Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 21, 2016

He directs our steps

Children give us a great picture of reality. Unfiltered reality!  Once, while listening to a podcast by John Ortberg, I was intrigued by the comments of children, that whether we would admit it or not, mirror some of our own questions.

“God, did you mean for a giraffe to look like that,
or was it just an accident?”
— Norm

“Dear God, are you really invisible
or is this just a trick?”
— Aaron

“Dear God, thank you for my baby brother,
but what I prayed for was a puppy.”
— Joyce

Obviously, Christ-followers trust God and His ways. But in a more adult way, we mentally and sometimes verbally question His plans (sounding a lot like the children above). As I look over the years of my life, I would have never planned the course God designed for me. There have been twists and turns I could have never imagined. Quite frankly, if I had known the directional shifts before they happened, I may have done everything possible to stop them. You see, there is a part of me that wants to control the movement of my journey based on what I understand to be logical and best. I know better than that biblically, and experience has taught me to trust God’s plan with my future. Oh, but how I still battle for control! And I dare say, so do you!

During the last few weeks, I have been reading the book of Proverbs. It is easy to move through some of the catchy phrases without internalizing the truth you are encountering. One of my favorite ways to read and gain insight is to use a parallel Bible with four versions. It slows me down, but in good way. Last week, Proverbs 20:24 jumped off the page at me. For me, the insight gained relates to the struggle that I (and you) have with all the twists and turns of life. In reading from the New Living Translation, Proverbs 20:24 says …

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?

No argument with the words that the Lord directs our steps. Although true believers in Christ give credence to the fact that God directs us, we battle with the second part of that verse. When the verse says, “so why try to understand everything along the way, it is counter-intuitive for most of us. Our instinct and desire is to know, and also to know why.  But why do we insist and persist when God’s design is not subject to our carefully planned out life agenda.

My Life Application Study Bible defines this verse far better that I can.

“We are often confused by the events around us. Some things we will never understand until years later when we look back and see how God was working. This proverb counsels us to not worry if we don’t understand everything as it happens. Instead, we should trust that God knows what he’s doing, even if his timing or design is not clear to us.”

When you and I concentrate on the fact that the Lord directs our steps, then we will correspondingly begin to stop trying to understand everything along the way.  Why? If He directs our steps, then the steps along the way are covered. I know that you and I will sometimes still struggle to control the future, but this verse helps us reset our thinking to the truth of His control.  Take this to heart today.  Rest in the assurance that He is responsible.  He knows best.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23

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