Tag Archives: God’s Guidance

When Trees Clap Their Hands

Standard

 

IMG_5681

You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

The scorching Georgia heat radiated off the black tar of the parking lot where I stood waiting to meet my son. He was running late, and I was quickly running out of patience. To make the most of the delay, I pulled out my cell phone to check emails. But as soon as I read the first sentence, the sickening sight of a blank screen and dying battery appeared, and my frustration level escalated.

I felt a slight, welcomed breeze blow through my hair as I looked for a shady place to sit, and I glanced toward the sky to see if a summer storm might be brewing. That’s when I noticed the lone tree topped with limbs forming a perfectly shaped cross. The beautiful scene stopped me in my tracks as I felt God nudging me with a reminder that my day had been so jammed with appointments and to-do lists, I had not taken time out for HIM.  He too had been waiting for His child to meet Him…and she was too busy.

“Holy goosebumps” tingled from head to toe as I felt God bending down reminding me to align my priorities appropriately. He paused my schedule right there in the blazing hot parking lot to send me a sign of His love. The tree He destined as my messenger also served as my shade from the scorching sun. I remembered the verse from Isaiah,

“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Joy and peace were blatantly absent from the hours leading up tho this moment, but my frustration melted into joy while I treasured this heaven-sent gift. I did not schedule this divine appointment, but I am so thankful that He interrupted my chaotic life with a holy meeting.

I pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of mountains singing and trees clapping their praise to Him…or growing their limbs in the shape of a cross! Make your time with Him a priority, and He will fill you with joy and guide you peacefully through your day.

Before You Decide

Standard
IMG_5470 
“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.'”
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
 

Are you facing a major decision in your life?  Do you feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted with weighing all the pros and cons of each possible scenario?  Is every thought interwoven with a thread of uncertainty?

Wouldn’t it be an incredible feeling to know with absolute certainty that you are moving in the right direction? Imagine the relief of not questioning each step you make, worried that you might be heading in a trajectory that is completely away from where you should be going with your life.

You can relax and rest in God’s promise to you:  Your Heavenly Father will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life, and He will advise you and watch over you along the way.  Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray to God right now:  “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT).

While you are listening for God’s answer, spend time alone with Him, free of distractions and away from your daily routine.  Often His answer comes in a gentle whisper to your spirit, and the “noise” in your life can drown out His voice. Place all your hope in the One who has written every chapter of your life, the One who has your name inscribed on His palms, the One who knows the desires of your heart, and the One who knows the reason for which you were created.

Allow Him to show you the best pathway for your life and trust that He will watch over you every step of the way.

Get Going!

Standard

Paper Kite Pre~flight

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

What sort of things drive you, motivate you and and inspire you?  Is there something that you keep thinking about that one day or some day, when all the conditions are right, you will begin to do.  How many times have you used the phrase, “If only….”  or “I would like to do this, BUT….”  Perhaps God has placed a calling upon your heart, but you allow a continual stream of excuses to flood your thoughts and drown out His voice.  You can easily enumerate a list of personal limitations and excuses that would keep you from fulfilling His calling or achieving a certain goal.

When God met with Moses at the burning bush, Moses had several objections to God’s calling.  Why are you asking ME to lead the people out of Egypt?  What if they don’t believe me?  God patiently responded to each of his questions, yet Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”  God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? SO, GET GOING. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”  Exodus 4:10 – 12 (MSG)

So what is it that God is motivating you to do?  Perhaps He hasn’t met with you at a burning bush, but in your heart you know there is a still small voice wooing you in a certain direction.  And even though He’s not asking you to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt, He might be leading you into some sort of ministry, or it could be that He is directing you to start a business, leave your current job for something better, go back to school, foster a child, become a stay-at-home mom, go on a mission trip, help out at a food pantry, teach a class, play a sport, coach a team, lead a Bible study, minister to unwed mothers, or volunteer at a local school.  Who knows how God might use you to fulfill His purpose for your life?  An activity that might seem “secular” could turn out to be the very way God wants to use your life to minister to others in your community.

