Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. —Psalm 86:11
Why do we memorize the Word of God? We memorize to be able to honor Him (Psalm 19:11). Nevertheless, many times memorization is a fruitless discipline because we equate memorization with learning. We can fill our minds with Bible, but unless God does something with the Word, it will not help us accomplish anything. In fact, in 2010, the Pew Research Center published survey results showing that atheists knows more of the Bible than some who professes to be Christian.
There is something in our passage that could be the key to significant progress in your walk with God. When God puts life in a heart, He also makes it so that its complete satisfaction will only be achieved in Christ, and its greater joy will be in obeying Him. Jesus was kind to His disciples even when they failed Him by falling asleep; “the spirit is willing” (Matthew 26:41).
The psalmist, for his part, desires to be faithful to God, but he knows that his best efforts will never result in piety. Unless God illuminates his understanding and brings to life the Word in his heart, he will not be able to please God. “Teach me” is the cry of a begging heart that wishes to do the will of God. He reinforces this with his second plea: “unite my heart to fear your name.” The meaning of the psalmist here is that he wants God to grant him piety of heart to be able to honor Him. “A man untaught of the Holy Ghost may long to know a moral, he can never desire to know a spiritual Being” (John Hyatt).
My beloved, you must yearn to live for Christ, cherish His Word, and strive to put it into practice. If your life is not dramatically changed by it, then you will call into question the transforming power of the Gospel, you will leave your own soul defenseless, and your purpose on this earth will not be fulfilled (Matthew 5:13).
As author Thomas Watson said,
What is a carpenter better for his rule about him, if he sticks it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring and squaring? So, what are we the better for the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and regulate our lives by it?
Do you pray like the psalmist, that God would open the eyes of your understanding? Do you ask that His Word may teach you so that you can comprehend what is the length, the width, the height and the depth of His love? Do you cry out that His testimony will make you know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, so that you are filled to all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19)?
May Psalm 86:11 become a vital part of your prayer life, and may you experience the transforming power of the Word of Christ.