Psalm 25:4-5 (TLB)
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
A few years back, I ordered a Michael Kors watch for our oldest daughter. Her friend had forwarded me a website clearly from China offering these designer watches at a fraction of the cost in America. What the heck? It was worth a try, right? So I ordered the lovely rose gold watch with sparkling face. When the charge came through my bank account, I was slightly disturbed that it had like fifteen transactions to accomplish payment, but I decided to wait and see. Wait, I did. For more than two months with no contact from the company, I finally decided that it was a farce and I wanted my money back. Christmas was closing in. I needed to find something else for her. It took several emails sent during daylight hours here and responses in the early hours of morning in broken English. Finally, I received a refund. I was satisfied that I had done the right thing and the watch would have never come anyway…until about two weeks later her friend showed us her amazing authentic MK watch that did finally arrive as promised. Ugh…
Fast forward to this year, I am at it again. I have placed another order overseas, but this time doing some homework. I researched the vendor and read the reviews. I reviewed the refund and return policy in great detail almost agonizing over the purchase but sure that I had exhausted all efforts to establish trust in their ability to deliver. Once the purchase was complete, I received an email that I would soon have a tracking number. Love it. Tracking packages give us immediate gratification in the waiting time. I became a big online purchaser when our son was ill for holidays and birthdays because I didn’t have time to go shopping. The tracking number is like my guarantee that I am dealing with a reputable company. True to their word, it came a few days later. Overseas tracking works a little differently than in the states. It is not as reliable and does not show up until right before it is about to be flown overseas. I had a tracking number but I was still having trouble tracking hence a trust issue began to rise up in me. Why did I take a chance like this? Why didn’t I just buy locally? Should I ask for my money back? A few days became a week turning into two weeks and nothing, until finally a blip on the US screen by FedEx that a label had been created for the incoming package. A glimmer of hope or so I thought, until another week and a half of no activity. Oh my word, my patience were wearing thin. I want it and I want it now. Well, it’s coming today.
I wish God’s Promises came with tracking numbers so we could see the progress along the way but they don’t. All we can do is what He tells us to do and wait for His Faithfulness to finish the good work that He has begun. I struggle in this area as I find that the waiting is until the final hour just before I am ready to give up. It comes when my strength is drained. It is apparent when there is nothing left for me to do but what on the Lord. What about you today, my friend? Are you waiting on the Lord to fulfill a promise in your life? You “thought” you heard from God but now you are not so sure in the long period of silence following your epiphany? Welcome to tracking trouble which is also a trust issue. We wait for the Lord to the extent of our patience. This gives the Holy Spirit time to cultivate more in us. We follow the Lord as far as our strength will take us…ah but that is when His Grace becomes enough. Who wants to go through all that? Not everybody. Those who want all of Who Jesus is must learn to track Him properly.
Show me the right path, Lord. We all start out wanting to follow the Lord but during the course of life resistance comes. Our flesh fights us. People condemn us. A feeling of isolation overtakes many on the Highway to Holiness as others turn back. I just cannot do it. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. So good, in fact, that I must have all of Him. Lead me to truth and teach me to trust Lord. This is my heart’s desire.
Psalm 119:1-3 (TLB)
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil and they walk only in his paths.
To track something is to pursue or follow. It is to make one’s way through. It also means to observe or monitor the course of progress. The British Dictionary defines “track” as the act of following someone. I am tracking Jesus. He is not always easy to follow especially on those days that I like my way better or decide that I am going to do it my way. A friend of my posted, “When everything seems to be falling apart, it is actually falling into place.” I can testify. I have been to this extreme many, many times with the Lord. Just when I thought the world and everyone in it had lost their mind (me right along with them) and my life was falling apart, the Lord carefully, lovingly, kindly and gently has put it all back together into something more beautiful than before. I read the other day that “most of life’s great changes are preceded by chaos.” I believe it because I have lived that too. Don’t you wish we could see God moving in our life and know what He is doing? All those times that we took one step but could not see the staircase, or did we decide to take the elevator instead? To track or follow Jesus requires trust. We must believe that His Word is true, His Love is valid and His Grace is enough.
