Teach Me Thy Way O Lord Part 1

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Whatever our experience, we are to learn of God the pathway to follow.

Psalms 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Is this your request?  The pursuance’s of God’s ways have contradictory terms within us.  What are they?  That God’s ways are not our ways.  They are contrary to our flesh and the desires and wants of my flesh.  To our natural man they seem foolishness – it appears foolishness when we behold God’s ways.  The ways of God appear dark and joyless to our human nature.  God’s ways will plunge us into a battle with internal and external obstacles. It gives you a deep sense of foreboding when we realise God’s ways are so contrary with what we are familiar with and what is apparently good sense to us is not good sense to God.  As we continue to behold this there are some important aspects to encourage us to deliberately embrace those ways irrespective.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

14:13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness.

14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.

This way of human comfort is really a way of death.  If I am going to adhere to my ways, I am like a backslider in heart.  I will be filled with my own ways and it makes me comfortable at the time but it is the way of death.

Proverbs 3:13 Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding.

3:14 For the merchandise of it [is] better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

3:15 She [is] more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

3:16 Length of days [is] in her right hand; [and] in her left hand riches and honour.

3:17 Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace.

3:18 She [is] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her.

The ways of wisdom are ways that are far better than any of the ways that we are used to. The ways of external wealth and riches of rubies silver and fine gold.  Anything that you can desire is nowhere near the great pleasantness of peace and richness that are contained in the ways of God which are the ways of wisdom.  So as obnoxious as they may appear our intelligent mind says all right, I am going to pursue them because here are the true blessings, the true richness.  There is another provocation of getting rid of my own ways.

Hosea 14:9    Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

It is very emphatic that Gods ways being so different to our own way are the true ways, the right ways that lead to true peace and satisfaction and true happiness even though at present it doesn’t look like it.  We are already familiar with many fundamental ways.  The ways of the 10 commandments are very broad.  The Sabbath – God’s ways of true Sabbath keeping, the principles of a true marriage, God’s ways of dress, modesty and health.  They are all items that we have spent much time in and indeed they contradict some of the things that we are familiar with but they are God’s ways. I want to examine God’s ways that are less frequently addressed.  God’s ways in the little things.  In something that is so menial, so small.  That’s what we want to look at. Under inspiration this concept is addressed.  Incidentally this is where Zechariah had seen the olive tree with the oil running in the lamps.

Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Here is the description of God dealing with humanity by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel [with] those seven; they [are] the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Zerubbabel laid the foundation of the temple and it looked like things weren’t going to work out because of the enemy.  But don’t despise the day of small things. As Zerubbabel was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it says don’t despair the day of small things that appear of little consequences but appreciate their import.

Success in this life, success in gaining the future life, depends upon a faithful, conscientious attention to the little things. Perfection is seen in the least, no less than in the greatest, of the works of God. The hand that hung the worlds in space is the hand that wrought with delicate skill the lilies of the field. And as God is perfect in His sphere, so we are to be perfect in ours. Thy symmetrical structure of a strong, beautiful character is built up by individual acts of duty. And faithfulness should characterize our life in the least as well as in the greatest of its details. Integrity in little things, the performance of little acts of fidelity and little deeds of kindness, will gladden the path of life; and when our work on earth is ended, it will be found that every one of the little duties faithfully performed has exerted an influence for good–an influence that can never perish.  {PP 574.2}

The one who hung the stars in space has done so under the beginnings of little things the atom, correctly balanced.  You know what happens when the atom is taken out of its normal function – chaos.  It’s the little neutrons and details of the atom that is the source of keeping everything in space correctly.  So it is in our character building in the future eternal life.  The big things we want must be taken care of by the little things that appear so insignificant.

