Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 4, 2016
So David inquired of the LORD, and He answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees.” 2 Samuel 5:23
God’s will is not always a straight line and often, it requires deviation in direction. It may feel like three steps forward and two steps back. Following Jesus may seem like you tracked down a path that was not a part of His plan.
However, His plan is an adventure that cannot be confined to “point A to point B” thinking. God is so much more creative than to give us a predictable path that we can control. His will keeps us trusting and praying. It keeps us looking to the Lord for direction and discernment. This is why we get confused at times. We strike out in one direction, and then feel led to move in a different direction. Sometimes He leads us down an entirely different path than where we started. The adventurous part of us likes this, while our cautious and security-seeking part grows fearful. Depending on your temperament, you can either become unfocused because you thrive on adventure or you can become afraid because you like things in their place.
So what is God up to? How do we harness the Spirit of the Almighty to lead us into His great adventure? It is imperative that we listen intently to the Lord. We are compelled to follow Christ, thus we desperately need His marching orders.
But the noise of life can easily drown out the Lord’s tender call. His voice will not compete with cluttered living that gets in the way of listening. His voice is pure and plain, and He longs for our undivided attention. He wants us to turn down the racket of modern day conveniences, and come to Him. When we’re stuck in one of life’s traffic jams, and the voice of the Lord is drowned out by the noise around us, He’s right there with us—inviting us to listen.
He knows you can’t handle His entire plan at once, so go with what He gives you. He doesn’t bless a perfect plan; He blesses obedience and trust. Go with what you know today, and trust Him with what you don’t know about tomorrow. God’s work is in the here and now. Reality is where you passionately pursue Him. So don’t be shy to go where God says to go, even when it doesn’t make sense. He is positioning you for success.
Lastly, do not be afraid to engage the enemy as you follow Christ, but confront him in prayer. Fight the unseen forces of evil by faith. The devil will try to distract you from following God’s will. He will tempt you with the allure of wealth, women (or men), and wine. Do not become sidetracked by Satan. Put on the full armor of God. Lean into the Lord, and listen to His trustworthy voice. Dismiss the sultry voice of self-deception. The enemy is the great imposter. He disguises his voice to sound like God’s. Indeed, be so in tune with the voice of Jesus that a counterfeit sounds like a shrill fire alarm you want to avoid.
Above all else, follow the Almighty even when it seems like you are going in a big circle. Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I trust You to lead me on the path that draws me closer to Christ.
ApplicationIn what area of my life do I need to stop striving and rest in the new route of God’s will?
Related ReadingToday’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.
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