Posts Tagged ‘God’s direction’

A Declaration of Dependence

July 4th, 2012

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” Psalm 105:4 NIV

Dependence on God is elevating to any person, not diminishing.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a declaration of dependence.”

On this date in 1776, a Continental Congress representing the thirteen American colonies ratified a courageous document, the Declaration of Independence. Individually, I suggest we each need to declare something quite different, a humble recognition of our dependence upon God and others. Something inside everyone seeks independence, sometimes even from God. That doesn’t sound so pretty, does it? But that’s true; that is at the very root of much of our problems. That independent insistence happened early in our human history, in the Garden of Eden. See Genesis 3. You want to be on your own, to do what you want when you want and how you want. Life never works out well that way.

You can immediately see why that is a problem spiritually, and often becomes a problem relationally. Look at the home and family. Teen years can be difficult to navigate, confusing to parents and teens alike. Usually, the teen expects, sometimes demands, more independence than their life experience and developing maturity has yet prepared them to handle. Meanwhile, parents are trying to extend some increasing measure of independence, but rarely as much or as fast as the teen feels entitled. Unfortunately, a person never seems to outgrow that push for independence.

You would like to claim when and where you are independent, and choose when and where you wish to be dependent, but that’s not how life works. The one upon whom you are dependent grants independence; you cannot take it for yourself without affecting, maybe even damaging, that important relationship. Independence is not without cost; the price is your assuming greater responsibilities and sacrificing privileges.

A significant life lesson is to learn that in some measure you will always be dependent – so deal with it! See 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NKJV. In some areas of everyday life such as employment, dependence is of necessity. You cannot take a company’s pay and tell them what you will or will not do. In other areas of life you accept dependence voluntarily, such as friendships and marriage. Relationships require a willingness to become interdependent, but life without those would not be worth much.

Struggling with dependence in every day life indicates that you have not yet found the supreme joy and safety of this in your relationship with God. Dependence is a reality, and a choice you make. In everyday life, you are far more dependent than you want to admit or may realize. God’s advice is, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” Psalm 105:4 NIV.

Submitting to God’s direction and trusting His provision is the life lived most happily. You need God’s grace, strength, wisdom, mercy, direction, protection, love – and so much more – continually. There’s no need to live without it. There will never be a time when you do not need everything God has. You will never be old enough, smart enough, big enough, strong enough, rich enough, or self-sufficient enough that you do not need to, “look to the Lord and His strength; [seeking] His face always.”

You do that by experiencing a real, vital relationship with God. Look into His Word for wisdom and direction each day. Talk to God about your life – your joys and sorrows, your struggles and successes. Listen to God in the quiet of your heart and thoughts throughout the day. Invite His presence continually. Love your dependence on God; it is elevating, not diminishing. See 2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you declare your reliance upon the Lord in all times.

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Following Directions

March 30th, 2012

“O Lord, point out the right road for me to follow.” Psalm 25:4 NLT

“Keeping one’s own counsel is woefully inadequate input to your life.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “following directions.”

You soon learn that life is best lived by following directions. The question is this: whose directions will you follow? A friend was recently described as “keeping his own counsel.” As I observed my friend, I found that he was not averse to listening to others. That is a good start. But after listening, he usually seems to follow his own course. He appears to prefer following his own directions, when the option is his to choose. That can get you into trouble, and very lost along the way. Keeping one’s own counsel is woefully inadequate input to your life. “Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.” Proverbs 12:15 NLT.

I was recently in a city less familiar to me, and often requiring directions. Need I say I frequently got a bit turned around and confused? I think I try to follow directions; though I will leave that for my wife and others to judge. Here’s the problem, for me at least. I don’t always get the directions straight. Turning right instead of left takes you off course and eventually late arriving or lost altogether. Once you make a wrong turn, even if sincerely done, nothing after that works out right. I think when I fail to follow directions, it is usually because I was hearing what was said but not listening as carefully as I should.

Navigating streets where you are unfamiliar is not impossible to correct when you make a wrong turn, if you realize it. Navigating the more serious choices of your life; that’s another thing altogether! Should I take the job with more money now or the opportunity with a better future? Should I marry this person or not? Is this the right business decision or is another better for me? Should I choose this career or the other? Can I trust God in this area of my life or trust myself? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were someone to give you the right directions to follow?

The Bible has your answer, “The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 NLT/See Isaiah 58:11 NLT. The only question that remains is whether or not a person will follow God’s directions, or will choose to “keep their own counsel.” What a mistake that would be. God has given you the Bible with truth you can trust in every situation. Read Psalm 119:105 NIV. God has also given you the Holy Spirit “to guide you into all truth.” Read John 16:13-15 NLT.

The Psalmist David identified with your need, recognizing that he needed God to furnish trustworthy directions for his life. “Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my trust in You.” Psalm 25:4-5 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you follow the directions of God and His Word

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