March 7, 2014
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“Lord turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are multiplied; bring me out of my distresses. Behold my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins of thinking and doing...O keep me, Lord, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed or disappointed, for my trust and my refuge are in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect You.”
Psalm 25:16-18, 20
“Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.”
J. S. B. Monsell
Today’s Study Text:
“That you may do wisely and prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
1 Kings 2:3
“Words of Blessing – Our Guide Knows the Way”
“I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide.”
What does it mean to me personally to read the prophet Isaiah’s words from God, “And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left?”
Do I believe I am following God’s direction in my life today?
“All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, what-e-’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”
(Became blind at the age of 6 weeks.)
The hymn above is a written testimony to the life of Fanny Crosby. However, as Robert J. Morgan so touchingly writes in Then Sings My Soul, this particular hymn, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” was penned in 1874. One day when Fanny didn’t have enough money to pay her rent, she “committed the matter to God in prayer.” Later that same day, a total stranger came to her door and “pressed a ten-dollar bill in her hand before disappearing.” This was the exact amount of money Fanny needed, and later that evening, she penned the words to the beautiful hymn “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”
“But He (God) knows the way that I take (He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it.)
Through my work over the years, helping non-profit organizations around the world raise the funds needed to further the work of tremendously worthy projects, I’ve had to travel thousands of miles. Many of these miles were in a car to a destination I had never been to before.
When I first began this work of being “on the road,” office staff would usually call ahead and get the directions to the client’s office. Well, it didn’t take me long to figure out that very frequently, having the route from our office to a client’s headquarters passed from one person to another and then on to me, increased the potential for something to get lost or confused in the translation of the information. Often a client would tell my co-worker that they “knew” a short-cut that would save me time. Oh my, some of those time-saving jaunts became the longest trips I had ever made. The direct route would have been much more convenient and sometimes much safer.
As we continue to find out what blessings God promised He would pour out on Solomon when he followed the way God had laid out for him, we find that not only did Solomon receive heavenly wisdom and prudent knowledge and understanding, what the Bible calls a prosperous life, but added to these virtues was the fact that God promised to be with Solomon wherever he turned. This to me is a tremendous promise, especially since so much of my life, I haven’t really known where I was headed, or where my Father in heaven was taking me. You may have found yourself in the same situation, putting one foot in front of the other, yet not knowing precisely where you would end up.
We find that Solomon must have been paying close attention to his father David when he told his son in 1 Kings 2: 3 that he should “keep an eye out for the signposts.” What an extraordinary advantage you and I have on our journey through life, knowing that all along the way, our Father’s markers are like heavenly signs, pointing us in the perfect direction -- in the way that our Father has designed to most effectively use our talents and abilities. We find that years after David’s talk with his son, Solomon left us this divine wisdom in Proverbs 4:25-27: “Let your eyes look right on (with fixed purpose), and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil” (Amplified Bible). Just so we won’t think we are responsible for the directions, the prophet Isaiah reminds us: “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, N.I. V.).
I can’t honestly say I’ve heard a voice from heaven saying directly to me, “Turn left here and at the next stoplight, turn right.” But I can tell you that there have been a number of times when an impression or thought has come into my mind so forcefully, that until I acted and moved in the specific direction I was impressed to go, I could not think about or literally do anything else. Just two weeks ago, I was in a deep quandary about a certain decision. Frankly, I had no idea what my next move should be. Then all of a sudden, sitting in an office, one day, a calmness came over me and with a clear vision, I knew what the answer to my question was. After two phone calls, later that afternoon, my private decision, which I hadn’t shared with another person on earth, was doubly confirmed. God just waited until the moment I was willing to walk in His way and do His will.
I recently found this thought, unidentified by an author, but extremely encouraging to you and me:
“When we are in doubt or difficulty, when many voices urge this course or the other, then let us be still, hushing each intruder, calming ourselves in the sacred hush of God’s presence; let us study His Word in the attitude of devout attention; let us lift up our nature into the pure light of His face, eager only to know what God the Lord shall determine – and ere long a very distinct impression will be made, the unmistakable forthtelling of His secret counsel…Are you in difficulty about your way? Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.
If you will only get alone, where the lights and shadows of earth cannot interfere, where human opinions fail to reach – and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, though all around you insist on immediate decision or action – the will of God will be made clear; and you will have a new conception of God, a deeper insight into His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone.”
What blessings are ours when we walk in God’s way, for as Moses told God’s children: “Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee.” And what a wondrous remembrance it will be!
“Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant, cause me to hear, cause me to know; teach me to do; lead me.”
(1781 – 1812)
“O Lord, this is our desire, to walk along the path of life that you have appointed us, in steadfastness of faith, in lowliness of heart, in gentleness of love. Let not the cares or duties of this life press on us too heavily; but lighten our burdens, that we may follow Your way in quietness, filled with thankfulness for Your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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