Direction

3d set vector arrows. Design elements.

While embroiled in an important decision over the last few days, my mind wandered to “wouldn’t it be nice if we each had our own little fairy to whisper the right choice in our ear when we deliberate the pros and cons of an issue?” I consider myself a decision maker, but there are times I wish I had a ready expert to make the decision for me. Sometimes, the answer really is just that simple—hire an expert!

We are such complex beings, and whether male or female, most of the time, we would rather do things our way. Stubborn may be too harsh a word, but we do have our opinions. When we need some direction, however, we usually stew a little until the answer becomes clear, whether through an epiphany, laborious research or through that expert I mentioned earlier.

Even experts need experts, since none of us knows it all … which brings us to the point of this precept called direction. What seems more manageable to you: 100 experts for 100 different problems or one expert for all problems? I think most would agree that the logistics alone for involving 100 experts would become hard to handle. Conversely, what about the ability to call on One Expert for all our needs, both the practical and the spiritual?

Cross This Way             PROVERBS 3:4-6 (TLB) advises             

“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”

One might argue that to never trust ones’ self shows a lack of confidence, and after all, aren’t we supposed to be confident as Christians? Well, yes, that is exactly the point of the advice. Since we human beings are not infallible, our judgment is going to fail from time to time. However, if we use our Infinitely Infallible God to direct our path, our efforts are going to be “crowned with success.” That’s the kind of Christian confidence I highly recommend.

It takes a great deal of faith to give it all to God, to let Him guide you to the right choice for a school, a business decision or even a piece of furniture. It does not matter what you question. He knows it all and He owns it all. When I remember to quit stewing and get praying, it is amazing how quickly the answer comes … and without fail I ask myself, “now, why didn’t I do that sooner?”

Let us strive to seek God’s direction more, so that we can become like the psalmist:

“I will bless the Lord who counsels me; he gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do.” Psalm 16:7 (TLB)

Trust

Elephant on Rope        T  R  U  S  T  .  .  .

How many people do you have in your life in whom you have complete trust? Equally important, how many have assured reliance upon you? It is daunting to think about the small number of people we each have in our lives in whom we can place utter and unfailing trust.

When I was young, my parents were my fail-safes. I never doubted their ability to meet all my needs and to love me unconditionally. And I was right, even during tough financial times and moments of marital discord, neither of which I was aware until many years passed. They made me feel safe and secure. It wasn’t until I became a teen that I realized life was not perfect, and some things were just beyond their ability to fix for me.

My Heavenly Father then stepped in to see me through the challenges of being a little insecure and a lot naïve. As I went off to college, He became more and more important to me. It was then I asked Him to be Lord of my life. This was not an emotional decision at a BSU rally; rather, a compelling need to know He was with me in every facet of my life. That kind of trust can only be experienced with the One and Only Jesus who loved me enough to die for me.

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV) is the best known verse on trust: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” This verse needs no explanation as it speaks the truth so plainly. But why then do we have such a difficult time following its command? Do we enjoy the pain we inflict upon ourselves when we go our own way?

There is no more beautiful promise and translation than the King James Version of Isaiah 26:3: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.” So, perfect peace comes when we trust in the Lord completely. This kind of ability to trust completely in the Lord comes from the Lord—making the Lord both the object of our trust as well as the power by which we trust.

Just as an athlete repeats the same exercises over and over, day after day, we too must practice this exercise of putting our complete trust in the Lord. Then, when the next trial comes and the evil one tries to steal our peace, we will be able with the Lord’s help to keep our mind on Him, trusting Him with every detail … resting in His Peace.

Sing with me this old hymn: “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word.”