Life gives us the option of two paths—the right path and the wrong path. The path we take says a lot about our journey in life. In today’s verse, we read that the people who fear the LORD take the right path. The people who despise God take the wrong path.
To fear God means to recognize Who He is and thereby honor Him. When our eyes open to our Creator, when our eyes fix on Him, we begin to see a glimpse of His greatness. We cannot describe His greatness. We cannot understand His thoughts. We stand amazed at His unfailing love, at the sacrifice of His One and only Son. We fear the LORD and press onward along the right path.
For others, another path is taken. A hardened heart leads some down a very different path, a path that is opposite the one the children of God travel. This is a path God wishes no one to travel. It is a path that leads to death and destruction. It is a path those who despise the LORD desire to travel, not grasping the way, the truth, or the life. Today, consider the path you are taking? Are you on the right path?
“Those who follow the right path fear the LORD; those who take the wrong path despise Him.” – Proverbs 14:2 [NLT]
During our morning walk there was quite a lot of water puddles to make our way around because of the crazy weather during the night. Being a Labrador, Max has no issue making his way through the puddles. I try to encourage him to walk around but sometimes he just walks right on through. With Marci it is a different story. She is a Shih Tzu. Some of the puddles we encountered this morning were like lakes to her.
As we made our way home, Max went ahead and Marci found herself right in front of a large puddle. She was frightened. She tried to run in the other direction but could not get far as she was attached to Max’s leash. I reached down to grab her and save her from the puddle. She did not know what was going on. She ran away from my hands because I think she feared we would start giving her a bath right there in the puddle. I tried to calm her. Finally I was able to get a good hold on her and I carried her over the puddle and placed her safely on dry ground.
We often reach puddles in our own lives. We are fearful to go through. We don’t know what direction to go and we can’t get very far no matter which way we turn. Sometimes we just need to walk up to the water’s edge in faith, understanding that God is right there. Our loving Father is always there. He reaches out and carries us across the turbulent waters in life. He holds us with His great strength. He guides us through the deepest waters and the darkest valleys. There is no safest place to be than in the hands of our Father. Stop squirming. Rest in Him. Let yourself be carried where He made you to be—to a place beyond our understanding. Step forward. It’s time.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” – Isaiah 43:2 [NLT]
I have seen many bizarre things over the years and I could not help but notice the weird actions of a bird the other morning. This bird kept ramming into my car mirror. Again and again, he bounced off the mirror. I couldn’t understand this repetition. I couldn’t understand the foolishness. Why would a bird continue to batter itself by jumping into my mirror?
So of course I was on the computer doing research. What I found was interesting. When it is mating season, birds often spend time bouncing off mirrors when they see their reflection. That got me thinking of our own mirror love.
There are moments when the birds look into the mirror and see this “other bird” and fall in love. The other bird is actually them. In the same way, some people say they have “found God” or “love God” but in reality they have fallen in love with the god they have created in their mind. This god that they love follows suit with their own beliefs, this god fits them like a glove. Rather than falling in love with God Almighty, they created a god who will allow them to continue as they wish in life. Like a bird bouncing off of a mirror, there is no relationship. Like the bird, the repetition gets them nowhere but it makes them feel temporarily satisfied until reality hits. Remember Who He is today. Don’t try to put Him in a box and mold Him to fit your life. He’s the potter. You are the clay.
“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:3 [NLT]
When I was a little girl, I had a crazy imagination and I had a lot of time to consider my future. I had a complete future dreamed up, with the number of kids, how my husband would be, the job I would have, etc. Some of what I imagined became reality and there was a point in life when I thought everything I had envisioned was right in my grasp; however, my fantasy world crumbled before my very eyes.
In today’s passage, Bildad asked Job if he wanted to have the world redesigned for him, to have reality suspended for him. It meant should that which is firm as a rock get removed as a special accommodation for Job so that he could have his own reality. Or one could say that which doesn’t fit or work into my plans be removed so I could have the reality I want.
Bildad understood that God designed the world and that was reality. God is Creator. God is King. Of course with his truth he was misdirected regarding Job; however, we also need to ask ourselves this same question. There are moments when the reality that is before us doesn’t fit our plan and we need to step back and realize that our plan and God’s plan aren’t totally aligned. Improper alignment causes us to desire a redesigned reality. Remember God’s plan is so much better than the one we could ever imagine.
“Bildad from Shuhah chimed in:
‘How monotonous these word games are getting!
Get serious! We need to get down to business.
Why do you treat your friends like slow-witted animals?
You look down on us as if we don’t know anything.
Why are you working yourself up like this?
Do you want the world redesigned to suit you?
Should reality be suspended to accommodate you?’”
-Job 18:4 [MSG]
When considering a change in life, do you consider if you can do it? When you are facing a difficult situation, do you consider if you can do it? From what I have seen, many people consider their own strength. Whatever they are faced with, they consider if they alone can do it. If they cannot physically, financially, and emotionally do it, then that is it.
Moses was told to go lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he immediately considered if it was something he could do alone. He said “what makes you think” that I can do that? More or less it was an excuse because Moses considered his own strength and knew it was impossible. But it wasn’t impossible for God.
Too often we consider our own strength but we are not doing life alone. We have a God who is all-powerful. We have a God who is mighty. We have a God who created the Earth. We have a God who sustains us, who provides for us, who helps us, who blesses us with all that we see, feel, and know. Today, remember that God is with you, and consider what you can do through Him rather than without Him. So much more is possible when you see things through Him.
“Moses answered God, ‘But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?’
‘I’ll be with you,’ God said. ‘And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.’”
– Exodus 3:11-12 [MSG]
If you take a rock and cut a piece off, it has great similarities to the rock from which it was cut. If you take a piece off of a chocolate chip cookie, it tastes just the same as the cookie from which it came. As a parent, I can look at my children and see similarities that they share with me. My daughter talks a lot just like me. My son likes to joke around a lot just like me. Many similarities.
In Isaiah 51, it says to “consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.” So let us consider it. From where do you come? You were created by our Creator. Not only were you created by God, but you were created in His image. Consider the rock from which you were cut.
When you look in the mirror, remember you were created in the image of God. When you see others, remember also, that each person you meet was created in the image of God. Everyone is created in the image of God. When you consider the Rock from which each was cut, you see things much differently.
“Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance–all who seek the LORD! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.” – Isaiah 51:1 [NLT]
There are moments when we look at our problems and they seem so big. Rather than say, “My God is bigger than my problems,” we focus on the problem which causes worry and anxiety.
In today’s verse, we read “this is only a simple thing for the LORD.” Only a simple thing. We need to remind ourselves daily that our God can do the impossible. Something that we consider difficult is “only a simple thing.” Something that we cannot do alone is “only a simple thing” for Him.
God is our Creator. He formed everything. He knows everything. As Romans 11:36 reminds us, “… everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory” (NLT). Remember this today. You might be facing a big problem in your life right now, but for God it’s only a simple thing. Put it in His hands and feel the peace that He alone can provide.
“But this is only a simple thing for the LORD, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab!” – 2 Kings 3:18 [NLT]