Thursday, December 21, 2006

One Step at a Time

Passage of Scripture: Psalm 119:105

(105) "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Have you ever wondered what God has planned for your life? Sometimes I think it would be wonderful if only I knew what God had planned for me during the course of my life. But God in His wisdom knows that if He revealed His great plan for my life, I in my spiritual maturity (or lack of) probably would not want to go where God has planned. If God showed me His plan for my life I might find myself saying things like... "God you have the wrong man." Or maybe, "God you know that's not my personality." Or maybe I'd say, "Lord, I'm just not willing to make that kind of sacrifice right now."
I've learned that God doesn't show us the whole road map of our lives, He only reveals the next turn or bend in the road. If we will simply ask God to reveal His will, to reveal what it is that He wants us to do, He will give us the guidance and direction we need.

Psalm 37:23,24 helps us to understand how God helps us to see His way and how He holds us up as we walk with Him daily.

(23) The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps he has made firm; (24) though he stumble, he will not fall for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Recently my wife had surgery on her neck. She was admitted to the hospital in the morning then released later that afternoon upon completion and recovery from the surgery. Even though it was time to go home, she was still extremely weak. She was very sore and also very groggy from the affects of the anesthesia. As I walked her to the car I held onto her firmly and kept her close. I guided her along as she walked and even told her where to step because I didn't want her to fall in her moment of weakness. This is the same picture that we need to understand we have with Christ. God promises to never let us go. If we truly want to do God's will he will be there holding us close to His side, assisting us and holding us up as we walk with Him. I find it very interesting that the verse doesn't say, "If we stumble," but rather, "When we stumble." It's going to happen in our life! We're going to stumble and trip over the challenges of our life, but the promise from God is that you are not alone, and better yet, He is your support. Just like there was no way I was going to let my wife fall as we walked to the car, so it is with Christ in our life. We may struggle, but we will never fall from His grasp.

We need to let God be the one to direct our next step or as scripture says, "Makes our steps firm." God also promises that His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. In ancient bible days the traveler that walked at night would carry with him an oil lamp. He'd swing this oil lamp in front of him as he walked and the lamp would light his feet and the path in front of him just enough to see the next step. This lamp gave off just enough light to see the rocks, ruts, and other dangers in the road so they could be avoided as he walked.
So many of us Christians want to see farther than the next step. We want God to illuminate the "Big Picture" so we can see what's coming. But God wants us to trust Him. God know the whole plan, but He wants you to see the next step, and He reveals His plan one step at a time. As we grow and mature we are shaped and prepared by God to handle and do more for His Kingdom.
Imagine for a minute that you are driving your car at night and you have your headlights on. Do your headlights light up the road for miles and miles ahead? No, they only light up the next turn. We're not really concerned with the road 10-15 miles away are we? The immediate concern is for what's right in front of us, the next step. Image if you stopped the car in the middle of the road, left your lights on and got out of the car. You run ahead of the parked car as far as you can. Eventually you will run past the distance that the headlights shine and light up the road. Where are you now? Well you're in the dark! This is what happens to us as Christians when we get ahead or fail to see the next step that God has planned for us.

So, how do we know where to step next? His Word! Psalm 119:105 is the key. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Are you in God's will right now? Do you know that God is establishing your next step and are you obedient to go His way, rather than yours? If you're not sure, then the answer is found in His word (the bible). Read it, meditate on it. How can we even expect to know God's next step for us if we don't ask what it is? Read His word and then ask God where to step next. After all, it's His plan. Put your trust in the One that knows the way. Jesus!

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please keep me in Your will. Give me the time and the discipline I need to study Your word daily so I can walk and take the next step of Your plan for me. Amen.

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