I confess, even after 51+ years, I need the Lord to “teach me how to live” (Psalm 27:11). I don’t have this life-thing all figured out yet. I’m reminded of that fact every so often when I think I have everything under control.

God knows the best way for me to live. He knows the path ahead of me much better than I do, so I can trust him to lead me in the right direction (Psalm 25:4-5). Imagine taking a tour through a forest led by a guide who has been down this trail thousands of times, and yet constantly questioning his decisions or wanting to go your own way. Isn’t that what we do with God?

When I say, “teach me how to live, O Lord,” I must do 4 things: (1) humble myself; (2) surrender my will to his; (3) spend time with God alone so I can really listen to him; and (4) obey, no matter what I think or others tell me. I’m sure there are more. But these are the main ones for me.

God will teach me how to live when I live a God-centered (not a me-centered or problem-centered or what-everyone-else-thinks-centered) life. King David lived a God-centered life. in Psalm 27:1, he said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid?” The apostle Paul understood this as well: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Both of these men put their focus on God, not their problems. They trusted God with all their hearts, and leaned not on their own understandings!

God will teach me how to live when I trust and obey his Word. I need a standard for how to live my life, and I believe God’s Word is that standard. I will choose to trust God’s way of doing life, which he has revealed in his Word. I believe His Word gives me the very best way to live my life, and I believe he never ever teaches me how to live in a way that is contrary to his Word.

God will teach me how to live when I choose to spend time with him. I’ve found that it takes discipline to make time to spend with him each day, but I can not know how to live if I don’t! God desires to spend this time with us and teach us his ways: “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me'” (Psalm 27:8). What a privilege it is to hear God say, “Come, take some time and have a conversation with me today. I want to talk to you and hear from you.” I want my response to always be like David’s: “And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.'”

God will teach me how to live when I wait patiently for him (Psalm 27:14). God does not work on my timetable. Sometimes I’m not sure if he’s listening or not. Sometimes my Plan A does not work out, even when I thought I was doing it his way. Sometimes God teaches you in the midst of the pain, uncertainties, and waiting. Patience takes trust. Trust takes patience.

God is teaching me how to live today. How is he teaching you to live? 

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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