“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” – Psalm 143:10
In Psalm 143, David laments his circumstances and feels that every step he takes is under attack from his enemies, who are persecuting his soul. He feels that his life is being pounded and pulverised into the ground. He complains that he is being forced to be entombed in dark places, like those that are already in the grave, and he cries out for the Lord to hear his supplication and to answer him, because God is faithful and righteous.
David pleads his own wretchedness and implores God’s goodness to direct and govern his ways. “My spirit is overwhelmed within me,” he cries, “My heart is appalled within me. But I remember the days of old. I meditate on all Your doings. I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You – my soul longs for You, as a parched land longs for water.”
As with so many of David’s prayers and petitions, these verses feed the hungry soul, restore the fainting spirit, minister to those that feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, and encourage a believer’ heart. In his distress, David entreats the listening ear of his faithful Saviour, and we need to do the same. He cried out for mercy, as the enemy sought to crush his soul in death’s deep darkness – and we should similarly cry to the Lord in our distresses.
David’s spirit is faint, his heart dismayed. His soul is as dry as a thirsty desert where there is no water, and yet he starts to recall the days of old. He meditates on the past goodness of God and remembers the wonders of His handiwork, which encourages his fainting heart. David is a man of faith who knows that God is mindful of man and Who has promised to care for His people. However, like us, David often found himself crying out in desperation to the Lord, in times of deep distress and danger.
David always found that his dark nights of distress and discouragement were displaced by mornings of joyous praises, which enlivened his heart to seek God’s perfect will, and so David acknowledges his dependence upon God, and petitions the Lord for direction – entreating the Spirit of enlightenment to guide him onto level ground, where he may walk without fear or danger. “Teach me to do Your will,” he prays, “for You are my God. Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
The distress that David is going through often translates into the deep darkness that floods into our heart, as the Accuser of our soul seeks to destroy our testimony, shipwreck our lives, drown us in sorrow, and batter us with bitter whirlwinds that whip up the tides of discontent.
But those that confess knowledge of God’s will and are obedient to His Word, have the sufficient grace to weather the most raging storm and to water the most arid of dusty deserts. God’s grace is sufficient and He is faithful. He has promised that He will not allow us to be tested more than we are able, but in the power of His Holy Spirit, will always hear our prayers and give us a way to overcome in all things.
Like David, we all need guidance from the Lord and we all need His Spirit to teach us His ways and guide us into all truth. We also need to stand on His faithful promises and be comforted that He is the righteous Judge of all. Like David, we should foster a teachable spirit and be ready to call out to Him in times of trouble, as well as rejoice in times of blessing. And as we read in Psalm 143 we should confess our faith in Him and ask for the Holy Spirit to lead us, “on a level land.”
Like the Psalmist, we should call out to God for deliverance from our enemies, rely on His restoration when attacked, and depend on His sufficient grace to help in time of need. We should be ready and willing to admit our weaknesses and combine humility of heart with a soul that trusts in the Lord with our whole being, and does not rely on our own understanding. May we acknowledge Him in ALL things, knowing that He will teach us His will and lead us in His paths of perfect peace.
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