Bible Reading: Psalm 86
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
How does this verse we have been meditating on relate to our teenage lives? Firstly, if this is our church’s prayer for the year ahead, may we also learn to pray for our church and the church leaders so that God will lead the church in His way.
But personally, what does this imply for our lives?
Firstly, there are only two ways to live. You can either choose to follow God’s way or not. There is no sitting on the fence. You are not following God’s way if you add God’s leading with other things like your own plans or ambitions. The options are only, follow God’s way or follow another way that is not God’s way. The question is out there for you. Which way have you chosen to follow in Your life? Take this simple test. Whose listen to for advice? Who do you let into your life to guide you in making life decisions?
God is our creator, and He is the one who has planned a purpose for our lives. Apart from God’s way, life is meaningless. More so, if we choose any other way than God’s way, we rebel against our good Creator who had planned out for us the best and happiest life we could ever live.
What does it mean to follow God’s way?
Simply, it is to walk in God’s truth. That means to obey what the Bible says. If we say we love God and follow His way, but we do not read the Bible, we lie to ourselves. Even when I say this, reading the Bible is not enough. We can read the Bible out of a begrudging heart because if we didn’t read the Bible, we would feel guilty to ourselves, parents, youth leaders and so on. Listening to God’s truth and obeying it is at its core an action of love. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If you love someone, you do what they ask wholeheartedly with joy. It is the same with God. If we want to follow God’s way, then that means we willingly want to listen to God’s Word and learn to obey it. We learn to love God because God had first loved us.
What will following God be like?
If we set our hearts to follow God, it might not be what we expected. A rich young man once came up to Jesus and asked him, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). Jesus told him to keep all the commandments. This young man’s heart lept a little inside with excitement because he had done just that from a young age. But, when Jesus said, “sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21), the rich young man was disappointed because he was not able to follow God and live in luxury. In the end, he went away from Jesus with a sorrowful heart.
To follow God means to lose everything we think is valuable in this life and learn the hard truth that God is everything we ever need. Following God means He will ask us to give up our personal will, desires, goals, ambitions and surrender them to God. To pray, “Teach me your ways, O LORD” means to pray “what is your will, desire, goal, and ambition for my life, LORD?” This is what John 12:25-26 says, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
The choice is yours to make. Will you follow God?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” - Jim Elliot
Lord, please teach us to follow You. Teach us your ways, O LORD, that we may walk in Your Truth. Unite our hearts to fear Your name. Remember Your steadfast love and faithfulness to all who call upon You. Answer our prayer, and may You raise many teenagers amongst us who follow You with complete surrender for the rest of their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.