Teach Me Your Ways, O Lord – Psalm 86:11

Teach me your ways, O LORD,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.

Psalm 86:11 NLT

Can we ever live the life God desires of us by our own efforts? According to the psalmist, the answer to that is no. Only if God teaches me his ways can I live a pleasing life. And only with the renewed heart that only he can give will my life honor him.

On my own, I will invariably go astray. His ways are not the same as mine. No matter how much I might want to be good enough to please him, I never will. I have neither the knowledge to know that is pleasing to him. Nor, even if I had the knowledge, do I have the desire and will to follow through.

But, thank God, he has not left it up to me to accomplish that in my own efforts. He has drawn me to himself. Enabled me to believe in him. And he has given me a new heart and mind, along with his indwelling Spirit. I still need his help, but I do have the potential for living a life that honor’s God.

That is the prayer of David in this psalm. That God would teach him the way to live. And that he would continue to purify his heart from all the crud that seems to continuously creep in. And that should be our prayer as well. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

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