Lessons learned on today’s hike

Life can put any manner of obstacles in our path.  Sometimes we are strong and energetic, jumping right over them.  Other times we are a little more cautious, stepping carefully over them.  There are other times; however, when we are so tired and wearied that we just feel like sitting down and weeping before them, giving up.  If that happens we sometimes even backtrack and wind up back where we began, making no progress in our journey at all.  It can happen to any of us.

 

 

Life can also offer us bridges.  Sometimes bridges can be scary things.  They can be very high, very rickety, made of rope, built over raging waters, or just something that someone fears.  In order to cross a bridge, we have to have faith that what awaits us on the other side of a bridge is worth us crossing it in the first place.

Those obstacle and bridge moments are definitely moments in our lives when we are prone to call out to God.  We cry out for help from the One we know or have heard can calm our fears or give us peace.  We reach out for the one that calms the storm when the bridge starts swaying.  We ask for help with the obstacles when we know they are Goliath’s that we cannot defeat.

 

It’s those other moments, when the path is clear and the going seems easy that we can get so confident that we forget we are still need of that same Savior.  We see the empty path and assume we can handle the steps ourselves.  We don’t feel the urgency to read our Bible like we did when we were facing the bridges, so we read less and less until maybe we aren’t reading at all.  Meanwhile, there are roots under the leaves that begin trip us up as we go.  Suddenly, the small roots begin to look like the large obstacles once again.

We think our prayer time can wait until we get around the curve, but then we get busy with our day and forget.  Next thing we know, we look up and see a bear lumbering towards us.  Because we haven’t been plugging into the power of the Holy Spirit, we aren’t prepared when the enemy meets us on the path.  Now we’re weak, meeting him in our own strength, and full of fear again.

I’m reminded of how David yelled out to Goliath, “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” 1 Sam. 17:45-46

We don’t just need the Lord on our side when the obstacle is in our face.  We need to have had the Lord by our side all along, so that once we meet the obstacles we are sure to face we can face them with a David-like faith, strong and sure.

Walk with Him daily,

jamie

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Walking safely

Pr. 3:23:  “Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.”

After I got out of the vehicle at church last night, I promptly tripped.  Although there was nothing noticeable on the ground in my path, I stumbled, but thankfully didn’t fall.

In this chapter of Proverbs, Solomon tells us about the benefits of having wisdom.  One of the benefits of keeping sound wisdom and discretion close is that we will walk safely in our way, and our foot will not stumble.

God’s wisdom helps us to be more aware of the obstacles and roadblocks satan places in our paths.  When we have wisdom, we are more able to recognize those obstacles for what they really are:  temptations positioned to trip us up, cause us to fall, and cause us to lose our bearings.

Discretion allows us to prepare to purposefully avoid certain obstacles.  Instead of walking straight towards them, we are able to make choices that lead us away from or around them.

Unfortunately, there are times when we still make missteps over certain obstacles.  We may hesitate to choose God’s will over the flesh, or we might actually fall.  However, God gives us the wisdom to keep us from staying down.  He gives us discretion to help us put plans in action to keep from tripping over the same obstacles over and over.

As long as we are on this earth there will be stumbling blocks in our path.  If we want to walk as safely as possible, we must keep wisdom and discretion close.  They will enlighten the path before us, and lead us to those streets of gold.

Watching my step,

jamie

 

Hear Him now

Pr. 5:7:  “Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.”

Yesterday I wrote about allowing God, the light of the world, to show us the stumbling blocks and obstacles in our paths.  Today, I will point out that sometimes, even though our obstacles and stumbling blocks are revealed to us by the Lord, we continue to walk straight into them.  Anyone else experience this besides me?

This is where the importance of becoming a doer of the word comes into play.  We cannot just continue to be hearers of the word, and do nothing about it what we’ve heard or read.  We are urged not to depart from the words of our Father.  God will reveal to us the things, places, or people who cause us to stumble.  Our job after that is to avoid those things.  We were never asked to do it alone, however.  Jesus suffered, being tempted, and is able to aid those who are tempted.

There are lots of tips for us in the word.  The Lord says to flee youthful lusts.  He says to resist the devil.  He gives permission for us to come boldly to the throne of grace in time of need.  He encourages us in the fact that He always gives us another way out of our temptations, so we should diligently seek Him and the way out.  We are told to remove ourselves from sinful situations.  Rejoicing in what we currently have is also recommended.  Paul also wrote that we should meditate on things that are praiseworthy and virtuous; also things that are pure, noble, just, lovely, true, and of good report.  David strengthened himself according to the word and hid it in his heart.  He stood in awe of and rejoiced in the word.

Do not depart from the word.  Hear the Lord now, while your heart is open to His leading.  Hide His word in your heart and allow Him to lead you away from those stumbling blocks for good.  Sometimes our obstacles have become habits that we’ve allowed to keep a hold on us.  God can and will bring our obstacles to our attention, and if we continue to listen and avoid them time after time, eventually we will forget about them and find ourselves habitually going on the path with God.

Flee as if your life depends on it!

jamie

The light of life

Pr. 4:19:  “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” 

There is a possibility that you can get so far away from the Lord and from His will that your way will be completely dark.  In the darkness you won’t even know where the stumbling blocks are nor how to avoid them.  This is why we need to stay in the word.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He said in John 8:12, “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Without the Lord guiding our paths, our thoughts, and our decisions, we are in darkness, stumbling around with no security.  If we allow it, the Word of God will be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  The light of the Lord will reveal to us the things of darkness in our lives.  God will then be the One to guide us, to move the obstacles, and to reveal to us the path we should take to avoid them in the future.

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.  The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”  Ps. 121:7-8.  If we do not wander off, but stay in the Word, stay in the light, the Lord will preserve us and keep us from darkness.

With today being July 4th, fireworks are on my mind.  Fireworks are fun, they’re lovely, and they light up the sky.  However, fireworks don’t last very long.  We cannot count on bursts of light to sustain us long-term if we need to see clearly.  Likewise, we cannot just read the word every once in a while and think the light will sustain us in all circumstances where we need to see clearly.  We need the true light, the light of the world, on a regular basis in order to see clearly the obstacles and stumbling blocks in our way.

Enjoy the fireworks, but be diligent enough to remain in the true light.

Happy 4th!

jamie