I Declare: The Lord is A Light Unto My Path
If you missed last weeks’ reflective post, this is a continuation of my journey with the Lord this year and to show you my “journal”, so to speak. It is not my usual blog post, but I felt to share this journey so that you, my reader, can see how the Lord has guided me and HOW the Lord will light YOUR path.
One of the most challenging things in a believer’s life is recognising when a season of your life is ending and you are entering into a new season. 2020 Was a year of immense change for so many people, both good and bad. It was a ‘watershed’ year for me as one friend phrased it, and it ushered in many changes into my life, which have suitably rattled me. As a result, I needed to work through some old issues that the Lord had previously dealt with in my life—also needing to learn to surrender the outcome of my life to the Lord’s control.
But when God takes us through a season change, it is always with the purpose of greater productivity.
As I was spiritually standing still (See: “Stand Firm”) and waiting on the Lord for direction in this new season of my life, visiting some bible studies and concepts that were life-changing for me in the last five years. One of these studies was on the idea of service and what the Bible describes it as, what I call being a useful little vessel for the Lord.
In service to God – we are a people who belong to an eternal Kingdom (a royal Priesthood 1 Peter 2:9). As people belonging to this heavenly Kingdom, we serve the King. Our allegiance is to Him, which is why we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We serve His purposes here on earth as “ambassadors” (2 Cor 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”)
As I worked through old lessons, the Lord impressed upon me the importance of listening and responding to the Holy Spirit during a period of change. He is the One who would show me what to say, what action to take and how to transition from where I was to where I am headed. From the Spirit would come discernment, understanding and wisdom. God would speak to me and lead me into the next God-ordained season of my life, and even though it was difficult, God would open a new door for me, and the next season of my life would be even more productive than the previous one. It was important for me to grasp this in my heart since the fear of the unknown and the temptation to give in to the status quo was huge.
Standing, waiting for instructions from the Lord, was also taking longer than I expected. In my quiet time, I was warned that it was easy to become bored with the wait. Slowly the mind becomes occupied with what has happened before. (See: “Do Not Look Back”) The old roads you used to travel, the old people you used to hang out with, the old things you used to do. Without realising it, it is almost natural to migrate back to the old things… To turn your head and focus on how things used to be and do.
Here, the Lord confronted me with a question, if God asks me to leave everything I have now, and move into a new land, with new people, new things etc., would I move on? On the other hand, if He ensured me that this new “Land” would be good for me, would I dawdle and look back to what I had before?
I cannot look back; I can only look forward. Looking back would only leave me with a pillar of salt.
God promised that He was putting resources, sustenance and provision into the “Land” I am moving into. We cannot begin to imagine the good plans that God has prepared for us in the future, but we will see it if we would only believe and trust His heart. (Psalm 27:13)
Nevertheless, life, circumstances, and an unknown future overwhelmed me, and it is time for me to re-train myself again in the Sovereignty of God (See “My Steps are Watched.”). We all do life one day at a time, and very often, the circumstances can be unpredictable and scary. When one is in a season of waiting (or “Standing Firm”), the unknown future can weigh heavily on your mind and heart (“Getting My Head Around Change”).
In times like this, it is easy to ask, “Where is God?” and “Why is He not telling me what is going on and what to do?” I identify with Job, who said in Job 23:3-5
“If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to His dwelling! I would state my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what He would answer me and consider what He would say.”
But then, in the midst of all this frustration, Job says a fantastic thing:
“For He knows the way that I take….”
There is a comfort in knowing that God knows where I am in the path of life right now. This comfort is echoed in Psalm 142:3, where David was feeling isolated, fearful and depressed:
“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is YOU who know my way.”
And so, to address what was going on in my heart, the Lord reminded me to enter into prayer (See: “Send a Prayer” ). For us as a couple, it became clear that unless we trust in the unseen God who hears our prayers, we will never send our prayers to Him. Instead, the prayers hang around in our hearts (the Draft box), never actually praying (the Sent box), and did not accomplish anything.
Genuine faith hands over the prayer to God and lets Him work.
The only reason we would have not to send the prayer, is if we 1) doubt the address: God the Father Almighty. Or 2) question the contents (whether He will actually answer our request). So instead, they circulate in the Draft box of our heart in the form of worry, anxiety, concern, fear, depression etc.
No work can happen on God’s part until we commit it to Him in faith.
Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord: trust in Him and He will do this…”
Jesus did everything in the power of the Holy Spirit, not His own power.
We regularly see Jesus withdrawing to pray in the gospels: to a mountainside, to a quiet place, to a solitary place, early in the morning, late at night, through the night etc. Jesus continually prayed about everything He was involved with. If Jesus, in His human form, felt the need to pray about everything, why am I not praying?
