“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
Do you like following directions? My mother was taught to follow each and every direction of a recipe. She learned this from her mother and from her teachers.
They would measure out everything – following the directions step by step. My mom trained me to do this too. I know to measure liquids in a liquid measuring cup. I know how to sift flour and measure it. I know how to follow the directions for a recipe, but I just don’t like to do it—at least not every time.
I like to be free from the restrictions imposed by a recipe. I don’t always use the correct measuring cup, and I sometimes don’t use them at all. Sometimes I’ll skip the directions altogether. I’ve learned the hard way several times, but I still don’t follow directions like my mother would hope.
When she cooks or bakes, she knows how her recipes will turn out every time because she always follows every direction. Why don’t I like to follow directions? I think the answer is that I want to do it my way. Sometimes I do this because I think it’s easier and sometimes because I don’t think it will make a difference. That’s pretty foolish thinking on my part.
My issue is not really cooking related but rather it’s the natural bent of my heart. My heart tends to gravitate away from God’s gracious instruction in order to go it’s own way. I think that I know better than God and I think I can trust my own instincts. How foolish! My instincts aren’t all that trustworthy.
Time and again I’ll go my own way, only to wind up in a big mess. God directs our lives through His Word. Over and over the Psalmists emphasize the beauty of God’s directions—that God directs us for our good and not to make our lives miserable. There is freedom as we live within the fence of God’s directions and there is danger when we live outside of His borders.
God’s directions are always grounded in His love for us. When you read your Bible, you’ll notice that the indicatives (statements of truth) always precede the imperatives (directions/commands for us to follow). God commands us to follow His directions—not so that He will love us but because of how much He loves us. That’s good news!