God’s word needs to be not just in our head, but right at the core of our being – in our spirit. There’s so much that we understand in our heads but, somehow, it hasn’t reached that place where we know it in a way that is life changing.
I can read, ‘God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19) and believe in my head that it is true. But what happens when I’m confronted with a big financial challenge? People sometimes say, “How I wish I could get this truth from my head to my heart.”
Today’s verse tells us something that is really helpful.
The word translated ‘teach’ can also mean to shoot with an arrow. God’s word has the power to penetrate, like an arrow or ‘a sharp, two-edged sword’ to the very core of our being (Hebrews 4:12). When David asks God to teach him the way of His decrees, he’s asking him to reveal it in his spirit. He wants to know it where it will truly impact his life.
How we need to be taught the way of God’s decrees. We often talk of our Christian life as a journey. This is exactly what ‘the way’ in this verse suggests. Like any good footpath, it has clear boundaries, which is what the Hebrew word for ‘decrees’ means. But David is asking God to help him to do more than just follow this way. The word for ‘follow’ also means to guard or protect. He’s going to make sure that all that God has revealed to him through his word will be kept safely in his heart. In that way it will motivate and direct every step that he takes along the path of his life.
On the window-ledge in front of my desk is a very large flint pebble with a hole right through it. I found it when I was going through an extremely difficult time. As I picked it up, I felt God say, “Richard, there’s no problem so hard or so big that I can’t find a way through”. That spoke right into my spirit. And God did find a way through. I’ve kept the pebble as a daily reminder of this truth. Before I found the pebble, if anyone had asked me, “Is any problem too difficult for God?” I would have said, “Of course not!” But I only believed it in my head. After God spoke to me, I didn’t just believe it, I knew it in my spirit. And that makes all the difference.
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