One Direction 

To you O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. 3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. 4 Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. —Psalm 25:1-7 

This penitential psalm is filled with reminders of the intimate relationship that God desires to have with His children. The Holy Spirit leads David to write that although such intimacy is available to everyone, it is exclusive only to those who humbly fear the Lord. Psalm 103 expresses this beautifully: “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. . . . He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. . . . The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him . . . and to those who [do] His commandments” (vv 13-18). 

In our Scripture reading today, David establishes the contrast between those who are going in one direction and those going the other way, i.e., the friends of God vs. the enemies of God. Verse 3 indicates that shame is the destiny of those who deal treacherously. Conversely, the contrite, unashamed soul is one who trusts and waits upon the Lord. How can we know that we’re on the right path? 

One clue is that the ways and paths of the Lord will lead us and teach us the truth. Don’t listen to the world, which tries to tell you that truth is relative. Many famous people have tried to tell us that there can’t be just one way to God, or that we are seeing new “kinds” of Christianity, or that hell isn’t real. These people influence millions, and those who follow their teachings are all going in one direction. The wrong one! 

Those who are on the right path can be identified by their love of repentance (which reveals the heart) and their hatred for sin, especially in their own lives. We see that David has continued throughout his life to ask God to teach him His ways. Those who are going in the right direction can be identified by their attitudes toward the Lord, even when disciplined. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:7). Which path are you on? It’s never too late to step onto the right one. May the Lord give us peace in this. 

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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