I have been reading much of the Old Testament for my devotions in the past few months, and I have been reminded again of everything God planned for us from the very beginning. Yes, He allows us to make our own choices, but He has also given us very clear instructions as to how we are to live our lives. He wants us to willingly follow His plan. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and told them, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God,” He promised He would provide for them in every area of their lives. They didn’t always listen, and so they missed God’s blessings. We are no different today.
That does not mean that we will never experience hardships, disappointments, and trials in this life. This is a sin-cursed world, but we have been given a pattern and directions for every area of our lives. It is no different, when we as parents expect our children to follow the rules of the home, to think that God does not expect us as His children to follow His “rules” as well. So many times, the children of Israel would do good and follow the Lord, and then become complacent and wander away. In Joshua 24:24, the people said, “The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Not long after Joshua’s death, they were walking away from their promise. This can happen to us, too, when we allow the world to have too much influence over our lives. It is so much easier to just follow the crowd. When asked to take a stand, I surely do not want to run scared like Jonah. I would much rather be a Paul, who did not count his life dear unto himself.
The questions that come to my mind, then, are these: “Will I stand out as a child of the King when the going gets tough?” “Or, will I look and act so much like the world that no one will even question if I am a follower of the King of Kings?” Every area of my life must be ordered by my Heavenly Father and I want it to show. How we respond to disappointments or problems can easily cause us to be discouraged, and this will show in our daily lives. That is not the kind of testimony I want to present to the world.
There were a few issues that we experienced, recently, in moving into our new home. In dealing with the real estate lady, and the lady at the bank, there were opportunities to share how the Lord was in control. We did not get upset or complain or question, but we just did what we had to do to resolve the issue. When all was said and done- and to their surprise, much quicker than they thought possible- we gave the Lord the glory. Psalm 68:19 was such a blessing. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” God is so good all the time, and He deserves all glory.
It is far too easy to become discouraged with the issues of life. God said in Hebrews 13:5 that “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Verse 8 tells us that He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Then, in verse 15, our response should be, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually…” Faith will come into view here, because it says in Hebrews 11:6 “…without faith it is impossible to please him…” We ought to believe what God’s Word says, and believe Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
It sounds to me as though He has our best interests in mind, and it is up to you and me to believe it and live it.