“Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts.” Deuteronomy 5:33 (MSG)
Reading, or listening, to a good book is one of my favorite things. I especially love reading the real life stories of men and women living their lives fully committed to God. Regardless of the cost or circumstance, when the going got tough, these faithful men and women continued trusting and obeying God. Seeing their dedicated commitment, while facing unique challenges, strengthens my faith, and offers assurance God will always make a way for us when we are on His road. Surrender to God and nothing else!
Our obedience and trust are essential to living a prosperous life and finding the good way. 1 Kings 2:3 commands “Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts.” Deuteronomy 5:33 (MSG) adds an exclamation point, “So be careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you’ll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you’re about to possess.”
Each of us is presented with our own unique set of assignments and instructions from God. As we navigate the life map set before us, God will help us find our way. No matter the appearance we see with our earthly eye, God is asking us to trust him with all of our heart. Yes, there will be plenty of valleys, rough roads, and dark alleys, we must face, but He will be there every step of the way. And at just the right time we will experience mountain top moments and capture a glimpse into His glory.
The path we travel will be littered with those who have gone before. They have half-heartedly followed God, and grown bitter, sour tongued and defeated. They are always ready to offer Satan’s anvil for you to carry, slowing you from God’s appointed timing. Rely on God, and don’t try to figure everything out on your own, He always shows us the best way to reach our destination.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible and it helps me stay grounded on God’s path. I believe it can help you too. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
One of my favorite real life stories can be found in 1 Kings starting in chapter 17. Elijah is one of the boldest, and in my opinion, one of the most fascinating prophets, who ever lived. Elijah was sent by God to confront Israel’s King Ahab. He was asking the King to repent from his sin and turn back to God. King Ahab believed in God, but his wife, Queen Jezebel, persuaded him to worship the god Baal. Jezebel was a wicked woman on assignment, directly receiving orders from Satan. Jezebel was under Satan’s influence and King Ahab was under Jezebel’s influence, so they did not heed Elijah’s warning. You can read the rest of the story in the Book of Kings. Here’s a clue, remember, God always trumps the enemy!
Jezebel proved quite the nemesis for Elijah, sending countless prophets to their graves. But Elijah boldly served the Lord, including the first recorded resurrection, bringing fire from the sky (best fireworks show ever) to burn up the offering to the false god Baal, and he predicted with God’s direction, the beginning and ending of a three year drought. And how did God choose to help Elijah when he was weak and vulnerable, by sending Ravens to deliver meat and bread on a daily basis. Talk about an unlikely delivery system!
Ravens are birds of prey and quite selfish, as they don’t even feed their young. They are certainly the bird of choice for death and scary movies, with a long history of association with darkness and evil. Ravens, along with dolphins and chimpanzees, are considered highly intelligent. They can copy the sounds of other birds, and mimic human words. Surely you remember the haunting words of the raven in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem as the bird croaks out, “Nevermore.” Elijah had to be in absolute awe of God’s authority as the raven brought his food each day.
Elijah’s story is action packed, leaving you wanting to read more and more.
We can each take away something different from the life of Elijah. Whatever we have uncovered through our reading we can ask ourselves these questions. Does our life demonstrate that we our trusting God with all our heart? Are we willing to follow God without grumbling or complaining? Do I look to God and His Word for the answers to my problems, or do I trust the world for solutions? Finally, when the going gets tough where do you find the strength to stay His course?
Surrender to God and nothing else!
Shaped by Faith Prayer
Lord, we each need your directions, specific directions and road map for our lives. Equip and Strengthen us daily as you help us to navigate and stay exactly where You have planned for us to be. I pray that if we get off course that You will quickly show us and redirect us. Lord, more than anything I want to do Your Will and do it Your Way! Have Your Way with us Lord! Keep us on Your course. Amen.