So what’s holding you back?  What’s your excuse?  As a child of God, He promises that you will lack nothing:

  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack NOTHING.” Psalm 23:1  

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8

If you are in God’s will for your life, doing the very thing He has created you to do, you can rest assured that He will provide the resources you need to accomplish your task.  God will be right beside you every step of the way, teaching you, guiding you, supporting you, providing for you, and strengthening you!  Don’t allow self-doubt or excuses to hold you back.  You can do anything with God’s help! Get Going!

A Fresh Start

Standard

New Year

Teach us to number our days,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 NIV

As the New Year dawns, many of us make a noble list of New Year’s Resolutions.  A brand new year seems like a gift, a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to turn the page to a new chapter in our lives.  We usually start out the month of January with grand intentions and high ambitions, but we find that we often lose that enthusiasm as the days and weeks click past.  Our list of resolutions gets buried under the stack of papers that we intended to organize, and we forget about all the things we resolved to do over the next 365 days.

The truth is that we should live each new day with resolve and intent.  God has given us a certain number of days to fulfill our life’s purposes, and we should ask Him to give us the grace to understand the important significance of each day (and each  moment) that we spend here on earth.  Some of us have more time than others, but none of us know the exact amount of time that we have left to complete our life’s mission. We should diligently pray for divine instruction concerning how to use our time throughout the days of our lives.  Thoughtful time management is an excellent art whether you’re a business professional, student, homemaker or retiree.  God models time management for us when we consider the account in Genesis 1 of His orderly creation of the universe; each day was filled with important tasks and accomplishments, and He even set aside time for rest. When you number your days to good purposes, according to God’s guidance, you will live wisely and your heart and mind will be inclined to achieving God’s mission for your life.

So instead of making a list on the first day of the new year of things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months, you should make a list as you begin each New Day.  It might be helpful to write your daily list on a calendar or in a notebook, so that you can look back over the year and see all the things that you and God have accomplished together. Live each New Day as though it were a gift of time, a new beginning, a fresh start, and a chance to fulfill God’s grand purpose.  If you order your days according to God’s plan, rather than your own desires, you will feel a divine sense of fulfillment each day of your life, and no moment will be wasted.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

Hour by Hour

Standard

Naval Academy Clock Tower

You are my God!
Hour by hour I place my days in Your hand…

Psalm 31:14b-15a (MSG)

How would our lives be different if we truly placed each hour of every day in the hand of our Heavenly Father?

By placing your life, hour by hour…moment by moment… in God’s hand, you allow Him to direct the path of your divine destiny.  Most of us wouldn’t think of heading out on an excursion to a place we’ve never been before without consulting a map or plugging the address into our GPS.  Similarly, our future is unknown territory; it’s a place we’ve never journeyed before.  There’s no better Navigator to consult concerning your future than the One who knew you before you were born and has all the days of your life written in His book…before one of them came to be!  “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  (Psalm 139:16)

Why is it so difficult for us to consult our Heavenly Father when mapping out the course of our days?  Perhaps our lives are so jam packed with activities that we don’t take the time to sit down and talk with Him about His plans for our schedule.  Or perhaps we don’t want to feel that we are handing over control to anyone else ~ what if His plans don’t line up with our plans?  Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown ~ what if God wants us to do something we are uncomfortable with?

Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that , “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (AMP)  So Jesus’ purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life, a life filled with purpose, a great and full life, a life of joy, life in its fullest measure. If Jesus’ purpose is for us to enjoy life and have it in abundance, why wouldn’t we want to turn over control to Him?

Do you feel that God has been leading you somewhere, and you are fearful to take a step in that direction?  Perhaps it’s out of your comfort zone, and you feel that you would never have the skills, resources, intelligence, confidence or abilities to accomplish what He is nudging you to do. I encourage you to take this challenge:  For the next 24 hours, consciously place EACH hour of your day in God’s hand.  Say this prayer at the top of every hour:  “You are my God!  Hour by hour I place my day in Your hand.” Trust that God has your best interest in mind and faithfully follow His lead in whatever you feel He is directing you to do.  Maybe He wants you to spend time reading His word and listening to His voice..or maybe He wants you to speak to a stranger… or take a meal to a family in need…or sign up for a class…or call a friend…or clean out a closet and take donations to a local charity…or perform a random act of kindness.   Perhaps this one day challenge will inspire you to do the same thing another day, or for an entire week, or month!  By then it will have become part of your life.  Who knows how this conscious act of  handing over each hour to Him might change the course of your life and lead you into your divine destiny.