(See: “Pray About Everything”) It was a reminder to pray that I sorely needed at that stage, and I confidently entered into the Lords’ presence, knowing that I could. (Heb 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”)
Then when Jesus prayed, the Holy Spirit helped Him: He healed, He taught, He drove out demons, He even went to the cross with the Holy Spirit’s help. When Jesus prayed, the power of the Holy Spirit was released in His life. Jesus understood that He could do nothing without the Spirits help , and to access the Spirits help in everything, Jesus prayed. About everything. I was to…
Pray about everything.
If God shows you to do something different, obey Him and expect God to show up in His power. Then, spend more time in prayer, take the time to talk to Him about everything and wait to see where He leads you. I don’t know about you, but I want to see God move in my life. I want to see Him touch my life and the lives of people around me to bring about healing, restoration, victory, joy and deliverance. I don’t want to rely on my own abilities and strengths to fulfil my purpose because I know that I am not up to the task. But in reliance on the Holy Spirit, I can see the impossible happen in my life.
When we face a season with many changes and many decisions to take, we often take the prayer out of the decision-making process and fly by the seat of our pants or trust our gut. Neither has worked well for me! We also, at times, look at the results of our decision making and wonder where we went wrong. My personal rule when I need an answer is to go to the Word of God first. Looking at scripture, there are many examples of men and women who made the right decisions in difficult circumstances, and they all seem to have one common characteristic –
No decision made, without prayer!
(See: “No Decision Without Prayer) When you have spent the time praying through your decision making, you can move forward with confidence, pray with confidence, step out in faith with confidence, all the while enjoying peace of mind because you know it is right way to go.
I don’t like change, so having the Lord as part of our decision-making process goes a long way in helping me deal with the associated anxiety that comes with change. So often, the next step is not clear for us. Often we think or have a feeling of what to do next, but from our past experience, we don’t trust our feelings, so we are not sure what to do.
God would not want us to make decisions based on feelings but wants us to have all the guidance and facts to be confident in our decisions.
It is an important point to remember: Often, we act when we have a feeling on a matter, instead of waiting for confirmation of God’s mind on the matter and only then acting.
Don’t decide in your heart what you will or will not do without waiting for God to make things clear and confirm it. (See: “Mind On The Matter”). Be sure of the way. Get HIS MIND ON THE MATTER. As long as the path is not clear, there is no call to action. God holds Himself accountable for all the results of keeping you exactly where you are. I don’t know where I found this, but I wrote this in my journal:
Wherever God’s finger points, His hands will clear the way.
In ways we do not always anticipate, God will lead the way.
In a world of media, noise and things that compete for our attention, hearing God’s voice at any time is difficult enough. (See: “Discerning the Voice of God”) As I have shared before, I believe that God is always speaking to us, we sometimes are just not listening. Although it is important to position yourself to hear from God, the question still is: how in challenging times, like those we are facing now or in seasons of change, do you discern what is really the voice of God?
The problem with difficult circumstances, pain, trials, much like what we are experiencing now, is that we despise them and look for quick relief or comfort, failing to listen for His voice and guidance through scripture in difficult times. The reminder is that:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17)
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)
And even then, some days are just dark. It is a night season, where it feels dark, and there is no light now, but “God works in the dark.” That was the reminder I wrote in my journal to remind myself that God is always working even if I don’t see it. (See: God Works Through the Night)
Just as physically, a night season is when we are in the dark, a time that limits our sensory distractions; it lowers human interaction, it is a time of quiet and rest and allows our fears to come to the surface. So too, emotionally and spiritually, we have night seasons. These are when we feel that we are in unknown territory, battling enemies we cannot see, unsure about our way forward and fearful of what the morning will bring.
God works through the night is the word I needed.
The Israelite’s have moved out of Egypt, and Pharaoh is pursuing them. They are stuck at the edge of the Red sea, they are fearful, and they don’t know what to do next. Then God tells Moses to extend his staff over the sea. (Exodus 14:21)
“…and all that night, the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.“
God would work in my night. I believe in a night seed because God never ignores a seed planted in faith. So often, I will have a problem that I don’t have an answer for or don’t know what to do next. So I plant a seed of prayer at bedtime in these situations, laying it before the Lord in faith. Then I go to bed and allow God to work all through the night.
In prayer, waiting before the Lord and learning to trust His heart with my future, He has put a light on my path. There has been progressing in my heart towards change. There has been progressing in my mind towards change. And yet, when I look, nothing has changed yet, but the Lord is preparing me for the big changes I anticipate.
But now they hold possibility, instead of the fear I had before.
I hope this reflection is helping you, my dear reader. I so appreciate the feedback sent and hope that all the change you are experiencing is a little less daunting. I will continue this conversation next week but feel a need to end here.
Father God, thank you that You walk with us through the path of life. Not only do You walk with us each day, helping us cope with each day, but You also prepare our hearts and minds for the future. Everything is in Your Control; You know the path we take, and Your love and goodness ensure that everything is prepared and provided for in Your precious timing. Help us be patient with Your timing and trust in Your sovereign control in knowing what is best. I declare that YOU light my path for me and show me the way I should go.
Previous Post: The Lord Will Be Your Lamp