Think your kids are too young to understand your grown-up conversations? Think again. They not only hear what you are saying, they will repeat it – often at the worse time possible (like in front of your mother-in-law or at school). And very often, they repeat your own words to you.
“Mom, you said…”
“Dad, you promised…”
While moms and dads sometimes have selective amnesia failing to remember what they said or promised, there is nothing God loves more than keeping His promises. He waits for us to take Him at His word – His word which contains literally thousands of promises waiting to be claimed in faith. Promises like Psalm 50:15 – “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me” and like 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God stands ready and waiting for you to ask Him about Isaiah 40:29 (“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.”) and Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”) And when we stand on His word, He stands by His word, faithful to keep every promise. You have to claim them. You have to know them. You have but to say, “Lord, you said…”
THIS WEEK search the Scriptures for God’s promises. Which do you need to claim? Pray them keeping in mind Psalm 84:11 (“No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”) Praying is standing on the promises of God. If you take God at His word, you will experience the joy of knowing that He keeps His word.
When I learned to drive, road maps were all the rage. I have very vivid images of my dad sitting at the kitchen table with his maps spread out and a World Atlas at his fingertips. He would sit there for hours planning our family vacations, mapping the routes, making note of the connections, turns and exits. I thought he and my sister were amazing the way they could recall and discuss highway numbers… “Turn right onto 42 and go about 37 miles then take NC 97 North to 301. You’ll go about 12 miles then merge onto Interstate 95 North.”
I well remember my first solo trip with a road map. Like Daddy, I sat at the kitchen table, spread the map, made my markings and jotted notes. I was going on a job interview and, worried enough about that, I wanted the travel to be uneventful. I even used the little scale in the bottom corner of the map to calculate mileage and approximate time. All along the way, though, I had to keep stopping on the side of the road to consult my trusty road map.
Three things are important when planning a trip using a map – knowing where you are, where you need to end and which direction you need to travel to get there! And therein lies the beauty of GPS. The screen shot always includes a big arrow indicating YOU ARE HERE. That’s good news to any driver!
Want some even better news? Not only are you “HERE,” so is God! He is everywhere! He is with you!
Joshua 1:9 (ESV) reminds us to be strong, courageous and without fear or dismay because the Lord, our God, is with us wherever we go. Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) echoes the same encouragement adding a reminder that He will never leave nor forsake us. David asked, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7-10, ESV) In the heavens, in Sheol, in the uttermost part of the sea – even there David said we find God’s hand which shall lead us and hold us!
I find that latter thought to be particularly encouraging because I live in the boondocks, and I frequently drive rural highways. This means I regularly lose signals for my telephone and GPS. The “GPS Lady” often tells me she is rerouting. I suppose rerouting sounds better than “I don’t have a clue where you are.” When the GPS loses its signal, I am left to go it alone trying to read road signs while I drive. That is not only frustrating, it is unnerving, especially if I am traveling an unfamiliar and not well-marked route. Whenever the signal reconnects, the GPS offers instructions to correct whatever mis-turns I may have taken and tries to get me back on track. It’s rare, but sometimes GPS cannot get it right and I have to rely on other sources like stopping strangers to ask for instructions or accessing Google Maps on my cell phone.
Our God never loses connection with us though we sometimes choose to ignore the promptings of His Holy Spirit. Now there are times when I know better than the “GPS Lady.” She tells me to turn left and I am looking at a ONE WAY sign or a ROAD CLOSED sign, so I know not to follow her directions. But our God gets it right 100% of the time! Isaiah 40:13-14 asks, “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?” The answer is NO ONE! He is omniscient and omnipresent, so He knows and He is with us. He is also faithful, so we can trust that He is with us, just as He promised, wherever we are.
There are times when we ignore God’s directions or believe that we know better. Surely when God has us on a route that is bumpy or one that is twisted or winding or scary or lonesome or dark even, He has made a mistake, somehow gotten it wrong. No, it is not God that has gotten it wrong, it is our perspective that is limited while God is finite.
Question God? Be puzzled by His directions? Surely, but never doubt. Even Abraham had questions about God’s directions and decisions (e.g. the destruction of Sodom), but Abraham obeyed in faith. He never mocked, rebelled or cursed God. Abraham knew what we can know as children of God and that is that God is Here, right here with you!