Lead me, guide me

Psalm 143--10

Psalm 143:10 (KJV) is the source of the Verse of the Day for September 8, 2014:

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

The verse is rendered this way in the New Living Translation (NLT)

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.

This verse brings to mind a previous blog entry which was part of a series of posts inspired by a statement that explains what occurs when we find ourselves in perplexing, painful situations where we seemingly by no means desire to be.

During such times, we ask ourselves, “Why am I here? How did I get here? God, what are you doing? What are you trying to teach me?” We recognize that God does everything on purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Romans 8:28). He is directly involved in every situation, and He is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.”

I took those five verbs and put them into a request, a petition, a personal prayer to God. God becomes the initiator of the action, and I become the object of his action. In a teaching series I examine each of the verbs with examples from the Old Testament and New Testament, as I offer this a Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me—Inspect Me—Correct Me—Protect Me—Perfect Me. I close each teaching with a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb. Here is the first of the series: “A Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me”:

Direct: to lead or to guide straight, as toward an object

O.T.: to lead, guide gently, softly and with care, as a shepherd guides his flock;

to lead or to guide; most frequently of God who leads men.

One of the first scriptures that I committed to memory is found in Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Growing up in the Church during the 1950s, I recall a popular Gospel song that was also an expression of a prayer to God, asking for His guidance: “Lead Me, Guide Me”

Jeremiah 10:23 also reminds us that we cannot direct our own steps:

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

One of my all-time favorite gospel songs related to this desire for God to guide and direct us is “Order My Steps in Your Word”:

Two verses from the New Testament are part of benedictions that close out Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 3:11:

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

II Thessalonians 3:5:

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

I close the teaching with this psalm rendered as a prayer:

Direct me

Prepare the way, straighten my path, order my steps,

Shine your light upon me that I may not stumble,

That I may not walk in the light of my own sparks,

But illumine my way with the lamp of your Word.

Lord, direct my heart into the love of God

And into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.

Raise me up in righteousness and direct all my ways.

I begin my prayer and say, "Lord, direct me. . ."

I begin my prayer and say, “Lord, direct me. . .”

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