Who Directs Your Steps?

Proverbs 16_9

One of my favorite Books of the Bible is Proverbs, written by King Solomon in the height of his reign. It is one of my favorites because it tells us how to order our values and establish our character. Proverbs 16:9 speaks of wisdom and the direction we should follow, juxtaposing wickedness and obedience (following the Word of God).

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Who directs your steps? Are you led by God’s sovereignty, or do you take responsibility for your own affairs as acts of free will? This scripture describes the actions of two types of people, the wicked, self-determined person, and the good, righteous person. A wicked person directs his own steps, and is in lockstep with the world, coming to his own ends. He does not look for guidance or direction from the Lord. The end justifies the means. The wicked continually sow discord which seems to be common practice in today’s society.

“with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hawaii-rocks

While is true that we are not all wicked, we are all sinners. Many of us are saved by grace, but even those of us who have received salvation tend to walk a worldly path. We aspire to greatness in our careers and our relationships. We are comfortable cutting corners, aligning ourselves with questionable associates and engage in company practices that in our hearts know are wrong. We direct our own steps, we listen to the evil one that paves our road with gold overlay. We reenact the days of Rome in our daily lives. And, to many, the question becomes, if we have free will, why would we want God to direct our steps when we have the freedom to discover and conquer at will? The wicked man, the sinner, charts his own path and when disaster strikes, calls upon the Lord. How many find that our own actions, intentions, and plans cannot stand the test of time and eventually cry to the Lord for help, promising to change our wicked ways only to head down our own path once He has placed us on solid ground?

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”
Proverbs‬ ‭20:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hawaii-road

The second half of the scripture focuses on the godly person. The saved person who seeks after the Lord, the person who applies the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. The good person who is a righteous person. The person who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in a Christ-like manner. He does not order his own steps, the Lord directs his steps, he does not veer to the right or the left but walks safely through difficulties, challenges and day-to-day activities, all the while listening to the voice behind him directing his steps and avoiding the landmines of life.

“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.””
‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hawaii-ocean

PONDER THIS – Who do you listen to? Who directs your steps? To quote Shakespeare’s Word in Hamlet, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-new them how we will.” Septuagint, “Let the heart of man consider what is just, that his steps may be by God’s directed might.” (Pulpit Commentary)

I am providing a summary of the Book of Proverbs to provide the scope of this discussion and offer a blueprint to acquire wisdom, direction, and obedience to the Word.

Nelsons’ Quick Reference, Proverbs 16 Summary

A prepared heart(1-3, 23) is a heart that receives God’s truth and submits to God’s will. Since the mouth speaks what the heart has treasured up, the Lord can guide your words when your heart is prepared (Matt. 10:19-20).

A proud heart (5, 18-19). Pride is one sin that God especially hates. It leads to all kinds of trouble and robs you of the blessings of the Lord.

A purposeful heart (7, 9, 25). If your heart is not devoted to God’s purposes, then it will lead you astray. Take time to think and pray, meditate on the Word, and make your plans; and then trust the Lord to guide you.

A prudent heart(20-24). When wisdom is your food and drink, then you will be able to make prudent decisions. A prudent heart is revealed by lips that speak sweet words of wisdom.

A perverse heart (27-30). What is in the heart eventually comes out in the life, and the life described here is anything but beautiful or useful. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 is in God’s Word! Are you heeding it?

Supporting Scriptures

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”
Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Resources

BibleHub.com. Commentary Proverbs 16:9, Benson Commentary, Gill’s Expositions, Pulpit Commentary
Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Proverbs.
Wiersbe. Nelson’s Quick Reference. Proverbs 16

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

The Peace of God

Phil 4_7 beach

As Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I feel it is important to share our experiences with the Lord. This is my testimony.

