Knowing Precedes Going

I run the way of your commandments, for you enlarge my understanding. Psalm 119:32 NRSV

MP900409394[1]Many people turn to professionals for advice and counsel. As a psychologist, I have seen numerous people at the end of their ropes, who just didn’t know what else to do. I imagine they hope that I will have the answer they need. But what usually happens is that the more we talk, the better they come to understand their situation. That insight opens the door to identifying effective solutions.

Even though many of us will never seek professional counseling, I wonder if the one of the most common prayers we pray is, “What should I do, which way should I go?” We all know that having God’s guiding hand at work in our lives can make all the difference. So we wisely turn to God, and ask for God’s guidance and help.

MP900321197[1]But knowing what to do and where to go isn’t just a matter for earnest prayer. The psalmist discovered that knowing what way to go also depends on understanding God’s commands. The more we understand about God’s nature and will, as revealed in the Scriptures, the easier it becomes to discern the way our lives should go! Insight precedes solutions.

Not only that, but the more we enlarge our understanding, the less we depend on urges, impressions and intuition. Knowing God and understanding God’s ways opens our eyes, grounds our minds in truth and sensitizes our hearts to the Spirit’s work. When that happens, we are in a much better position to recognize the roads God wants us to travel.

MP900400642[1]The psalmist runs the way of God commandments, because God has given him understanding. For him, knowing precedes going. That tells me I need to spend more time, not just seeking God’s will, but enlarging my understanding and gaining insight. How about you?

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