September 14, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor P31 Woman, Speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries, email@example.com
"... and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." Isaiah 25:10 (NIV)
My friend Karen told me she is directionally challenged. For years, finding a new address often resulted in wrong turns, late arrivals and frustration.
That all changed when her husband bought the newest technology for her car - a global positioning satellite system. To work it, Karen types in the address of her destination and this handy gadget guides her with a map on a computer console, and computer voice alerting her of impending turns.
One day, Karen decided to test this smart system. She wondered, "What would happen if I disobeyed the computer, and didn't turn left when I was supposed to." I can imagine the mischievous grin on her face as my friend tried to outsmart technology. So the next time the automated voice said, "Turn left in 1/4 mile," Karen went straight.
Instead of discombobulating the software, this intelligent system repositioned itself and gave her revised directions from her new location. No matter how many wrong turns Karen made, whether on accident or on purpose, the GPS would find a way to get her back on the right path.
God is like that with us, too. Sometimes we turn away from God's will for our lives. It doesn't really matter if these turns are intentional or accidental. In addition, it doesn't matter how far we are from the right path. God has a plan to redirect every woman back to Him.
Turning from God's will for our life always involves choosing something that pleases us, more than it pleases God. We find ourselves choosing the easy way over the best way, comfort over obedience, and self over others.
God has a plan for you that begins with aligning your will to His. We can start learning God's will for our lives by reading the Bible. God has revealed much about His plan for His creation throughout the words of Scripture. Then, we learn God's will by asking for wisdom.
No matter how far away you are. No matter how many times you've turned from God. No matter what you've done when you've made those wrong turns, God wants you back.
The road back to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father is short. All it takes is a heart that longs for forgiveness and God redirects you back into fellowship with Him, and back on the path that He has planned for you. Unlike technology, God's GPS never fails. Trust Him today and turn back toward home.
My prayer for today:
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your awesome power and love. I confess that I have turned from you in different areas of my life. I admit that at times I have chosen my own comfort over your will for me. Thank you for making a way back into fellowship with you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Identify areas of your life where you have knowingly made wrong turns and chosen to please yourself more than God. Confess any sin associated with these wrong turns. Decide today to walk in God's will for your life instead of your own.
Identify a time in your life, or a situation, where you made a choice to disobey God.
What were some of the negative consequences of your wrong choice?
How does God call us back into a right relationship with Him?
What are some of the benefits of choosing God's way over your own way?
Identify one blessing God has brought into your life because of your obedience?
"... but if you return to me and obey My commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name." Nehemiah 1:9 (NIV)
"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in the Way ..." Isaiah 35:8 (NIV)
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103: 8, 11 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.'" Lamentations 3:21-24 (NAS)
P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Tuesday, 14 September 2004.