Similar to yesterday’s blog entry, today’s post is based on the Quote of the Day for January 28, 2017:
“We must learn to order our lives by the Word of the Lord.”
Although believers too often seek to take charge of their own lives and direct their own steps, Jeremiah 10:23 reminds us:
23 O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
The New Living Translation puts it this way:
I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.
We are not able to plan our own course.
In contrast, the Psalmist declares, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
I recall that one of the first scriptures that I committed to memory comes from Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV):
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 20:24 (AMP) goes on to say:
Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the Lord. How then can a man [fully] understand his way?
Despite our earnest intentions and best efforts to follow our own blueprints that we have designed for our lives, we find ourselves in perplexing, painfully distressing situations where we have absolutely no desire to be.
During such times, we ask ourselves, “Why am I here? How did I get here? God, what are you doing? What are you trying to teach me?” We recognize that God does everything on purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Romans 8:28). Pastor Rick Warren provided a teaching series entitled “God’s Purpose behind Your Problems.” He mentioned that God is directly involved in every situation of our lives, and He is endeavoring to do one or more of a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.”
I took those five verbs and put them into a request, a petition, a personal prayer to God. God becomes the initiator of the action, and I become the object of his action. In developing my own teaching series, I examine each of the verbs with examples from the Old Testament and New Testament, as I offer my “Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me—Inspect Me—Correct Me—Protect Me—Perfect Me.” I close each teaching with a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb. Here is the first of the series: “A Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me”:
Generally speaking, “Direct” means to lead or to guide straight, as toward an object. In the Old Testament the verb is used in this sense: to lead, guide gently, softly and with care, as a shepherd guides his flock; to lead or to guide; most frequently of God who leads men.
Two verses from the New Testament are part of benedictions that close out Thessalonians:
I Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
2 Thessalonians 3:5:
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
The Quote of the Day is personalized with this psalm rendered as a prayer:
Prepare the way, straighten my path, order my steps,
Shine your light upon me that I may not stumble,
That I may not walk in the light of my own sparks,
But illumine my way with the lamp of your Word.
Lord, direct my heart into the love of God
And into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.
Raise me up in righteousness and direct all my ways.
We conclude today’s post with one of my all-time favorite gospel songs related to this desire for God to guide and direct us: “Order My Steps in Your Word”: