Show me your ways, teach me your paths

4m | May 26, 2024

“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” (Ps 25: 4 – 5).

I don’t know if David intended this when he wrote Psalm 25, but it seems to me there is a big difference between God’s Ways and His Paths.

The phrase “God’s Ways” in the Scriptures can refer to several things. It might be His plans or his actions, or His decisions, but it is always related to His character. His ways are who He is, seen by what He decides to do (or not do). It describes how His principles shape His will; how His wisdom drives His judgments and choices.

If we were to liken these descriptions to a human analogy, God’s ways are like the rules and principles of safe driving - the rules of the road or Highway Code as it is referred to in some countries. With that picture in mind, God’s paths can be His directions to your destination.

When we pray, “show me your ways” we are asking Him to reveal to our minds and hearts how we can drive our lives within the wise and safe boundaries of His will and within the principles of His Word. When we pray, “teach me your paths”, this overlaps with a desire to know His ways, but it is also asking for specific guidance.

“Lord, what is my destination?” “How do I get there?” “Do I go the long way round, or is there a shortcut?” “Is there a blockage in the road some distance away that I don’t yet see?” “Do I turn left here or right?”

Sometimes I think I need to pray something like, “Lord, teach me to recognise your paths”. The Lord doesn’t need to change the way He speaks, but I need to learn to how hear and discern His voice better than I do. If I am driving the car of my life too fast, the Lord’s directions to take a slow detour may not be heard above the roar of the engine.

The Ways of the Lord are referred to four more times in Psalm 25. God instructs sinners in His ways and the humble are taught His way. The ways of the Lord are loving and faithful and those that fear the Lord are given first-hand instruction as to the ways they should choose.

Our loving Heavenly Father has much to teach us on our journey towards His destination. He wants to transform our minds and our characters to be more like His, so that while driving safely, we move with passion and purpose. He also wants to teach us how to read His map, what speed to drive down each part and where and when to stop and take a break.

Sometimes we may come to a fork in the road and wonder which way to go. He may whisper “this way” to those who can hear, or He may say, “You choose. You know my ways, I have equipped and empowered you to make good decisions”. 

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