He leads me in paths of righteousness . . . Psalm 23:4a
The beauty of walking slowly through a passage is being able to look at every little thing as if it were a new gift to unwrap. As someone well-seasoned in Bible study, I can just assume (especially if I can recite the 23’rd Psalm from memory) that I understand a phrase like ‘paths of righteousness.’ I don’t and I’m still learning.
I have often asked, and perhaps you also voice these questions ~ “Why does God make it so hard? Since He promises to lead, and since He tells me that I am a sheep who cannot find my way on my own, why not speak louder so that the path is unmistakable?”
God is all about growing me up into the stature and maturity of His Son. If I can take God by the hand and not have to think for myself at all, isn’t this the stuff of toddlerhood? Infant faith begins with this kind of baby steps but mature faith encompasses the ability to engage my intellectual faculties to the glory of God.
“Those who are skittish when it comes to rigorous study, deep thinking, and theological precision have wanted us to believe that our problem is the mind, when in fact it’s the flesh.” Sam Storms
I must learn to train my mind, to know how to build precept upon precept, in the artful ways of wisdom. Sound decisions are, more often than not, made by a student of the Word who has set out to learn the mind of God, through Scripture, with abject humility.
Yes, great knowledge presents a temptation to be proud but it is not knowledge that is the enemy. It is my pride. Paths of righteousness are ever before me. God makes them clear for every level of spiritual development. Milk for the babes; meat for the mature. And, in that light, I can know that God will grant me the humility to listen, the grace to obey, but He also encourages every intellectual pursuit to be harnessed to the truth of the Scriptures.
I can be lazy and want to be led like a baby. Forgive me. Amen