Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]! Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments. I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]. (Psalm 119:5-7 AMP)
How many times do we pray something like this to God? We cry out to him, asking him to set our ways straight again because somehow we have managed to stray from the path we should be on. David's plea - direct and establish my ways - not to live as I want, but to observe your Word in its entirety. A "directed" life is one which both guided and regulated, so the course is certain. It is like when I used to ride the "Autopia" ride at Disneyland as a child - I had no idea the metal bar which ran between the two tires actually was keeping me on my course! It was there for my safety - but I just rode along like I was mastering the road and watching the world pass me by as I maneuvered the twists and turns. I thought I was driving - directing the course of the vehicle. In fact, someone with a whole lot more common sense than to give control of a vehicle to a child had my safety in mind! The same is true of our lives in Christ - sure we don't have a metal bar between our "tires", but we full the pull and tug of veering from course, don't we?
The metal bar on the car ride was there to act as a mediator - it pushed me back on course when I turned to sharply to the right or left. It "established" the course of the vehicle in which I was riding. I wonder if we actually realize how much God is "establishing" the course of our lives, not with a metal bar, but with his Word? As we hear the Word, taking in its richness and promise, it forms the basis for our travels in life. As I drove that tiny car along a designated track, unlimited power existed - but only as long as I stayed on the track! I could not operate those little cars off the track - there was something about the track which gave them the "structure" in which they were designed to be operated. Disney envisioned the ride as the freeway of the future - but kids just saw it as plain fun! God envisions the "track" he provides through the intake of his Word as providing the "freeway" for each of our future endeavors - wouldn't it be great if we saw his Word as just plain fun for our lives!
The little cars on that track also had one other feature designed for safety - they were "one-wheel" drive. In other words, one wheel actually moved the vehicle forward. Interestingly, God has the same vision in mind for us - that we be "one-wheel" driven! He is the one who is designed to turn our wheel - not just the one who designs the course upon which our lives will travel. The "drive" of our lives would be ugly if there were two wheels each pulling in opposite directions. Imagine the wear and tear on the other wheels! Not to mention the other working parts of the vehicle! No wonder God requires there be just one wheel driving! I don't know about you, but when he drives, I get to my destination the first time!
There was one other little feature in these cars which says something to me about how God's Word, taken in regularly, applied consistently to our lives, affects how we arrive at our destination. The feature - the pedal. To someone unknowing, this pedal resembles the gas pedal of the sports car. To the designer, it is both the accelerator AND the brake. The Word of God is kind of like both in our lives - accelerating us into times of growth, holding us back when the next movement would cause us harm. As you pushed on the pedal of these little cars, they moved forward, under the drive of one wheel. As you took your foot off the pedal, they stopped - not gradually, but immediately - because the "drive" was disengaged. God's Word gives us this kind of protection - something we lack on our own.
So, not a real "spiritual" lesson today, but thought maybe you could see the importance of the regular and consistent intake of the Word as it applies to keeping us on track in life. What we take in becomes important in determining the path it will lead us. Just sayin!