A Plain Path

Psalm 27:11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Sunday night, as I was continuing our series through Psalm 37, I made mention of a verse in Psalms where David asked God to lead him in a plain path. The thought stayed with me after the service was over, and I felt that it would be good to include a post about that topic on the blog here.

Whether on a national, local, or individual level, there has never been a greater need for God’s people to request a plain path.  The truth is that there has never been a time when we didn’t need to request a plain path from God, but there are times when we didn’t think we needed one.  That is on us.

The Psalmist recognizes the dangers that are represented by his enemies on every side.  He knows that the way is difficult and dangerous.  One wrong step, one bad course decision, one careless choice could lead to heartache.  He needs to know what to do.  So do we.

His request is two-fold, and should be understood in that way.  His first request is for God to teach him His way.  David is recognizing that God’s way is often different from our own, and that God’s way is not always the one that springs most naturally to our mind.  There is a need for instruction.

Having requested that instruction, David proceeds to request that God would also lead him in a plain path.  “Make it obvious and clear, Lord.” That is his plea.  The will of God needn’t be obscure.  Often it is that way because we are moving before God makes the way known.  David doesn’t desire to grope his way through life.  The dangers are too numerous.  The stakes are too high.  His desire?  A clear path.

Here are some thoughts:

First recognize the need for a clear path.

…because of mine enemies.  

That was the reason for David’s request.  He had enemies.  So do we.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

There is a real spiritual conflict going on out there dear Christian.  Ignoring it, or being ignorant of it will not keep you safe.  Our enemy is actively seeking our destruction.  He doesn’t care if you ignore him.  He prefers it.

1Peter 5:8  Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Recognize the wisdom of God’s way.

Teach me thy way…

Is this our attitude?  I confess that it has not been mine far too often.  Will we humbly come to God, with His Word open before us and ask to be instructed by Him in His way?  Will we confess in prayer our lack of understanding and ask to be taught?

James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask ofGod, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

If a warrior like David felt the need to be instructed in God’s way on account of his enemies, then who am I to think I need it any less?

God’s way is the best way, but it is not always the first way we try.  I want to encourage you, in your life today, to ask God to teach you His way.

Request a plain path.

…and lead me in a plain path…

What more could we ask for?

I have often enjoyed hiking up mountain trails.  One of the things you learn is to watch for the colored markers that are left at intervals along the way.  They tell you that you are still on the right path.  The markers were put their by someone who has hiked that trail before you.  They know the safest way to get to the top.  You are free to ignore the trail markers and go your own way, but you do so at your own risk.

Sometimes, we get off the path, and decide that we know what is best.  Sometimes we lose sight of the markers, and decide that we can make it on our own.

Sometimes we get in a hurry in our lives, and fall for the trap of thinking that we just have to do something.  A great deal of trouble can be unnecessarily brought into our lives by feeling that doing something is better than doing what we perceive to be nothing.

Waiting on the Lord for direction is not doing nothing.

Psa 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

The story is told of a man who was thumbing through George Mueller’s Bible after Mueller had passed away.  He is said to have passed by Psalm 37 and found these words written in the margin of Mueller’s Bible next to verse 23:

“Both the steps and the stops…”

It makes sense that if a good man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, then his stops are ordered also.

Are you needing some direction from the Lord?  Have you asked Him to lead you in  plain path?  Don’t be afraid to stand still if He has not given you clear instructions.

If He has given you clear instructions, then don’t be afraid to step into the Jordan river even if the banks are overflowing!  Just so long as He has given you a clear set of instructions.

Dear friend, request a plain path today.  God will lead us, if we are willing to wait on His leading.  Spend time in His Word, and ask Him to teach you His ways.  We need not stumble blindly.  Follow the markers He has placed on the path.

Here is a prayer that you could pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I confess that far too often I have set my own course, and followed my own instincts.  I am your child.  I desire to follow You.  Please teach me your way, and lead me in a plain path today.  Show me clearly how I should go, and order my steps in your Word.  Help me to stand still, and wait for you when the way is not clear.  Give me courage to step out, when you have made the way clear. I trust you.  Lead me, in Jesus name,  Amen

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