Show your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4
These days 12-step programs are very popular. Initially they were just for recovering alcoholics but now they are being used by people who have any sort of compulsive or additive behaviour, with much success. Perhaps that’s because the original program was written by a Christian, though in recent times it has moved away from this base. The promoters of these programs guarantee recovery if people stick with the steps.
When we look at the beatitudes as recorded in Matthew 5:3-10 we see Jesus’ 8-step program that guarantees God’s blessing. Not meaning a life without difficulties but rather a life that has the blessing of God on it.
Moses expressed the desire to know God’s ways: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13). In the beatitudes God teaches us His ways.
As we look at different characters in the Bible, people like Esau, David and Joseph, we noted that these attitudes took time to develop. The same is true for us and at times it may seem impossible to follow Jesus’ 8-step program. But these are attitudes of the heart and God has promised, “I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees” (Ezekiel 36:27). The question is, are we willing to let God move us to follow His decrees? Are we willing to follow Jesus’ 8-step program?