Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Unlike a lot of mammals, humans aren’t born with very much natural ability. Some animals can walk as soon as they are born, but we need to be taught how to walk. We need to learn to talk. Certain things just don’t come naturally to us. And as babies and children, our parents are tasked with the enormous undertaking of teaching us many things. In fact, there are very few things we do that we don’t have to learn how to do. The same is true for us as God’s children. When we are first saved, we don’t automatically know everything we need to know as Christians. We must learn and grow spiritually. One of the things we must learn is to do God’s will in our lives. And who better to teach us than our precious Father? Because following His ways will lead us into the land of uprightness.
How often do we come to some realization of truth and then try to accomplish it on our own? But it is only through the power of God in us that we can accomplish these things. Only with the Lord’s help can we do what He’s asked us to do. And following the example of the psalmist, we can ask God to teach us these things, to make them real to us in our own lives. We can commit to follow whatever path He will lead us on, whatever lessons He must teach us, whatever methods He must use to build us up into who He wants us to be.
All children growing up learn all of the same basic things—walking, talking, reading, math, etc. But in each individual family, there are unique things that parents teach their children. Some children learn music from their parents or farming or fixing cars or cooking. As Christians we all learn the basics early on. We learn salvation and the basic message of the Gospel. We learn of God’s law and what He expects of all of us. But then God teaches us on an individual level. His will for each of us is gradually revealed as we keep following on faithfully the path He has guided us to.
Once we know God’s will, sometimes the more difficult part is actually doing it. We may know that God wants us to forgive those who have wronged us, but sometimes it’s hard to let go of deep hurts and forgive someone else. We may know that God wants us to share the Gospel with those around us but find it hard to speak up when an opportunity arises. We may know that we’re supposed to give a tithe to God but neglect to give it. We may know that God hates lying and still tell a little white lie. But just as we can ask God to teach us His will, we can also ask Him to help us accomplish it, live it out, and do it in our lives.