Hearing the voice of God lead you and direct you is the most rewarding experience in life. It is greater than giving birth or anything else that is satisfying in your life. It elevates you and takes you to a place of peace that is greater than our understanding. You experience serenity and the reverence of God. I can’t even image the ‘peace’ we will experience in heaven. NKJV, Philippians 4:6,7 is clear and succinct.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Every believer has the ability through prayer to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding because at this point we have entered into God’s heavenly space.

lake eliz

‭‭This peace exceeds anything we can understand, and when you find yourself there, your relationship with the Lord becomes so much more fulfilling. You long for the indescribable experience and desire to continually live in it. The indescribable peace guards our hearts and minds, we are in the presence of Jesus. The resistance you once felt to obey the Word falls away. Suddenly you no longer doubt, question, stray from, or desire the world as you did before. Having entered this space, I can say, the world no longer draws me as it did before. You see the war, the strategies the evil one uses to lure you into an immoral life has been exposed. You no longer want to conform to this world, your mind has been renewed and your sole purpose in life is to prove what is good and acceptable and perfect in the will of God. Your behavior changes. You no longer hold precious the things of the world. You simply long for our Lord and Savior and an ever-growing relationship with him. When you experience God’s peace, the scriptures make sense. They are no longer intellectual jargon, but become ‘The Truth’, without question or premise. The world becomes less inviting, it loses its hold on you. You enter into God’s will. It is more than good, it is perfect and pleasing to your being.

Romans_12-2 earth

This experience brings meaning to ‘humble yourselves’. According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Humble means to make low, to be abased; lowliness of mind. Abase, to bring to a humble condition. You are brought to a humble condition when you lavish in this peace. You can’t be anything else but humbled because you know your righteousness is Gods and not our own. Our salvation is bright and unyielding. It is clear we are filthy rags but loved none the less. Grace and mercy become living words and the peace becomes real.

Praise the Lord for this experience. He is my strength, my refuge, my rock, my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

Images – Google Images, LAB’s Collection
Scriptures-Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

Second Guessing God – Self Deception

As humans, we have fallen short, made mistakes, said something we shouldn’t have, compromised our integrity, committed a crime, Second Guessing Godhave addictions, and failed. Generally, in these circumstances, we hear ourselves saying, ‘I blew it, God will not have anything else to do with me’. People are self-righteous, and self-condemning thinking we know how God will respond to our failings. We feel God is far from us and our mistakes have created a gulf between our Savior and us. We often second guess God, however, – the Lord clearly expresses that He thinking is not like ours,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

As humans, we stumble and fall, and as Donnie McClurkin sings, ‘we fall down, and we get back up’. It did not say we get back up on our own. The truth is we are helped up by the hand of God. God does not run from us when we fall, he runs to us. If we run away, he runs after us. He has always been with us. Jesus parable stated that the sheepherder went after the one stray sheep and left the ninety-nine alone to recover the one. He did so because he wanted to save the stray, he wanted to restore it to the flock  (Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4). God works in the same way, He wants to retrieve lost, misguided people and He accomplishes this through (his earthly disciples) people. He may send someone to give you a word of knowledge, to sure you up at your lowest moment, to encourage you, to dust you off and help you recover.

God created us and knew what we would go through before we were a twinkle in our mother’s eyes before our parents were born and before the earth came to be. He knows when we will succeed and walk in our destiny, and he knows when we will fail. He knows when we are a spiritual mess. He knows when we will and will not be obedient to the Word or depend on Him. He knows we will experience hardship and wrongdoings, some brought on by ourselves and others external from our control.

God does not exempt us from hardships and tragedy. He will work with us through theseDependence3 times to allow us to learn to trust in Him. He allows adversity to mold and shape us. Like a child learning to walk, we must let them try to stand and walk on their own. They will stumble and fall, we will pick them up and steady them, and then let them go. We are there with our children and God is here with us.

Once we get this in our spirit. We can forge ahead, stay in prayer, and know ‘God’s Got Us’, no matter how bad we think we are or what we have done. We’re never alone in our trials and tribulations. It is through adversity that God gets our attention, delivers us from our pride, reveals our weaknesses and strengths, increases our hatred for sin, shows His faithfulness, strengthens our faith, removes pride and self-centeredness, prepares us for future service and enables us to comfort others facing adversity.