If the small things are neglected, the larger duties will be also. You want to be whole men and women, with pure, sound, noble characters. Begin the work at home; take up the little duties and do them with thoroughness and exactness. When the Lord sees you are faithful in that which is least, He will entrust you with larger responsibilities. Be careful how you build, and what kind of material you put into the building. The characters you are now forming will be lasting as eternity.  {AH 297.1}

Children if you want to have eternal life you want to have character that will be happy in what you have and do God ways and not sin in the little things. Indeed the genetics of your personality are tiny invisible little chemical functions.  The delicate work of a flower is found in its genetics.  The development of your personality is found in your genetics and what you do with them.  God’s ways are ways of little concentrations that enlarge into powerful manifestations.  So as we examine this today, to teach us God’s ways in the little things, we want to look where?  Where shall we look to understand God the father? Here is the instruction if I want to know God’s ways correctly

Study the life that Christ lived while on this earth. He did not neglect the smallest, simplest duty. Perfection marked all that He did. Look to Him for help, and you will be enabled to perform your daily duties with the grace and dignity of one who is seeking for the crown of immortal life.–Ibid. (Counsel addressed to  My Sisters Tempted by Discouragement. )  {WM 153.3}

Look to Jesus

We see that we are to look to Jesus in a intelligent form of mind activity, not just a blank look of oh Lord I love you but not studying his ways and demonstrating the ways of God. What did Jesus say?  My father and I are one.  So if you want to know Gods way study the life of Jesus because he is the same as the father. This consideration branches out into a vast field of larger things.  This is at the very crucible of the plan of redemption the death and resurrection of Jesus whee Jesu was enacting the grand work of salvation what was a little thing that took place there.

John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

This is the only account in John where he sees the linen cloth lying and the napkin that was about his head wrapped together in a place by itself.  Interesting.  What does this mean?  Why make mention of such a little thing as the linen cloth of Jesus garments during his death, the cloth that covered him and the napkin that was around his head?  Why was such an insignificant detail mentioned here? It is the revelation of the importance of this tiny little detail.

The disciples hurried to the tomb, and found it as Mary had said. They saw the shroud and the napkin, but they did not find their Lord. Yet even here was testimony that He had risen. The graveclothes were not thrown heedlessly aside, but carefully folded, each in a place by itself. John  saw, and believed.  He did not yet understand the scripture that Christ must rise from the dead; but he now remembered the Saviour’s words foretelling His resurrection.  {DA 789.2}

It was Christ Himself who had placed those graveclothes with such care. When the mighty angel came down to the tomb, he was joined by another, who with his company had been keeping guard over the Lord’s body. As the angel from heaven rolled away the stone, the other entered the tomb, and unbound the wrappings from the body of Jesus. But it was the Saviour’s hand that folded each, and laid it in its place. In His sight who guides alike the star and the atom, there is nothing unimportant. Order and perfection are seen in all His work.  {DA 789.3}

What did he do?  He got up from his death and made his bed.  What does your bed look like in the morning?  This has often caught my attention.  Order and neatness.  Tidiness with clothing. Is it that important with regards to our witness of being God’s people.  I will read an article from the book the retirement years that were written by Sr White’s son or grandson.

“I have words of counsel to brother Robert. You need a reformation in your habits of dress and appearance.  Untidiness in dress brings a reproach against the truth we profess to believe.  Yu should consider that you are a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let the whole life be in harmony with bible truth.  Neglect of your apparel has been an objectionably.  You have not met the mind of the Spirit of God.  Therefore our garments come into that because of your slackness in this matter our people have not told you to sell literature but his garments were of such a nature that the brethren who had responsibility could to send him to do missionary work.  But your untidy influence works to the influence you might otherwise insert.  Remember that you can do an acceptable work for the lord but your personal appearance may recommend you as one who lets his life shines for the master.  Will you not seek a reformation in dress and appearance?  With you lax ideas as to the proper dress you would not have the best influence over those you are trying to help.  This is not a matter of little consequence.  For its effect over others is for time and for eternity.  You cannot expect the lord to give you the fullest success in winning souls for him unless your whole manner and neatness in dress.  I know that you desire to use every jot of your influence on the side of the master.  How vividly is it demonstrated the importance of neatness in the clothing as Jesus demonstrated in the folding of the cloth.” The Retirement Years page 70.

Mothers sometimes think, well I’m not going out, I don’t have to dress so neatly I cant dress nicely.  What an influence this has upon the developing little nature of small children.  We are dealing with Gods ways – there is an eternal impact.

