One Step at a Time on the Path of Obedience
Someone told me years ago that if you want to hear God more clearly and more often, think back to the last thing He told you to do and Do it! God tends to lead us one step at a time, not one mile at a time. Rarely does he reveal to us what the entire journey will look like or where it may lead. That is what makes our walk with God a walk of faith. We simply do not know what is around the bend, where we cannot see. However, He does promise that he will lead us and guide us.
In John 10:16 we are told that we are His sheep and His sheep hear his voice.
In Psalm 23 in the amplified says:
The Lord is my shepherd (to feed, guide, and shield me). I shall not lack!
He makes me lie down in (fresh, tender) green pastures; He leads me beside still and restful waters, He refreshes and restores my life (my self);He leads me in the paths of righteousness (uprightness and right standing with Him) for His names sake. Yes though I walk through the (deep, sunless ) confusing-dark-valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me.
Here we are promised that regardless of our present circumstances, even if the valley we may be in seems dark and confusing He promises to lead us. But we must listen. Jesus is our example. In John 18:28b He says; “ I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say (exactly) what My father has taught me.”
Then in John 18:47 “ Whoever is of God listens to God”.
In Isaiah 41:1 “ If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land”.
Do you see the thread? He leads us and speaks to us and if we walk and talk with Him we will not lack, we will enjoy green pastures and restful waters and eat the good of the land. The land we call home. Even when we can’t see, He promises to speak, guide and protect.
Our job is not to fear. Trust God. Ask Him for what we need and then listen as to his direction.
Fear not (there is nothing to fear), for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My (victorious) right had of rightness and justice.
13: Fear not I will help you!
We have just spent Easter week in Bend with our son Jon and his family. We sense the time may be coming for a move so we have been poking around Bend, asking the Lord if this is the next spot. Our eyes are surveying the land and our ears attentive to His whisper. We have not heard yet. Our desire is to be nearer at least one of our children but our greater desire is to be where God leads. Its quiet, no neon signs, no rushing wind….Yet we know that God knows our hearts and loves to bless us so for now we are trusting. It is a valley of sorts, the mountain top for me is seeing a clear path, knowing where I am going. Yet I am reminded that our journey is one of faith not sight.
Our heavenly father knows exactly what He is doing. We have studied His names, studied His character. He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider, Jehovah Rophe, our healer, Jehovah Nissi, our banner, He is our strength and our protection.God has always led us to safe pastures and He will continue to guide us.
The normal Christian Life is a life controlled and sustained by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 “ But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder for those who earnestly and diligently seek Him.
In Hebrews 11:8 we see such an example of God rewarding obedience.
“ Urged on by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.”
I love this, he did not know or trouble his mind. He did not know what was around the next bend but he went anyway. I need to memorize this, I have spent way to much time troubling my mind as to what on earth God is doing when He tells me to do something I don’t understand……
When God tells Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice he obeyed, knowing that Issac was promised and if need be, God would raise him from the dead.
What does the “normal Christian life” look like? It looks like a life of being confident of the one who promises to care, protect, lead and speak to us. It is not a life whose actions are motivated by fear. It is not a life molded by the expectations of others or to the culture one lives in. Rather it looks like a life where we expect God to speak. We diligently and earnestly seek to hear him and then we obey what He tells us to do, even if a step may not make sense.
I am challenging you to ask God for the next step He wants you to take, then step out in obedience and watch Him keep talking and leading and you will soon be eating the good of the land!
That is my expectation and I pray it will be yours.