As Christians we are led by God’s hand from here to there at times as he gently moves us to another place in our life. When he is gently moving us we, as trusting souls, keep moving forward as he places us in another location for doing what he wants with us. It is called the “will of God.” God also puts us in a position to listen to Him and follow His direction many times as He fine tunes our options to direct in the way we should go. Sometimes our wants and desires can come across as looking pretty dumb when we try to revolt against the direction God is taking us. But our fear of God should kick in and cause us not to “buck” against His will, but follow it completely. When we learn to fear God to that point, we start to show we have some knowledge of who God is and what He wants. This narrowing of purpose, God’s Will, is a part of a perfect plan God has for our life. That plan’s defining moment is when our knowledge of God kicks in and we step in the footsteps He has laid out before us. There is a poem entitled Footprints in the Sand that speaks to this very thing.
One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”
So as the scripture I quoted at the beginning of this blog says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That fear sparks a Holy Spirit led lifestyle that seeks God and His ways, and God is faithful to direct us in the direction He wants us to go and sometimes He carries us there through trials and testing. The scripture goes on to alert us to the fact that we are fools when we don’t follow His ways.
On one of my cattle drives I was herding a bunch of mothers with new calves. One calf was so young and weak that it couldn’t go any further and it just laid down. At that point I picked the calf up in my arms and carried it through the lane to the new pen where it’s mother was waiting for it. When I got it there it’s mother ran over to make sure the calf was not hurt and helped it continue on. There may be times in your Christian journey when you feel like you cannot go any further and you just want to quit. God will pick you up and help you make it to the next place of growth in your life and make sure you are ok and strengthened. The Psalmist says in Psalm 68:35 “You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!” God is our strength and our song and He not only directs us, but picks us up when we cannot go on our own strength. If that is knowledge, I want all I can get!! In my heart I need to fear God and follow His plan and trust His ways are higher than my ways and let Him direct my path to that new place He has for me. If I will learn to follow God’s ways my life will be solid and secure. In Matthew 7:24 Jesus said it like this “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Don’t be foolish. God’s ways are the best ways and it is time to let Him guide you into a deeper walk with Him. Learn to fear God and let Him guide you into the way of everlasting. I love the story told by Elizabeth Elliot, wife of Jim Elliot, the missionary who was killed by the Auca indians while trying to share the gospel with them.
Elizabeth Elliot tells of two adventurers who stopped by to see her, all loaded with equipment for the rain forest east of the Andes. They sought no advice, just a few phrases to converse with the Indians. She writes: “Sometimes we come to God as the two adventurers came to me — confident and, we think, well-informed and well equipped. But has it occurred to us that with all our accumulation of stuff, something is missing?
She suggests that we often ask God for too little. We know what we need–a yes or no answer, please, to a simple question. Or perhaps a road sign. Something quick and easy to point the way. What we really ought to have is the Guide himself. Maps, road signs, a few useful phrases are things, but infinitely better is someone who has been there before and knows the way.
God knows the way. Let Him be your guide to get there.
The Pilgrimage continues… David Warren