Proverbs 20:24 (ESV) A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?
The struggle in life to understand the sovereignty of God. To know that each one of our steps is from the Lord even in the darkest night or lowest valley. How does it all work together? When will it all come together? Or will it? I have recently embarked on a healthier lifestyle at the direction of my physician. Through diet and exercise disciplining my body to operate and function as it was created to do. The dietary changes are always hard unless one hermits in the house surrounded by only good choices. Also secured a new gym membership, the first time back at it in almost three years, my body is not amused. The first few minutes on the elliptical machine, I was feeling pretty good about it. Fifteen minutes later, every fat cell in my body was screaming and begging to give up – go back – quit this nonsense. The next morning all my muscles ached from the new routine. Hobbling around like a ninety-year-old woman, I stepped on the scale hoping to find some encouragement only to see an extra pound that I thought was left behind. Ugh! The struggle is real.
The struggle for better health is of my own making. I started eating junk food and stopped exercising. I have no one to blame but myself. It’s funny how quickly blame is placed on the Lord for our poor choices and consequences. A man or woman’s steps are ordered by the Lord. In Psalm 139, it is clearly noted that our life is prerecorded. All through the New Testament, He calls predestined. However, free will is inescapable. Who the Son sets free is free to choose the life they live. To follow Christ or chart our own course of destiny. This is where the struggle lies. God is sovereign. He does not change. He cannot lie or change His Mind, Why would He? God is perfect in all of His Ways. The imperfection in us is the point of dissention. Jesus said, “Come to me those who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest!” He invites us to partner with Him to carry the burdens and endure hardships of life. However, it is human nature to seek our own destination and thereby create detours, derailments and delays that have nothing to do with the Lord. Thankfully, He has already promised those He loves and who love Him back to make good of every detail and guide every step.
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ESV)So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
It really is quite simple yet so very difficult to overcome. We must learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith is not a word. Faith is a lifestyle of constantly turning over the details to the Lord for His Direction and Intervention – first. Before getting everyone else’s opinion or even assuming the worst, it is important to know that God is always in control even in the midst of our chaos. He controls the storm and has reins on the waves. Even when it seems life is two steps forward and three steps back, God is leading us to the everlasting by faith. It is in this place that good courage emerges in the midst of setbacks.
2 Kings 20:9-11 (ESV) And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?” And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz.
Did Hezekiah hear the wisdom of his words? “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen (go forward) ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” The movement of the sun would most certainly make the shadow go forward naturally. We expect certain things to happen base on our experiences. However, God doesn’t operate on our timeframe. It is an “easy thing” to have faith when life goes as expected. It is an “easy thing” to praise God when everything is going as planned. It is an “easy thing” to seek Him when He does what we want Him to. But God is Sovereign so when He pleases us it is because that thing was already a part of His Plan. It is the moment the unexpected comes that God’s Goodness falls into question. His Presence questioned. His Faithfulness on the line to us. Hezekiah requested the shadow to go backwards as a sign because it was impossible. Faith makes the impossible possible. When we believe in falling backwards, it catapults us forward in our faith and belief to a place of closer proximity to God than ever before.
Proverbs16:9 (ESV) The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps.
According to Ecclesiastes and Romans, God put eternity in our heart along with a measure of faith. He gave us everything needed to find our way home. The rest is up to us. The Lord establishes our steps and gave us entrance through His Son, Jesus Christ. There comes a time of decision. A time to decide will I accept the discipline of the Lord and follow His Way. Will I stop trying to do it my way – and follow the Way, the Truth and the Life for myself? Your steps are firmly established in the direction of heaven. His Blessings laden the path. His Promises line the road. His Purpose will meet you along the way until one day your passion leads you to the everlasting.
Jeremiah 10:23-24 (NIV) Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing.
My life is found in Jesus Christ. The life I desire is in Christ alone. I have been set free to choose the life I live and the steps that I take. I must discipline my flesh – mind, will, emotions and even body to align itself with the Lord and His Plans for me. I must accept His Steps forward and backward without prejudice knowing that they are leading me to a place far greater than I could have ever found on my own. This is an act of faith. To walk by faith. The Lord has given us His Spirit to be our teacher, leader, and guide through this world. We can call on Him to help us at any time for He is our Helper by decree of Jesus.
Are you struggling with a setback today? Does it feel like you move two steps forward and three steps back? Do you lack discipline? The Lord will help you find your way today. He ordered and established your steps – every single one. He WILL make good of every detail of our life if we give our life to Him. His Unfailing Love and Goodness have been pursuing us just waiting for us to turn around and accept it. Miracles are possible only in the impossibilities of life. The impossible is where God shows off the best. He loves you. He is for you. He is with you every step of the way!
Galatians 5:25 (ESV) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.