Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall for the LORD holds them by the hand.
Life is a journey. No, really each step that is taken is going somewhere. The Lord directs the steps of the godly delighting in every detail of their lives so not a single moment of our journey is left out of His Glorious Plan. To believe that God is good even in the midst of light and momentary troubles that seem to overtake us like cataclysmic chaos, one must remember this truth in order to endure. God delights in every choice we make to follow His Way and walk in His Promises. What about the times that we make the wrong choices or choose to go in the opposite direction? Where is God then? He is directing the steps of the godly delighting in every detail of their lives waiting with grace to turn every detail in to something good (Romans 8:28) by the Grace provided by Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 12:9) But why? Why would God be so interested in our life? For the very same reason that He sent His Only Son to die a horrible torturous death on the Cross enduring the hatred and rejection of mankind. There is more to life than this obtained at the end of our journey in life when we enter Eternity to live forever with God. His Primary Purpose is to enable us to get from here to there successfully!
Today marks the halfway point in our son’s third round of chemotherapy. In a couple of hours, I will leave our home in one city to travel two hours to where he lives. Every other week I accompany him to these visits with his doctor and sit with him during his infusions. It has been a long journey of almost two years now. Some days it is exhausting and overwhelming managing life with such uncertainty according to this world. There are times when endurance is waning and I cry out to the Lord when is enough enough? His Spirit comforts me for the long haul. I have learned to rejoice in daily victories and the smallest triumph. There have been peaks and valleys looking back over the course. It seems like this routine is dictating the steps that we take and the decisions that we make that is until I step on higher ground and see things from God’s Perspective. Am I willing to give up? No. Do I want to be extracted from the race of faith? No. Do I want to be found a good and faithful servant? Of course! It is to my benefit to see life as a journey rather than a random act of nature in order to see the beauty of God’s Plan demonstrated in every single detail of my life. He has a Plan…it is a good one with a future and hope. He will not let me stumble…He will never let me fall as He holds me in His Hand. Life is a journey, but how do I get there from here?
Genesis 28:20-22 (NLT)
Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the LORD will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
Isaac blessed Jacob then sent him on his way. He had taken the blessing of the firstborn from his brother, Esau and his life was now at risk. So to save him, Isaac sent his younger son to live with his brother, Laban, and marry one of his daughters. As Jacob laid down to rest the first evening of his journey with nothing more than a stone to rest his head, the Lord came to him in a vision. He saw angels traveling back and forth from heaven to earth. “At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:13-15) What a wonderful promise! What a reassuring vision! However, there would be many footsteps encompassing Jacob’s journey to possess the land and prosper. He would have to deal with his uncle, Laban and his trickery as he takes advantage of his nephew. Jacob would wrestle with God sustaining a lifelong injury to his hip. He experienced tremendous loss when Joseph, his precious son was dead but rather sold into slavery by his brothers only to be reunited late in life. God did not promise Joseph smooth sailing through every peak and valley but that His Presence would remain with Him making good on every promise from now to Eternity if He would walk in His Ways. What has the Lord promised you? He is faithful to do all that His Word has indicated and every vision has revealed. Are you willing to walk the walk of the uncompromisingly righteous who are called Children of God?
I Kings 19:3-9 (NLT)
Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the LORD came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.
Elijah was a strong and faithful prophet of God so why would he run away at the threats of Jezebel after such a great victory at Baal? Even the most faithful lose their way sometimes it happens because we are human. But the truth is that the prophet did not lose his way at all because the Lord directs the steps of the godly and delights in their way even when they become empty! Elijah was headed to encounter with the Lord. It required him being spiritually and emotionally empty in order to be filled anew! God asked him, “What are you doing here?” Now don’t you think God knew exactly what the man was doing there? Of course, he did. But it was time for Elijah to dig deep within and discover more of God’s Purpose and Plan. We all need daily encounters with God. This is available through God’s Presence that lives inside of us. Before Jesus sent His Spirit, God resided in clouds and fire that led the Children of Israel through the wilderness. (Exodus 40:35-38) As long as the people followed the cloud by day and the fire by night, they remained on track and in God’s Presence. But as a reminder, the wilderness was not God’s Idea but based on the rebellion of the people yet He remained with them every step of the way! And so it is with each of us! It is important to note that when Elijah traveled to the mountain to meet the Lord it was a forty-day journey not an overnight sprint. He would be instructed to return the way that he came to continue his journey through life. (I Kings 19:15) Sometimes God will tell you to go back where you came from which is reassuring because it means God doesn’t change His Mind to suit our purposes as some might want to think and more importantly that His Plan of Goodness intended for our life is uninterrupted by our detours and delays! It is important to look at the scope of God’s Work in our life and not make assumptions on the temporary circumstances that we are facing. “So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” (Ruth 1:19-21) We cannot allow the details in our life that are tragic to make us bitter toward God but look ahead to the inevitable blessing promised to those who endure! “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12)
Hebrews 11:8-14 (NLT)
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own.