Mothers, make yourselves as attractive as possible; not by elaborate trimming, but by wearing clean, well-fitting garments. Thus you will give to your children constant lessons in neatness and purity. The love and respect of her children should be of the highest value to every mother. Everything upon her person should teach cleanliness and order and should be associated in their minds with purity. There is a sense of fitness, an idea of the appropriateness of things, in the minds of even very young children; and how can they be impressed with the desirability of purity and holiness when their eyes daily rest on untidy dresses and disorderly rooms? How can the heavenly guests, whose home is where all is pure and holy, be invited into such a dwelling?  {AH 254.1}

Order and cleanliness is the law of heaven; and in order to come into harmony with the divine arrangement, it is our duty to be neat and tasty.  {AH 254.2}

Gods ways are down to little minute that influence the atmosphere by our presence . We are to follow Gods ways in little things.

Here is the story of Jesus feeing the multitude;

John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

6:13 Therefore they gathered [them] together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost.  The little things paying attention to leftovers is this one of God’s ways well Jesus just demonstrated by saying I and my father are one.  Why gather up the fragments?  Especially with someone who can be so capable of providing food again.  This is why humans think its easy to not worry about the waste.  That mentality and way of thinking is not the thinking of Gods ways.

Christ once gave His disciples a lesson upon economy which is worthy of careful attention. He wrought a miracle to feed the hungry thousands who had listened to His teachings; yet after all had eaten and were satisfied, He did not permit the fragments to be wasted. He who could, in their necessity, feed the vast multitude by His divine power bade His disciples gather up the fragments, that nothing might be lost. This lesson was given as much for our benefit as for those living in Christ’s day. The Son of God has a care for the necessities of temporal life. He did not neglect the broken fragments after the feast, although He could make such a feast whenever He chose. {AH 381.1}

The lessons of Jesus Christ are to be carried into every phase of practical life. Economy is to be practiced in all things. Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost. There is a religion that does not touch the heart and therefore becomes a form of words. It is not brought into practical life. Religious duty and the highest human prudence in business lines must be co-mingled.  {AH 381.2}

The true practical religion as we see it here in Gods ways. There was much written up on this if you can research this subject.  Sr White describes many instances of gathering the garments – ie in the printing house where they have a roll of paper and how they are to keep the garments of bit of fragments of useable size to throw them out.  Also to not cut form the main roll pieces that you can have fragments because that is wasting Gods money. By practicing Christ’s lesson on economy you can feed one or it may be you can feed many who are hungering for temporal food.

Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.  John 6:12. These words were spoken by Him who had all the resources of the universe at His command; while His miracle-working power supplied thousands with food, He did not disdain to teach a lesson in economy.  {6T 451.3}

Practice economy in the use of your time. This is the Lord’s. Your strength is the Lord’s. If you have extravagant habits, cut them away from your life. Such habits, indulged, will make you bankrupt for eternity. And habits of economy, industry, and sobriety are, even in this world, a better portion for you and your children than a rich dowry.  {6T 452.1}

We are travelers, pilgrims and strangers, on earth. Let us not spend our means in gratifying desires that God bids us repress. Let us rather set a right example before our associates. Let us fitly represent our faith by restricting our wants. Let the churches arise as one, and work earnestly as those who are walking in the full light of truth for these last days. Let your influence impress souls with the sacredness of God’s requirements.  {6T 452.2}

If in the Providence of God you have been given riches, do not settle down with the thought that you need not engage in useful labor, that you have enough, and can eat, drink, and be merry. Do not stand idle while others are struggling to obtain means for the cause. Invest our means in the Lord’s work. If you do less than your duty in giving help to the perishing, remember that your indolence is incurring guilt.  {6T 452.3}

The Bible condemns no man for being rich if he has acquired his riches honestly. It is the selfish love of money wrongfully employed that is the root of all evil. Wealth will prove a blessing if we regard it as the Lord’s, to be received with thankfulness and with thankfulness returned to the Giver.  {6T 452.4}

Isaiah 42:3. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

This is God’s way. A bruised reed shall he not break and a smoking flax shall he not quench he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.  Jesu will not break the reed that is already bruised and in a condition of half broken.  Or the flax that hasn’t got any flame anymore it is just smoking.  That little flame, that little ember deep inside he notices.  This is Gods way the little unnoticed things. Did anyone ever lift his hands to Jesus and say save Lord or I perish and he pass them by?  Never, never.  Jesus hears the faintest cry.  The little responses the little things that is inside of us that yearns for God he pays attention to.

