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.”
“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
“He Knows the Way I Take”
“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.
In recent weeks, so many of you have written to me and told me how perplexing your path seems right now. Let me just say, “I hear you!” A “For Sale” sign has been in front of our home for 1-½ years. Without talking to each other, Jim and I have both been praying about God’s leading and after months of prayer, we both felt impressed that God wanted us to put everything on the line for Him so that we could dedicate our lives fully to the work at Transformation Garden. A dear friend asked me several days ago, where will you live when your house sells? My answer, “I have no idea!” This is a first for Dorothy the “control freak” who wants her life well-planned, with as few surprises as possible. But here I am, having to see a “For Sale” sign every time I leave the garage for a long 18 months. Frankly, Jim and I are finding this adventure with God to be more difficult as the months have gone on and on. We’ve lowered the price three times. Decluttered the house and done everything else the realtors demanded.
Normally, we would be out looking at potential places to live, frantic that the future appears so foggy and even dark and frankly, at this point in time – life is scary. But here’s the thing, when we’ve tried to line up all the pins in a row in the past, inevitably, our plans don’t ever work out as we thought they would. Often it has been at the point of desperate frustration, when we’ve thrown our hands up in the air that our Father steps in and says, “Thanks for taking your hands off the wheel, I’ll take over now. “ And guess what, things always improve for He does “know the way that you and I take.”
When the young King Solomon was placed on the throne of Israel, he had big shoes to fill and an even bigger task to complete – building a house of worship to Jehovah. Thankfully, rather than arrogantly saying, “I can handle this job on my own,” Solomon went to God in prayer. And God promised He would pour out on Solomon the immense blessings of knowledge and wisdom as well as untold prosperity. And further, God promised to be with Solomon wherever he turned.
This to me is a tremendous promise, especially because at this point in my life, I really don’t know where I’m headed or where my Father in heaven is 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 will 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 in my life 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. Selling our home has been one of those impressions. Frankly, I thought that all the packing would take Jim and me down. But that didn’t happen. God gave us all the strength we needed and a dear young man, 21-years old, named Zumo who was such a blessing to us!
I recently found this thought, by an unidentified author. I find these words 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.”
“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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