Are you willing to take the “Hour by Hour” challenge with me?  I would love to hear about your experience!

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’  Jeremiah 29:11

God Leads The Way

Standard

IMG_0390

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;

He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

With God as your life’s Heavenly Navigator, you never have to worry or be fearful when forging ahead into uncharted territory.  You can confidently trust that the Lord is going before you, guiding you in the path that is best for you.  He promises to be with you each step of the way…even in the deepest, darkest valleys and through the most treacherous terrain. When the going gets tough, He will never abandon you or forget about you.

Perhaps you are struggling with decisions about your career, finances, relationships, child-rearing, education, or even treatment options for a health crisis.  You would never travel to a new place without consulting a map or GPS system. Why do you think that you could blindly traverse though life’s journey without consulting God’s divine wisdom?  He is your holy Field Guide for your earthly trek. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or afraid, focus on the fact that God is already ahead of you, leading the way.  He knows the plans He has in store for you ~ seek His excellent guidance and ask Him for wisdom.   With Him by your side, you can have confidence that the choices you make are best

He’s already in your future…follow His lead.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Genesis 28:15
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Deuteronomy 4:31

Your Guiding Light

Standard

Light at the end of the tunnelBecause of your great compassion

You did not abandon them in the wilderness.

By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path,

nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.

Nehemiah 9:19 (NIV)

 Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guiding light shining on the path of your life?  You would never have to question which direction you should head, nor would there be any doubt about whether you were making the right decisions.

We no longer have a pillar of fire ahead of us like the Israelites did when God guided them through the wilderness, but the great news is that God’s Word is like a lantern that lights each footstep of our journey through life.  Psalm 119:105 tells us that, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” As we study the Bible, His Words illuminate our path and keep us from stumbling over obstacles in the way.  It’s our field guide as we navigate each twist and turn throughout our days.

If you feel lost in life right now, and the road ahead seems dark and treacherous, open your Bible and begin to read God’s instruction manual.  It will be your guiding light, and it’s the only road map you need as you travel your life’s journey.  Follow the Light!!

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.  Isaiah 42:16
 
 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
Proverbs 4: 18 – 19

The Straight Path for Life

Standard

P1100268Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

lean not to your own understanding. 

In all your ways, acknowledge Him,

and He will make your path straight.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (NIV)

Do you desire a “straight path” in life that is free of wasted time heading in the wrong direction, without unexpected U-turns, void of treacherous twists and turns, and detours around devastating dead ends?  God knows what is best for you, and He promises to make your path straight if you follow these clear instructions:

“Trust the Lord with all your heart…”  Trust God from the bottom of your heart.  Place all your confidence and faith in the wisdom, power, love, promises and goodness of God.  Believe with your whole heart (not just a portion of it!) that he is able to do anything and that His plan is best for your life.

 “…lean not to your own understanding.”  When you physically lean on something or someone, you confidently trust that your whole weight will be supported by that object or person. You wholeheartedly believe that this support will not fail.  Learn to lean on God’s understanding…not our own.  Don’t try to figure everything out for yourself based on your finite experience and insight, and don’t assume that you know it all. Totally depend on Him for His guidance in your life.  Discern His will through reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer.  The limitations of human understanding are of no comparison to the flawless and divine understanding of our Heavenly Father.  Lean into Him, and don’t rely on your own judgment.

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him…” It’s easy to turn to God when the going gets tough, but God desires that you acknowledge Him in every ordinary moment of your life.  Trust God completely for every choice you make.  Begin each day by asking Him for His guidance, and listen for His direction in everything you do and everywhere you go throughout your day.

“…and He will make your path straight.”  God will keep you on the right track if you trust Him with all your heart, lean into His understanding, and acknowledge Him in all your ways.  He knows the best route for your life’s journey.  Wholeheartedly believe in His promises and allow Him to make your path straight by placing all your confidence in His divine direction.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21

 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.  Proverbs 25:9

I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.  Jeremiah 10:23

 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

 Teach me your way, Lord; Lead me in a straight path… Psalm 27: 11

 The path of the righteous is level; You, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.  Isaiah 26:7 

 

Choose the Road to Somewhere

Standard

crossroads

”Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.”

