For His Name's Sake
Marybeth Whalen

"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalm 23:3b (NIV)

Dear Lord, please show me Your will for my life.

Dear Lord, please let me know what direction I should go.

Dear Lord, I only want what You want. I just wish I knew what that is.

Have you ever prayed a prayer that sounded something like these? If you are like me, the answer is yes. Today's verse offers powerful truth that I had missed in spite of reading it many times. How often I had prayed for God's guidance and direction—yet still wanted my own way. I broke the verse down into three parts to better grasp the wisdom it contained:

He guides me: As followers of God, we want Him to guide us. We only have to do it on our own for a little while to realize that we are inept in finding the right way. Many of us have come to God after making an unholy mess of our lives. We have fallen before Him and asked Him to show us a way out of the mess. We are grateful for His promises to be our Shepherd who lovingly guides His sheep. We begin to follow Him, grateful that someone else is lighting our way.

In paths of righteousness: If God is leading us, we can trust that He will only direct us in paths that are right in His eyes. If we are tempted to walk down a path that we don't have peace about or is contrary to His character and Word, then that is a red flag that the path is not the right one. We can trust that He won't lead us down the wrong path. We just have to keep seeking His direction through prayer, godly counsel and His Word.

For His name's sake: To me, the crux of this verse is contained in this phrase. Why does God guide us in paths of righteousness? For His name's sake. He wants the way we take to directly reflect on Him. To bring Him, not us, glory. To make His name famous. To make our lives a living witness of His goodness, so that others are brought to Him. For that reason, He will always direct us to make holy choices—not necessarily the easy choices or the fast choices. If we submit to Him, we will find that He guides us to make the best choices. Not because we are the best, but because He is.

This simple verse served as a huge wakeup call for me. As I sought God's will for some decisions I was making, I had made the answer all about me. I needed to be reminded that, always, always, always, it needs to be about Him. My prayers were changed from "What should I do?" (a very me-centered prayer) to "What will bring You glory?" I had to shift my perspective from my humanness to His holiness. He will certainly direct me where I need to go. But I need to remember the reason as I seek that direction.

Dear Lord, my prayer today is reflected in this verse from Your Word: Please guide me in paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake. I want my life to reflect Your glory. I trust You to make that happen as you guide me in ways that are right in Your eyes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Becoming a Woman of Influence by Marybeth Whalen

A Recipe for Christmas Joy (E-Book) by Marybeth Whalen

Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith by Jane Rubietta

Visit Marybeth’s blog – Cheaper by the Half Dozen

Application Steps:
Journal about a time when God directed you to do something that was not what you expected, but that ultimately brought His glory to the situation. How can you trust this example in future situations when you seek His will?

Do you know the One Who promises to lead you?

Is there a situation that you are seeking God's direction for right now? Have you considered that His direction is about His name and not yours? How could that change the way you seek Him and the way you approach the situation?

Power Verses:
Psalm 31:3, "Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me." (NIV)

Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Ramona said...

Just how funny, just after praying this morning I read todays devotional. Yes indeed I need to change my perspection of prayer of "What Can I do for you O'Lord." Trust him to guide my feet in the direction he choose, which sometimes I feel uncomfortable, but that is God who knows the way of the righteous. Thank you for sharing this. He has answered me "Just this quick." Thank You, Lord in Jesus Holy Name...Amen

Blogger Marybeth Whalen said...

Wow Ramona, thanks for sharing that! I love when He provides quick answers! What a blessing.

Anonymous Mommy Melback said...

Thank you so much for todays devotion!
I bought a glass for my neice that says "enough about me lets talk about me". So I think this is how I have been praying. So sad.
Thank you for the wake up call!!

Blogger casey said...

Thanks Marybeth. When the kids and I were studying the Purpose Driven Life, I made a sign that comes in line with your message. The poster said: What are we going to do today? We are going to Glorify God.

Blogger Nancy M. said...

Just yesterday my women's Bible study grp finished "Pathway to Purpose" & talked about bringing Glory to God (the last chapter). Today I am applying for a job which could end my 6 month (unintentional) "time off," the last 3 mos. devoted to re-establishing my r'ship w/ God. It's not the job I have been looking for (a p/t job that I could walk to), but as I conceded in prayer this morning, it might be the job that God has found (a f/t job an hr's drive away - 1.5 hrs on transit!!).

Thank you for another poignant & God-timed devo!

Soli deo gloria!!
(to God alone be the glory)

ps - @Mommy Melback - Thank you, & how true of our prayer life...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's post. My family and I are currently going through a tough financial storm and my perspective has been so wrong. I've been so focused on what would be the easiest route to take rather than what would bring God the greatest glory.

Lord, guides us to the path that will bring you the greatest glory in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written. You glorified God in your blog this morning. Thank you for that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to read this devotional over and over again b'cos it speaks to my situation so aptly.right now I am an emotional mess and I can't seem to see God in all of this but I know now that whatever situation it is, it is about HIM.Thank you for this devotional

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Amen! Thank you for sharing! I really needed to be reminded that we're here for God's glory not our own. Thank you so much!!

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