'Teach me, LORD, the meaning of your statutes, and I will always keep them.
Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.
Help me stay on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.'
Now whether you call this providence or merely coincidence I certainly found it striking that here I see the Bible giving its answer to my query. In the last sentence of this section the person who wrote it acknowledges what I know to be true, and articulated on Monday, that despite the fact that I take pleasure in obeying God I still can't do it and need God to help me do it.
However, what really struck me in this section is the correlation between being taught and obedience. You see I know that God's ways are best. I believe it to be true and I have in some ways experienced it. I therefore think that my lack of obedience is down to something other than knowledge. It's easy to think that I don't need to be taught any more rather I just need to become better at doing what it says.
However, the Bible doesn't seem to recognise my distinction. The Bible's verdict is that if I am still not keeping God's commands, if I'm not obeying, if I'm not following him with all my heart then what I need is not some new supernatural feeling, it's not simply to try harder, it's not to find a stronger motivation. No what I need is for God to teach me. What I need is to understand God's ways better. I might think that I know and understand them but if I truly did then I would obey them.
No wonder when I distance myself from my Bible, from fellowship with other Christians, from studying with other Christians and from hearing people faithfully explain and apply the Bible my obedience suffers.