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Friday, September 08, 2006

If God Directs

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

"He will direct your path;" is the way that this verse ends in the King James Version. Whether the paths are made straight or we are directed which one to take, the fact remains the same - God will guide us in the way we should go. We are not very comfortable with conditional promises. To modern ears, conditional promises are not real promises. This is not true, but it is the way we tend to think. Here we are told that God will direct our lives only if we give absolute fidelity and loyalty to Him. Our discomfort is due to our failure to understand the condition.

The condition is two fold in nature. First, people who desire God's direction will be people who love and acknowledge Him. The sinner does not want God's direction. Self-rule is their desire. Without acknowledging God in all our ways we are left to our own sense of direction, ruled by our lusts and desires. God's will and direction are only of interest when they suite our fancy, improve our life (according to our standards of course), or we have come to an impasse and really don't know what to decide. Without total trust and surrender to His Sovereignty we are not able to be directed by Him.

Second, we can recognize God's guidance only as we are tuned to His voice. We speak of discovering God's will as if He is playing hide and seek with us. Finding His will is more about being in tune and being readily receptive, than it is discovery. God promises that He will direct our paths. We can trust Him. Oswald Chambers said that God's guidance was more of a "thumb in the back;" than audible instruction. This type of guidance requires acute perception to sense. The life that is absolutely subordinate to God is one that has this kind of sensitivity. When we are struggling to know God's will the problem is on the receiver's end, not the sender!

Are there times when God is silent? Yes. But in these times we remain faithful to what we know and continue to trust with all our hearts. His silence is never forever and is purposeful. Our trusting with all our hearts and refusal to lean on our own understanding keeps our lives tuned into God's frequency. Only then is He able to direct us.

Does this understanding change the conditional nature of this promise. No. But, it does help us realize that these requirements for our own good. He could demand them, for He is God. Nevertheless, His word reveals that His commands are given in grace for our benefit. To disregard or chafe under them is to our own demise.

Therefore, let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding; in all our ways acknowledge Him and let Him lead the way.

Keep Close To Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome.


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