“Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul . . . Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (vv. 8, 10)! This New Year, you should ask God to guide you in the way you should go; ask him to teach you his will; and ask him to lead you on level ground. David wants to know the way he should go. The way of the LORD is the way of righteousness. “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous” (Ps. 1:6). It’s not the way he wants to go in his selfishness. Rather, David wants to know the way of God, the way of righteousness. David wants to follow the way of God which is the way of righteousness. Thus, to ask God for the way you should go is to be willing to follow his way of righteousness. To follow God is to do his will.
David gives the reason for doing God’s will—“for you are my God” (v. 10). He is saying, “LORD, you are our covenant God. You are bound to your promise to Israel. You have a relationship with us. You are my God and I am willing to obey your will.” Thus, the basis of David’s obedience to the LORD is the promise of the LORD to be the covenant God of his people Israel. (Vangemeren) The ground of David’s obedience to God is the covenant relationship of God with his people. On this ground and this ground alone, David will do the will of God. It’s not because he’s more religious. No, it’s because of God’s covenant relationship with his people. On this ground, David will do and obey the will of God.
Let me ask you—why are you here today? Why are you worshiping God here in this church? Are you here because your parents or your wife forced you? Are you here because you like the worship and the word? Are you here for any other reason except God? For if you are here today because of something or somebody else except God, if that someone or something will go away, there is a good chance that you may also go away.
But if you are here today because of God and your relationship with God and with this church—it is God whom you trust; it is God whom you lift up your soul; it is God whom you are thirsting, Christ whom you are trusting; and him alone whom you are following together with us; then on that ground, and on that basis alone, I will say, you will obey God together with us and stay in this church, and serve the Lord together with us.
This New Year, ask God to show you the way you should go. Then tell him that you will do his will, for he is your God and Christ is your Lord.
His Faithful And Righteous Commitment To Preserve Us (Vv. 11-12).
Finally, let’s ask God this year to preserve our lives. “For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant” (vv. 11-12). Notice that when David asks God to preserve his life, he always says—for your name’s sake, by your righteousness, and by your steadfast love. It means that David is more concerned for God’s glory. David wants God to move in order to magnify the glory of God.
This New Year, they say that there’s a new COVID mutation. They say the vaccine is not effective against the mutation. They say business might not be good this year; they say some people will lose their jobs. Some people are in despair today.
Let me tell you what the Bible says—Fear Not. Can you say that to the person next to you—Fear Not. Do you know how many times the Bible says, Fear Not? 365 times; that’s one “fear not” for every day of the New Year.
This New Year, do not despair. If you despair, you will be like David; and like David, you can take your despair to the Lord in prayer and faith.
This year, ask God to preserve your life—for his name’s sake. Ask God to bring you out of trouble—by his righteousness. Ask God to cut off your enemies—by his steadfast love. Ask God to move in your life so that he will be magnified in your life. Ask God to move in your life in ways that will magnify the glory of God.