Lead Me on Level Ground
It takes wisdom to navigate this world as a child of God.
There are difficult decisions we face and moral dilemmas which confuse us. There can be the challenge of tense relationships in our family and church. There is also the question of how to interact with the world around us, a world that is not inclined to treat us fairly but to be harsh and hateful. A child of God often realizes that it takes heavenly wisdom to know what to do.
This is the gift that David prays for in Psalm 143: wisdom. In this Psalm he is pleading to God for deliverance from enemies. David is hard-pressed by them, and he is very frightened.
And because of his perilous situation, he is also confused and perplexed. David doesn’t say exactly what kind of direction that he needs from God: perhaps knowing how to respond appropriately to his foes, or what is the way out of this snare, or how to move forward in faith. But he acknowledges his trouble and prays, “Make me know the way I should go” (v. 8).
And again he prays to God in verse 10,
Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
David here confesses that it is God’s Holy Spirit who can help him walk safely through this dark valley. He might be feeling forsaken, but he knows that the Lord’s holy presence is always with him. He might be flustered, but he trusts that God will surely guide him to “level ground.”
In the Scriptures, “level ground” is a safe and proper place for God’s children to walk (see for example, Psalm 26:12). Now, “level ground” is not necessarily a path that is going to be free from all dangers and threats—in this hostile world, we may not expect such an effortless road.
We ask not to be led in the easy way, but in the right way.
Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground—such is the prayer which we humbly offer together with David! We need God to lead us by his Holy Spirit, for we are often weak, blind and fearful.
Think of how Jesus our Saviour too, needed this heavenly guidance during his ministry. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit at his baptism, and then the Spirit filled, equipped and led him for the next three years, so that He could teach with great authority, heal the sick, and perform astonishing miracles. The Spirit even enabled Christ to endure faithfully the very worst that his enemies threw at him when they tortured and crucified him. By the Spirit, Jesus always walked the “level ground” of trust and obedience to God his Father.
Now risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Christ sends the gift of his Holy Spirit to the church. His Spirit will lead us in the ways of truth, and He will guide us on the level pathways of his Word.
But to receive this wisdom, we must ask for it. Confess your need, and ask God today for the gift of his Spirit’s leading.