Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain.
Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways.
As a pastor and a teacher of God’s word, I want to do my homework. I study passages, read commentaries, analyze the original language, make a decided interpretation and apply it to our culture and context. It’s my job and I take it seriously, for it is my integrity before the Lord.
What is easy for me to forget is that God is the one who holds his word in his hand, that it is not mine to maneuver and manipulate in my skull to produce my intention. God’s word isn’t just His gift, but it is the mediator of my communication with Him, that is not a monologue, but the opportunity to discuss and learn from Him now, not just two thousand year old words.
In the passage above we learn:
The understanding of God’s word is in his hands;
The energy to obey God’s word is in his hands;
The intention to follow God’s word is in his hands;
The faithfulness of our actions in God’s word is in his hands.
Thus, we need to use God’s word as an opportunity to experience God’s continuing grace, to not just intellectually explore new ideas but to allow His Spirit to invigorate new life in us.
Father, may we pursue your word with your desire, for the sake of your kingdom by your power for your glory. Amen.