By faith, believers journey through this life to eternity as foreigners and nomads on the earth. We are to look forward to the Kingdom of God and live in such a way to gain access. Abraham confidently looked ahead to that city yet still inherited earthly blessing along the way. He did it because He believed in the Promises of God and lived in covenant with the Lord all the days of His Life. Each footstep headed toward the Promise walking in uncompromising righteousness with the Lord. Can we say the same? If the air conditioning goes out in church, we stay home. In the summer, many people take a vacation from God returning when school begins again. We do not walk with the Lord every step of the way yet expect the Lord to order our steps for blessing. We want what He has but are not willing to come and get it. Instead like the Children of Israel always whining and complaining begging to return to Egypt and running back to the darkness leaving the Light. We love this world more than God as evidenced in where we spend all our time, talent and treasure. Yet in all of our rebellion and ignorance, the Lord directs the steps of the godly and delights in every detail of their life. God will not let you fall even in your wandering. He loves you! His Son died for you! He is calling you home! Will set your heart to journey for eternity now? Eternity begins in your heart hidden their by the Hand of God when He created you! (Ecclesiastes 3:11) God chose you! He gives you mercy to find the Way! He is desperate for you to choose His Kingdom over the things of this world. (I Peter 2:9-12) “For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (I Peter 1:16-19)
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This is the great commission. Jesus did not leave us to a pointless existence to lead a powerful charge through this life into Eternity taking as many dying souls with us along the way. How are you doing with your duty and task? When Jesus told the disciples to do the same before He went to sit at the right hand of God, it was without any resources at all! “And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.” (Mark 6:7-13) The Lord didn’t say make some money so that you can live your calling. They were to take nothing just walk in His Power and Authority. This is a commission. They did it. People were saved, healed and delivered. Why is this not being accomplished in the ministry today? We are farmers who wait on perfect weather so we never see a harvest. (Ecclesiastes 11:4) Even though the Lord promised to supply all that we need from His Riches in Glory! (Philippians 4:18-9) His Spirit guarantees these promises for “He has commissioned us.” If we live on assignment, walking in the Power and Authority of God in uncompromising holiness and righteousness, God has to take care of us because we are commissioned like soldiers. We must stop getting tied up in civilian affairs. (2 Timothy 2:3-6) We must live a life of purpose with each step and endure through this life to make it into Eternity which is our forever home! If live on task for the Lord, He must take care of us, guide us, protect us, provided for us, bless us and prosper us according to His Word.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NLT)
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Our commission in this life is to build a temple that is the Body of Christ. God has everything under control. He orders our steps. He delights in our way. The Lord is making good on every promise no matter how it is to see His Hand. Trust the Lord. Commit to doing His Will, His Way. Just trust the Lord and do good every step of the way. Don’t worry when evil people prosper. Just be still and wait on the Lord. (Psalm 37) Life is hard and sometimes very confusing but God has ordered your steps from here to Eternity. It is an incredible journey when you walk in His Way! This journey has been a long one as we have walked with our son. But in all of the heartache and hardship, God has healed him four separate times. His Word remains true, “He will live and not die!” There is joy in the journey for those who will endure to find it. Do not give up today! Wait on the Lord! Commit your life to journey to Eternity!
Psalm 37:3-5 (NLT)
Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.