“Adversity helps us build our faith in Him. Adversity molds us into Christian Gods mercy3Warriors. God does not see us as we see ourselves. He sees a saint sometimes struggling, sometimes falling, but justified, redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to Him. He sees a saint full of His unconditional love, indwelt by His presence, sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He sees someone in whom adversity can never take up permanent residence”. (John Gill)

God can and does take our tragedies and turn them into a blessing. He knew Jacob was imperfect, he stole his brother’s birthright, swindled others, lied, and cheated, yet when Jacob repented, he changed his name to Israel (which means new beginnings). He takes his imperfect people; the single sheep straying away from the flock and restores us. He blesses us through our newly found obedience and dependency upon him as our Father, our Lord, and our Savior.

God does not want us wallowing in our sins, our mistakes, our poor decisions, and offenses. He knew we would commit them just as he knew Peter would commit the worse offense possible, denying Him three times and setting the crucifixion in motion.

When we fall, God doesn’t run away, He runs to us. When we make a mistake, He pursues us. God chose Peter even though he denied him three times. No matter what we have done, He calls us His children, just as many of our parents have called us, and just as we call our children. He helps us and protects us not because we are perfect and proved ourselves, He does so because of our relationship with Him. It is the relationship he gifted us through the crucifixion of his Son, Jesus Christ, who bore our sins.

When you feel unworthy, remember, He changed Jacobs name to Israel. He sought out the Woman at the well, a Samaritan, who had five husbands and was living with another man. She was the first person He told that He was the Messiah. All He wanted of her was for her to Call upon Him. He chose Thomas (the disciple that said he needed to feel the holesDoubting God Thomas in Jesus’ hand before he believed he was speaking to Jesus; he was nicknamed Doubting Thomas because of disbelief) to disciple 3,000 people in India after the death of Christ. All were sinners and sought after by Christ because He wants everyone to find salvation through Him. The Bible is replete with sinners that have found their way to Christ. Our God is a God of second chances. His mercy is bigger than any mistake we have made. All he asks is that we have a heart for Him. He wants us to love Him as He loves us. He wants us to depend on Him and be obedient to His Word.

We can call on the Lord, and He will save us in times of great need and in moments of silence. The only thing God asks of us is that we must receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins. As a child, I always thought of repentance as acts of fire and brimstone and thought ‘to fear the Lord’ was to be afraid of an angry God, which cannot be further from the truth. It made our Lord appear as distant and retaliatory. I only wish parents would explain that He is loving and forgiving. Not as words but through His actions towards us. Repentance must never be thought of as something we must do before we can come back to God. To repent means to change directions. Repentance describes what coming to God entails, that we turn away from our sins and embrace Him. We can’t turn towards God without turning from the things He is against. In this sense, to repent implies hope. We don’t have to continue the way we’ve been going, we can turn to God.

God does not judge us the way people judge us. He doesn’t label us as defective, as the masses labeled Thomas, a.k.a. Doubting Thomas. He does not set us aside. He runs after us. He finds the sheep that lost their way. He is a God of second chances. He is faithful. His mercies are new every morning. We are justified by His grace. He is our Lord and Savior who loves us and is our salvation.

Jesus died to pay our sin debt. We cannot pay a debt that does not exist. It is not only paid off, it was finished through the resurrection of Christ.

‘It is finished.’ 
John 19:30 NKJV

We cannot second-guess God. God does not label us. God does not judge us as people do. God does not alienate us when we do wrong. God is not a fire and brimstone God. God does not leave us in our sin.

God wants everyone to receive salvation. God is a God of second chances. God pursues us. God stands with us during times of adversity. God saves us. God loves us. God is our Lord and Savior.

 

Sources

Gill, John. Exposition, Acts 2:21. http://www.biblestudytools.com
Guzik, David. Study Guide for Acts:21. http://www.blueletterbible.org
Osteen, Joel. Tape #537, God Loves Imperfect People
Stanley, Stanley. Life Principle Bible. 1 Samuel, 27-30

Images-Google Images
Scriptures-BibleStudytools.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.