Amid the anthems of the celestial choir, God hears the cries of the weakest human being. We pour out our heart’s desire in our closets, we breathe a prayer as we walk by the way, and our words reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. They may be inaudible to any human ear, but they cannot die away into silence, nor can they be lost through the activities of business that are going on. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the confusion of the multitude, to the heavenly courts. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.  {COL 174.1}

You who feel the most unworthy, fear not to commit your case to God. When He gave Himself in Christ for the sin of the world, He undertook the case of every soul.  He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Rom. 8:32. Will He not fulfill the gracious word given for our encouragement and strength?  {COL 174.2}

The worker for God often regards the activities of life as essential for the advancement of the work. He looks upon himself as a necessity, and self is mingled with all that is said and done. Then God interposes. He draws His child away from the earthly, which holds his attention, that he may behold His glory. He says:  This poor soul has lost sight of Me and My sufficiency. His eye is not fixed upon his Lord. I must throw My light and My vitalizing power into his heart, and thus prepare him to work in right lines. By anointing his eyes with the heavenly eyesalve I will prepare him to receive truth. {RC 358.2}

The woman caught in adultery – sinner adultery – an evil that is condemned by the Pharisees and called for death.

The woman had stood before Jesus, cowering with fear. His words,  He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone,  had come to her as a death sentence. She dared not lift her eyes to the Saviour’s face, but silently awaited her doom. In astonishment she saw her accusers depart speechless and confounded; then those words of hope fell upon her ear,  Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  Her heart was melted, and she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, sobbing out her grateful love, and with bitter tears confessing her sins.  {DA 462.1}

This was to her the beginning of a new life, a life of purity and peace, devoted to the service of God. In the uplifting of this fallen soul, Jesus performed a greater miracle than in healing the most grievous physical disease; He cured the spiritual malady which is unto death everlasting. This penitent woman became one of His most steadfast followers. With self-sacrificing love and devotion she repaid His forgiving mercy. {DA 462.2}

Here is the lesson – if I am a follower of Jesus Christ I will not turn form the erring, leading them unhindered to follow their course.  Men hate the sinner while they love the sin.  Slow to censure quick to discern penitence ready to forgive to encourage to set the wanderer in the path of holiness and to stay his feet therein.  What is the little detail when a person like her is doing sinful things there is a cry within the soul help I cant help myself.  I am going down help and it is the listening of that little voice that saves the sinner.  God is faithful in the little things.  A little cry that is hardly if not at all if not all heard by the general mind and general ear.

To be Christs followers we are to do God’s ways.  To become sensitive to the things that are hidden from the normal eyesight.  It’s the little things the little sensitivities that are Gods ways.  That still small voice after the storm and the earthquake and the fire that little voice.  Let us learn the lesson well.  The little things that are apparently unimportant to us are in Gods ways are the benchmark of the genetics of the larger issues.  We saw it in the experience of this planet one little act of disobedient, just eating of fruit unleashed the horrors displayed on this planet.  On the contrary to see the possibility of one penitent sinner opened the floodgate to Gods love in the gift of his son and the enormity of the gospel comes from one little item of Gods love that there maybe a possibility that someone on this planet may respond to my love.  The gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  God is interested in the little things that make up our eternal life.  May God help us to open our hearts as did Mary the harlot and become servants of his to the detail and become servants of his.

Amen

Posted on September 13, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I loved this message and it really taught to worry about the little things because God does. And if he cares that I may be diligent in the little things than it must be a important way to follow. We all have little things to take care of and we all can pray that God might teach us his ways because they are not harmful but rather benefited with blessings from ABOVE Psalms 25:4.

  1. Pingback: Teach Me Thy Way O Lord | health

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