Walking with God

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.  Hab 2:14

Yesterday I was asking myself how many people set a goal for themselves to know God better in the coming year. We hear of all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions, but do we hear of this one?  We all get caught up in jobs, raising kids, in life.  I don’t want to be snobbish, but it seems like people are consumed by shallow things.  If they would just have this as the one thing they want to accomplish.

Similarly, I am a person who gets caught up in doing things for God, instead of finding ways to know Him.

I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.  (John 10:14) 

After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  (John 10:4)

I can know Jesus.  I can learn to listen for His voice.  Jesus wants to guide me.

They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to
give them a rich and satisfying life.  (John 10)

Jesus wants to guide me each day in a good direction.  Satan wants me to focus on myself, and the messages of the world.  He wants to guide me in a way that is like poison to me, a way that looks good, but is actually a briar patch, a maze I cannot get out of.

And just like the good shepherd guides the sheep to places where there is nourishing grass to eat and refreshing water to drink, Jesus wants me to have satisfying sources of spiritual sustenance all day long.  He wants me to remember the words of life he has given me.  He wants me to know there is love pouring out on my head, love embracing me.  He wants me to remember the Lord is joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness.   He wants me to feel the encouragement of the Spirit.  He wants me to experience the positive dynamics of fellowship.

This past weekend we had a Women’s Day entitled, “Designed to Thrive.”   The idea was that just as God created plants to thrive in the presence of the correct elements — water, food, sunshine —  we also are designed to thrive.  Today, and from now on, throughout the day, I want to picture myself as a little seed soaking up the good elements that God is providing.  I want to feel myself thriving as I am nourished.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:26-27)

Last night in church Chidiya led a class on the Holy Spirit, and he gave us this passage from John.  I thought it was great, since I have been thinking about how God guides us.  Jesus said it was better for us to have the Holy Spirit than to even have him physically with us.  There are so many ways the Spirit can help us, but one thing is for sure, the Spirit wants to lead us, counsel us, help us go in the right direction every day.  And having the Spirit to guide us should give us peace and comfort, and we should not let our hearts be troubled and afraid.  We are not wandering in the chaos aimlessly, vulnerable to being unexpectedly hurt at any turn.  God wants to walk hand in hand with us, be with us always, provide great sustenance for us, and bring us to be in His arms forever.

This past weekend I watched, “Cry the Beloved Country,”  The book has always been one of my favorites.  It inspired me to go back and listen to some of the songs from the musical, “Lost in the Stars,” which is based on the book.  Here are the lyrics to the title song.  They speak to me eloquently of how I feel sometimes, without guidance and vulnerable.

Before lord God made the sea and the land,
He held all the stars in the palm of his hand.
And they ran through his fingers like grains of sand,
And one little star fell alone.

Then the lord God hunted through the wide night air
For the little dark star on the wind down there.
And he stated and promised he’d take special care
So it wouldn’t get lost again.

Now a man don’t mind if the stars grow dim
And the clouds blow over and darken him,
So long as the lord god’s watching over them,
Keeping track of how it all goes on.

But I’ve been walking all the night and the day,
Till my eyes get weary and my head turns gray.
And sometimes it seems maybe god’s gone away,
And we’re lost out here in the stars.

Little stars, big stars, blowing through the night,
And we’re lost out here in the stars.
Little stars, big stars, blowing through the night,
And we’re lost out here in the stars

In closing, I want to list some passages that build my faith on how God is guiding me, how Jesus is the good shepherd, and I need to listen to his voice and follow as he leads me to green pastures and still waters.  I need to seek to know God, and walk with Him.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  (Isa 58:11)

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  (Ps 143:8)

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

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Ps 23

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.  Ps 48:14

(Thanks to Teresa Bobbitt and to “Walking with God” by John Eldrege for some of the inspiration for this blog.)

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