Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gotta stop lighting my own torches

Lately I know that the direction (or lack thereof) that my life is taking has really been on my mind, and I find myself pleading with God for guidance, for a path. Oftentimes, I feel stuck in still-nothings-happening-land where I still cannot find where I should go or what I should do. I spend half the time worrying over my current situation and the other half worrying about the future. I had been reading Beth Moore's Breaking Free the last few months, but for whatever reason, I just stopped. I picked the book back up tonight and began reading again. The two chapters I read were about God's rule in our lives being right and God's daily rule in our lives. I was really awakened to my lack of daily seeking God's presence and being diligent in seeking to obey him. Not that I go about to purposefully disobey him, but I just don't think about it. I try to figure things out for myself and then cry out to God in frustration when he doesn't seem to provide an answer. For those of you who are in a similar position as me, trying to figure out where your life is going to go and what the next step is, let alone what you should do tomorrow, I hope these words from Beth's book encourage you like they have encouraged me:

"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth." (Isa. 51:1-2)
If we look to the rock from which we were hewn, we can...
-believe God can do the impossible (Gen. 18:14).
-admit the futility of taking matters into our own hands (Gen. 16).
-believe God still loves and can use us even when we detour--- if we agree to return to his path (Gen. 17).
-believe God can still call us righteous based on our faith in him, even if our righteousness is like filthy rags (Gen. 15:6; Isa 64:6).
-believe that blessing ultimately follows obedience (Gen. 22:18).
Because the Lord is so compassionate, He can work wonders with the ruins, deserts, and wastelands of His children's lives.
"The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD." (Isa. 51:3)
Have you felt like the waves of the sea were pounding against you and you were drowning in a relentless tide? Isaiah reminds you that God can do for you what he did for Moses. He "made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over" (Isa. 51:10b)
Have you ever felt like a cowering prisoner? Have you ever felt like you would never be released? I love the words of Isaiah 51:14: "The cowering prisoners will soon be set free." Believe it and claim it! Obey and see that you can trust! ...God said that he is doing a new thing:
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isa. 43:18-19)
...Like a father cupping his rebellious child's face in his strong hands, He says, "Listen to me... Hear me... I, even I, am he who comforts you... I am the LORD your God" (Isa. 51:1, 7, 12, 15). Essentially, God is saying to us, "I am for you, Child! Not against you! When will you cease resisting me?"
"Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you set ablaze. This is what you shall recieve from my hand: You will lie down in torment." (Isa. 50:10-11)
No matter how long we've walked with God, we will still have days that seem dark. In those times God tells us to trust in his name and rely on who he is. Job 23:10 continues to be a blessing to me when I don't know what to do: "But he knows the way that I take." When you feel you've lost your way, take heart! He knows the way that you take. Stand still, cry out, and bid him to come to you! He'll lead you on from there, and miraculously, when once again you see the light, you'll be able to see the footprints you made in the dark. Never will he hold your hand more tightly that when he is leading your through the dark.
What is your biggest temptation when you don't feel that God is illuminating your way clearly? Isaiah 50:11 describes mine perfectly. I tend to want to light my own fire and walk by the illumination of my own torch. Yes, you and I will still veer periodically from the path, no matter how obediently we want to walk, because we're pilgrims with feet of clay. The beauty of God's light is this: it will always lead us right back to the path. No matter how long the detour has been, the return is only a shortcut away. "Save me, for I am yours" (Ps. 119:94).
-Beth Moore, Breaking Free

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105)

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