9Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
(Psalm 143:9-10, King James Version)
David, the Psalmist, made four pleas to God in the verses shown above from Psalm 143: deliver me, hide me, teach me, and lead me. We would do well to follow that same progression in our prayers to God today.
Before God can work in our hearts, however, it is necessary that we be delivered from the evil in which we have been immersed since our conception! It is important that we understand that our salvation is truly a work of God; nothing we do, think, or say, can help to save us or bring us to Christ. As a matter of fact, our very act of coming to the Lord is a reaction to what He has already done in our hearts. The good news, then, is that we have every reason to pray, not only for our salvation, but for our unsaved friends and relatives. Though to us they may seem to be hopelessly lost, yet God is greater than their hearts.
Once we have been delivered by God, it is necessary that He hide us. Even Saul, after his great conversion, was set apart by God for a time so that he could be instructed and schooled in the things of the Lord. God hides us for a time, from the evils of this world, that we may grow and be nurtured in our new-found faith. This may be a short time, or it may last for several years. Even after we have reached maturity in Christ, we will find God granting to us those times of refreshing when we are not being battered on all sides. During these times we can renew our faith in the Lord as we read and study His Word.
God teaches us specifically during the times He hides us, but our instruction does not end there. As a matter of fact, God will be teaching us all of the days we spend on this earth. Even into our old age, we will be continuing to grow in the Lord, becoming closer and closer to Him. It is good for us to seek out times when we can quietly commune with the Lord, apart from outside distractions. What an amazing God we serve; He loves to fellowship personally with each and every one of His children!
After we have been delivered, hidden, and taught, God is ready to send us out "into the land of uprightness." God leads us safely through the crags and crevices of this life, keeping us from the evil that would so quickly tear us from that sweet fellowship with Him. Now we are ready to serve Him, doing the things for which we have been created!
Our Scripture today gives us a perfect example of the ideal Christian life, but what do you do if your life does not seem to model this ideal example? Truthfully, few of us have such a seemingly simple and uncomplicated life. Troubled by our own sin natures, we struggle most of the days in which we live upon this earth to live faithfully for the Lord. Plagued by our own sin, we find ourselves living for the Lord, then falling away from Him, and then coming back to Him.
How does God have such patience with us? One day, we will all be released from the troubles that we face daily. One day, we will no longer struggle in our walk with the Lord, for we will be with Him--forever!
Yes, may we all constantly pray to God: "Lead me! Lead me in a plain path, and keep me from the sin which so easily entangles me!"
God Bless You,