Isaiah 30:21 NIV “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
God’s direction is often subtle. He never shouts or raises His voice, at least not to me. And if I ignore it, there is usually regret at some point in time or an inner witness that I have strayed off course somewhat. As of late I have been doing a fair bit of reading. I try to balance my reading between God’s Word and books by Christian authors. I’ve been going through the Old Testament again and I’ve been using the Amplified Bible. For the most part it has been really good but as of late I’ve been getting the thought in my mind that I should be reading Acts and the Epistles again. I’ve ignored the thought and kept reading the OT because I wanted to finish what I had started, using the Amplified Bible.
You wouldn’t think that would make a difference but it has. I’m always finding something in God’s Word to write about, I always have two or three thoughts that I want to expound upon or follow up on, but not as of late. The well is dry. So I marked where I stopped in the OT and you guessed it, I will be starting at Acts once more. The short story is I will be doing what I believe God wants me to do, even with what I read. Sometimes I am a slow learner. That still small voice is there for a reason.
You really do have to pay close attention.
My prayers have been good. Better than usual. Even when praying God often provides the words that come out of my mouth. I start a sentence and He finishes it for me. I love it when that happens because the words He provides take me deeper, to the root, to the very essence of the subject matter and that is where I want to be. Honesty, forgiveness, grace, supplication for my family and others, refocus on my walk, refocus on Jesus and God’s will, dependency. A verse that keeps popping up in my mind as of late is where Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches and that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Nothing. That’s pretty straight forward isn’t it?
Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. No Thing. The fact that Jesus calls Himself the Vine and the Good Shepherd is significant. I need the Vine and the Good Shepherd to guide me, always have, I just didn’t always know it. But I do now and that’s really where the rubber hits the road. That constant guidance, that constant connection, the awareness of the constant dependency.
Following Jesus is not following an ideal. It’s not following a particular methodology. It’s not finding something that you think you want to do and then hope that He will bless it. That’s putting the cart before the horse. Following Jesus is coming to terms with the fact that our human nature is opposed to His nature. It’s also coming to terms with the fact that our human will is usually opposed to God’s will, God’s perspective and ultimately God’s purpose. Following Jesus is about drawing close to Him, trusting Him and obeying Him. I know it sounds over simplified, trust and obey, but as the old hymn states, there’s no other way.
When you’re in God’s will, you know it inside. God’s Holy Spirit witnesses it to you. You know that you know and there is peace within. If there isn’t peace, you’d better start taking a good hard look at who’s will you are really pursuing. Sometimes getting there takes time. Some disciples have been given gifts that are readily apparent and they use these gifts to witness to their source. They have been gifted and called to do what they do. They have their inner witness that what they are doing is within the will of God. We all benefit when this happens.
I was reminded of God’s will recently with the death of Nabeel Qureshi. My will and God’s will were obviously not one and the same. I wanted Nabeel to be healed and to continue living. Strange, as I type this now I realize that Nabeel is healed and he is living. Just not here, on earth. Now Nabeel is with God, in heaven, where God is. God’s will is sovereign, not just with matters of life and death but literally everything. We ask for this whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Psalm 37:5 KJV “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
What exactly is “thy way”? Is it our idea of what should happen next? Is it our idea of what we should do? Is it our idea of the steps involved in going from point A to point B?
I don’t believe it is. I believe “thy way” is our ultimate end state, what we really want to happen at the end or conclusion of our journey. The steps and path are left up to God to bring about, He brings it to pass.” That is a promise from God.
Philippians 1:6 NIV “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
And the steps and path always have one purpose, one goal. Drawing us closer to Jesus so that He lives in us, here, on this earth, through His Spirit within us, while we walk our journey and that ultimately, when we leave this world, we are united with Him.
The “golden calf” can take many forms.
A lot of people get waylaid here. This is where “authority”, “power”, “control” and “signs and wonders” can lead us astray. The “golden calf” can take many forms. I’m not knocking authority, power, control or “signs and wonders”, they all still happen, even today, but all these are subject to the sovereignty of God. When man takes God off the throne and places himself on it, well you know what happens next. Always remember, Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-17 NIV “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”
Look at the fruit, the fruit is what they produce.
God’s will is sovereign.
That’s the lesson I got from a big thing like Nabeel’s death, that’s the message I get with little things like what I am to read. God’s will is sovereign, He knows best, His plan is bigger than mine, His objectives much more encompassing that mine and my part is relatively simple, listen, trust and obey.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!