Joy comes to those who follow Jesus. People who live honest lives and strive for integrity in all things. These are the people who follow instructions. Before I ordered from the foreign company, I read their policies and all the customer reviews to make an informed choice. They were not the first company that I looked at. Why was I so concerned? Why did I spend time doing research? I paid for the item I ordered. I wonder if we would be more inclined to follow Jesus more closely, study the Word of God more and rely on His Spirit if it was our job to pay for our sin. Perhaps, we would avoid sin altogether if we paid the price of it. Just a thought… I am moving on. Joy comes in obedience. If I do everything that I am supposed to do when I order from a company, they send me what I have requested. But if I do not do what I am supposed to do, why should they? Turn it around. Joy comes to those who obey. Those who do not compromise with evil and follow the Lord. I want God’s Best. I must do it His Way. He promises those that do will experience His Joy.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (TLB)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Imitate God in everything you do. If you are having trouble following what the Lord is doing in your life, it’s time to read the instructions again. His Word is valid and true. It is living and breathing love, faith and hope into our existence each day. It encourages us and reminds us what we are after. Those who do not read the Word will lose interest right along with trust. His Spirit is in us to help us, lead us and guide us in the Truth. So we take what we have heard and use it in our life. If you are having trouble following the Lord today, it is time to move in closer. To use all the tools giving to His Children to make the journey from here to Eternity.
Our life comes with a plan that is filled with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is a life prerecorded by God. (Psalm 139:16) He has provided all that we need to live a godly or god-like life that will produce every single blessing hidden in our walk through life. (2 Peter 1:3) Just as the Lord began the good work in us, He will complete it. (Philippians 1:6) He is paying attention. He is faithfully attended to His Part. We must not give up. We must keep waiting. He is faithful. He is true. His Word will never return void for those who wait for it to come. If God’s Word is not working in your life today, there is a very good chance it is because you stop tracking or following Him somewhere along the way.
Romans 14:22-23 (TLB)
You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
God has given us an internal navigation system inside our heart and mind called the Holy Spirit. As we live this life, there are things we encounter not clearly defined in God’s Word to the finite human mind. Things overshadowed by the world or public opinion. God knows each heart and mind. He knows what is best for us and what will lead to our downfall. Although we cannot see or touch the Lord, we can feel Him in our spirit. If there are things in our life that are totally permissible but not beneficial – the Holy Spirit nudges us. It is called conviction. Our relationship with the Lord is a personal and intimate affair. What is right for me and works in our partnership, may be totally different for someone else. With this in mind, we must keep our relationship with Jesus on a personal level day by day so we can respond to His Love Language in the spirit. When the Lord gently pulls us from something perfectly permissible but not absolutely beneficial … we must be willing to let go. What does this have to do with following the Lord? Everything.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (TLB)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
I trust FedEx. I have used them over and over again to send and receive packages. I know how they operate. They have a good reputation and have given me excellent service. I must trust the Lord in my daily life with each step as I follow Him from glory to glory and victory to victory. The life that He has planned, prepared and perpetrated for me is more than I can think to ask for. When my life doesn’t look like that it is only because I am waiting on His Next Delivery. I will get a package today. I know it because I received a tracking notification from the company. I know that God’s Blessing is coming because He notified me in His Word and confirmed it by His Spirit who guarantees God’s Goodness in my life. Will I wait for it? Will I trust the Lord today? Will I seek His Will and follow His Way to have the life that He promised? God has already done just what He promised He would do. Will I follow? Tracking trouble today? Dig in His Word, seek His Spirit and get wrapped up in His Great Love … keep waiting on the Lord… the best is yet to come!
I Timothy 1:16 (TLB)
But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (TLB)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.