His Way > My Way
If you follow me on Instagram Stories (@carenscorner) then you know that all last week I unpacked four truths God revealed to me through Psalm 86:11-12 to radically up level my walk with Him, faith in Him and obedience to Him. I did save all the videos I created if you’re someone who prefers to listen over read so you’re welcome to follow along with those! But I do intend on sharing even more in this blogpost today.
Psalm 86 is a prayer of David during a great time of need. The Amplified Bible titles it as a Psalm of Supplication and Trust.
Verse 1 starts this way: “Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.”
Right away, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
It doesn’t feel so good to be “poor and needy.” Most of us, when feeling this way, either want to stuff up our feelings, deny them, or numb out because of them OR we bow down to them, vent them and magnify them.
One of the things I have loved about studying the Psalms since May of 2020 is how it’s taught me to pray my feelings. God doesn’t want us to deny our emotions nor does He want us to put our emotions on the throne. Instead, He shows us what it looks like to pray our emotions while keeping God on the throne.
What does David do in his great time of need? He goes to the Lord, shares what he is feeling, and then spends time from vs. 2-10 remembering who God is and what God has done. Then came vs. 11-12, where I ended up camping out for 2 weeks.
In David’s desperation and need for God, he recognizes what he needs most is to be led by God and taught His way.
“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever.”
Let’s unpack these four truths:
TEACH ME YOUR WAY (click me)
“Teach me your way, O Lord.”
David’s crying out for help and it would have been so easy to then focus his prayers on what He wants God to do but instead his heart posture is “I need to learn from this great and mighty God.” David doesn’t say “Give me MY way, Lord” but “Teach me YOUR way.”
I know sometimes when I am praying prayers of supplication and sharing my needs with God, I am more focused on how He can get me out than I am of learning His way for me in it. What if we became more focused on being taught HIS way so we can serve HIM whole heartedly and bring Him MORE glory EVEN in our suffering? Radical, right?
I also love how David said: Teach me. To be teachable is first to be humble. No prideful personal wants to admit they are weak or ask for help! A humble heart is the first step.
Then comes the learning. Learning God’s way isn’t through head knowledge but through our personal, intimate walk with Him. It’s as we are walking with God that we learn to believe Him not just believe in Him.
The next time you find yourself in great need before the Lord, share that need and pray that need but then, like David, express your greatest need of all which is to be taught His way.
The more you learn HIS way, the more you trust HIS heart, the less discouraged or disappointed you will be when His way is different from yours.
THAT I MAY WALK IN YOUR TRUTH (click me)
“…And I will walk in Your truth”
David wants God to teach Him HIS way so that he walks in HIS truth.
I loved this explanation by Spurgeon: “Walking, in the Scripture, takes in the whole of our conversation or conduct: and to walk in anything, intends a fulness of it. For a man to walk in pride, is something more than to be proud: it says, that pride is his way, his element; that he is wholly under the influence of it.”
When we are walking in truth we are ordering our lives according to the Word of God. It means our lives are in tune with God's Word. Not only do we know His word but we also RECEIVE and believe His Word.
When we believe His Word, we become doers of His word. And when we love the truth and walk in it, we are protected from deception, delusion, envy…really anything not HIS way. Truth sets us free and keeps us safe.
David saw the connection between learning God’s way and this leading to walking in His truth rather than walking in his own wild and unpredictable emotions.
If you love God, you will love to learn His way and when you learn His way that leads you to walk in His way which is truth.
GIVE ME AN UNDIVIDED HEART (click me)
“Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name.”
This one wrecked me.
For David to ask for an undivided heart means he struggled with a divided heart. We know he had strong emotions…and so do we!
But David never hid his weakness from God. He prayed his feelings and asked God to help him manage his emotions so that he would be anchored and led by truth. David wanted his heart solely focused on God so he could glorify His name.
David’s willingness to be honest about his struggle to keep an undivided heart made room for me to be just as honest about my heart.
Real talk: Some days my faith in God is so strong and I believe every Word He says. Other days, my faith is weak and I find myself struggling to trust God and wrestling with Him more than worshipping Him. This double-mindedness doesn’t glorify the Lord!
But here’s the thing, God is God and He is worthy of being praised, worshipped and glorified whether I feel like it or not. My circumstances or feelings never change His character and heart.
Therefore, faith is not an emotion but a decision. It can still stand when emotions are wild if we are feeding it.
David also knew he couldn’t walk in God’s truth and magnify Him if his heart was divided. We see three things here:
The what (the goal): An undivided heart is the goal.
The how: Learning His way and walking in His truth.
The why: 1. “That I may fear your name.”
2. “I will praise You.”
I WILL PRAISE YOU (click me)
“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever.”
David is asking for an undivided heart so he can praise and glorify God. He knew his praise would be fuller, richer and have a greater impact on others coming to know Him f his heart was undivided. But praise is also one way way to unite the heart.
When we fix our gaze on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, the other loyalties and cares of this world become dim in light of His glory.
Praise focuses our mind, emotions and affections on who God is and what God has done.
We can’t add to God’s glory but we can exalt Him in the eyes of others through our praise!
A final thing I noticed about this verse is that in it is the second time we see David saying “O Lord my God.”
I have always loved how David captured how God is both infinite/divine and personal.
Like in Psalm 23: The Lord is MY Shepherd.”
We see this again here in verses 2 and 12 of Psalm 86.
What’s interesting is that in verse 2, David says this while in agony and desperate for God to move in his life. But in verse 12, he says “My God” while saturated in praise!
That’s praying our feelings does—it allows us to acknowledge our emotions while correcting our gaze. When our gaze is correct, while the storm may remain, our feet are anchored and peace is restored to our hearts.
I think of Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Perfect peace can be found in the midst of the perfect storm when our gaze is fixed on Christ.
Will you join me in keeping the mind steadfast on Christ? Let’s be honest with God about needing His help! Go to Him with your messy, strong and wild emotions.
The enemy wants to keep us discouraged and defeated about our weakness but God wants us to come to Him with our weakness. He doesn’t want you to deny your emotions but pray them and bring them to Him and then watch your prayers and worship begin to transform your prayers from a place of desperation and supplication to one of praise and joy filled gratitude!
Father, thank You for giving us Your Word to learn from. Thank You that You have a solution for everything, including our wild emotions.
Father we ask that you help us not to stuff out emotions or bow down to them but PRAY them. Instead of hiding our weakness, may we humble ourselves and come as we are confident that in Your presence we never leave as we are.
Help us be wholly devoted to You. Keep our minds set on things above, where Christ is.
Help us to fall more in love with Jesus every day. Give us a heart that is wholly devoted to You. Help us to make a confident decision to trust You with all our situations, all our circumstances, and everything we see around is.
Help us to make the decision every moment of every day to keep our eyes on You and trust You, no matter how we feel.
“Teach us Your way O Lord, and we will walk in Your truth. Give us an undivided heat that we may fear Your name. We will praise You O Lord our God, with all our heart! We will glorify Your name forever.” We love you. Amen.