Thursday, May 16, 2013

Courage For The Journey And Strength For Today

Anniversaries of things are strange. Do you remember the calendar day of the year or the day of the week? In looking at the day of the week, this is the anniversary of my starting to read “Jesus Calling.” Relying on the calendar date, it is tomorrow. But that doesn't mean I haven’t read these words before. While I actually started reading on the 17th in the midst of struggling through a season with a very difficult situation and decision, after reading the one for the 17th I wanted to read more. So, rather than reading ahead I read backwards two days. This included yesterday’s reading which spoke of the intensity of spiritual warfare, which God used to speak directly to the intensity of the struggle I had been going through and the accompanying spiritual warfare. And it included today’s (16th), which speaks of two important truths about God.

The first of those two truths, and most important, is that He is my God and His Son, Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life. As such God is totally sovereign over everything and every aspect of my life, and any plan that I might make needs to be subject to His sovereign plan. Everything that presses on my heart and pushes me in a direction needs to be subjected to God’s direction, and as such I needed to be willing to allow Him to change that direction, making sure that I wasn't just running from a difficult situation but that I was truly being led in God’s direction. That was a night that I really did need to let everything else go, and hear from Him.

The second aspect of her writing for the day spoke of God as my friend and the lover of my soul. So often when things are pressing in we can feel as if we are alone, and it was this compassionate reminder of who my God is that brought peace to everything else. It also was an assurance that following His leading would continue to lead to accomplishing His good purposes in my life and even for the protection of and provision for my family. It was and is so important knowing that not only is my God purposeful, but that He is also loving, compassionate, and merciful.

So, this morning, one year later, I listened to a message from Dr. Charles Stanley entitled “The Courage to Keep Going.” There was a lot in it that was very timely and fitting, particularly for today. Among the things he shared was this, “If I’m going to be able to keep on keeping on I’ve got to know that I’m doing what God says do, how God say do it, when God says do it, and where He says do it. I don’t even have to understand why.” Then he quoted Psalm 32:8 which reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” And of course, he quoted my favorite, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Our God is so incredible toward us. While He does not make the path easy, He does give us both the strength and the encouragement to walk it with Him as He goes before us and sets our steps.

So, here’s Sarah…

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (5/16)

I am your Lord! Seek Me as Friend and Lover of your soul, but remember that I am also King of Kings – sovereign over all. You can make some plans as you gaze into the day that stretches out before you. But you need to hold those plans tentatively, anticipating that I may have other ideas. The most important thing to determine is what to do right now. Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side. Let everything else fade into the background. This will unclutter your mind, allowing Me to occupy more and more of your consciousness.

Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now. I will guide you step-by-step, as you bend your will to Mine. Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

“…to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:79

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