The way of God is best illustrated in the incarnation of Jesus; losing all in order to give all to someone other than himself. Now, if that is the way of God, then I am in trouble! Of course, for my wife I sacrifice gladly, if not entirely. What about my enemy? There not so readily. So I ask myself, how much do I really want to learn the ways of God? I have learned that service of any kind must have an impact upon my own preferences. Ultimately to love and serve God completely is, like Jesus, to leave everything behind in an act of sacrificial love.
I choose to determine my own path through life, and have included God in, often reluctantly. Yet, learning God’s path is to discover that I have but one prayer: “Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). That is the sum total of my reality, save for the fact God found and redeemed me. Now I discover that wherever God leads me is the space in which I abide, despite misgivings, for here it is that God is with me and I am learning of God.
QUESTION: How do you go about learning the ways of God?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach me, apprentice me into your ways.