Psalm 119: 29 – 32 (MSG)

Navigating your way along the roadway of life can seem like a confusing maze.  Around every twist and turn there are unexpected surprises, giant potholes, and sometimes dead ends. 

Most of us wouldn’t think of striking out on a long journey without first consulting a map or plugging the destination into our GPS.  God’s Word is our roadmap for life.  Seek His guidance along every step of your journey, and He promises to direct you on the “true road to Somewhere.”  Post His road signs at every curve and corner, and cling to whatever He tells you.  Trust Him to barricade any road that leads Nowhere and show you how to run the course He has laid out especially for your life.

As He graces you with His clear revelation and direction, take time to enjoy the majestic scenery on the road to your eternal destination!

“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Ps 119:105 (NIV)

Walking Unfamiliar Paths

Standard

dry falls picture

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,

 Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;

 I will turn darkness into light before them

 And make the rough places smooth.

 These are the things I will do;

 I will not forsake them.”

Isaiah 42:16 NIV

I recently participated in a team building activity in which I had to wear a blindfold and allow a member of my team to guide me through a difficult maze. The goals of the activity were to build trust among team members and to emphasize the importance of good communication in a situation where one member is totally dependent on another for guidance.  At first the ground under my feet was flat and grassy, but as the exercise progressed I had to navigate through a “mine field” of obstacles and rough terrain, where one misstep could have meant disaster.

I remember the feeling of total helplessness when I first placed the blindfold over my eyes.  Even though I was in the middle of an expansive, grassy field, I felt unsure of my surroundings, and my balance was compromised.  I was frozen in my tracks until I heard the voice of my teammate instructing me about which direction to move.  At first I was very tentative with each step I took.  Even though my guide was right next to me, telling me to move forward, I would carefully slide my feet from one spot to the next, ensuring that my footings were sound, still relying on my own senses. 

By the time we advanced into the maze of obstacles, I had become accustomed to the voice of my teammate and felt the bond of trust build between us.  I trusted that he would not allow me to move in the wrong direction, and I realized the importance of carefully listening to his commands telling me exactly where to place each step.  I noticed that my balance was improving, even though the terrain had become more difficult to traverse and the blindfold was still in place.  I could tell that I was no longer in a grassy field, and there was a mix of earth and rocks under my feet, but I felt more confident with each step I took.  My attention focused completely on his commands and not on my own senses.

Upon successfully navigating through the maze, I took my blindfold off and looked back at the course we had just completed.  I couldn’t believe that I had made it through such a difficult set of obstacles without one misstep.  Throughout the exercise, my trust had grown in my teammate, but it grew even more when I was able to visualize what he had just accomplished with me. 

Lately in life, I feel like I’m blindly navigating through difficult and unfamiliar situations.  I have been praying for God’s guidance, but I have also been trying to rely on my own senses to traverse this rough territory.  I feel off-balance and unsure about the path I’m traveling.  I am fearful about the future because of the uncertainty associated with this journey.  When I read Isaiah 42:16, I remembered the lessons I learned from the blindfold activity, and I realized that I needed to completely TRUST my Heavenly Guide and listen for His voice to instruct me along the way.  I especially love the MSG translation of this verse:

“I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they are going.  I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country.  I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.  These are the things I will be doing for them – sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.” 

Isaiah 42:6 MSG

How awesome it is to know that my Heavenly Father is taking me by the hand and leading me through this unknown territory.  He is my personal guide who promises to turn darkness into light before me and make the rough places smooth.  Just like the teambuilding exercise, my confidence will grow as I place my trust in the voice of my Divine Leader.  Even though I am blindly walking through unknown situations in life, by listening to His commands, I will confidently move in the direction of his guidance.  By reading his Word and communicating with Him in prayer, the bond of trust will strengthen between us, and I will be able to discern His voice and instruction.  I will not doubt the direction in which I am heading, and fear and worry will fade.

While He does not promise to remove the difficult situations from our lives, He does promise to be our personal guide through the rough terrain.  If you are traveling a similar path in life, imagine yourself wearing a blindfold and listening to your Heavenly Father’s commands concerning each step you take on this journey.  He will take you by the hand and lead you along this path, and He promises that He will never leave you alone. 

Listen carefully to His voice and follow His commands.  TRUST HIM!