July 13, 2010

Leaning on Him

I am listening to the most wonderful version of "All Creatures of Our God and King" right now. This is probably my most favorite version ever. If you need a reason to praise the King, click on the arrow above and have at it -- you will not regret it!

Speaking of Praising Him--I have been praying and the thought occured to me how this entire process (my life, my journey with Him), has not been what I expected. It has been more than I can actually comprehend. It is by far more than my mind can actually articulate -- there are no words to describe what exactly He has done inside of me, to me, with me, and for me. I simply am unable to tell of His Greatness -- and all efforts to do so seem so lacking. He is SO GOOD!

I was thinking about my path to where I am today, to the point where I am open to taking any job that the Lord has in mind for me. I mean, when I started this journey, I was willing to work, I was willing to have His will come to pass in my life. It was just how I saw His will, how I thought it worked, that was not right on. I mean, God's will is perfect, and He has a good plan for my life -- of this I know. What I didn't get was how that will came to pass in my life, and how the path I walked on actually led me to the place whereby His will was done. Let me explain:

I guess I am really very literal in my thinking. I am abstract, yes for sure; but, I am also very black and white, sort of legalistic (I am a recovering legalist now! LOL!) Whenever God's Word said that He would direct my paths, or guide me in them; I thought this meant literally a straightening of my path. Here in Phoenix it is easy to picture this idea because our city is laid out very neatly and in a grid pattern. All of our streets (well, almost) run N-S or E-W. You can tell your direction simply by where you are in the city. It is very orderly, and my mind likes this about Phoenix.

I tend to think of paths or roads this way, when I really should consider a country road or trail, to be more exact. You see if you do a word study on "paths" you find some interesting information. I looked up Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Interlinear Bible and this is what it says (my interpretation from the Hebrew):

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (KJV)

My version goes this way:

"Have confidence in the Lord with all thine innermost being; and support yourself not unto thine own reasoning. In all thy journeys, know Him, and He shall make level your road."

Ok, well not perfect by any means, but it makes total sense to me. This is exactly what we are to do -- take confidence in the Lord with every part of ourself (our mind, our entire being), and do not support yourself on your own reasoning (logic). In all our journey's in life, know Him (recognize Him), and He shall make the road you take be level, true, and honest.

To me, this explains my journey perfectly. I had this idea that everything that was happening to me was linear, like in a list. First point A, then point B, then on to C. Eventually, I would work my way down to Z and go into heaven. But this is not how things have worked out for me; nope, not at all. My path has been more of a zigzag, a country lane where I have meandered to and fro. I have stopped along the way to rest, and then started back up again after a while. I have sojourned on this path for a long time, and it has wound round and round. I am heading Home, but my path is not perfectly flat, straight like the roads here in Phoenix (start at Center Avenue and go East or West and you will be at the exact opposite address.) No, my path has been one of constant turns, and while I am moving forward, I am not always moving in such a direct way.

Once I grasped the significance of my journey, I came to understand what exactly the Lord is saying to us through Proverbs 3. He is telling us that the journey we are on, our journey will be made level (good, fit, honest and true) if we Know Him and take confidence in Him. If we try and reason ourselves, we will find our paths confused and confounded and we will not journey well. This is exactly how I feel the last ten months of my life have been -- my journey has gone so well, that I can only suggest it is because I know Him. I have taken confidence in Him alone, and am not leaning on my own logical conclusions. I am not trying to figure it all out, using my reasoning skill. I am trusting in Him as God, relying on His judgement and plans.

As I proceed into the job market search, I am coming to see the futility of seeking the "perfect job." I am becoming more conformed to the idea of a good job, good in the sense of level and true (upright). It is not so much about the job suiting me or working well with my skills, but it is more like the Master Carpenter who builds a house and sets the walls plumbed and true. They are upright, straight and able to support the roof. The house is well-built, and can survive the elements. This is how God builds up His church -- He makes us stable, well-built, solid and true. We stand tall, we are able to support ourselves and those depending on us. The work He does in our lives serves to build us up, as well as to equip us for good work. We are then made steadfast.

I have prayed for this to be true in my life, for me to be steadfast. I have considered it as faithful, and while that is so, I didn't really consider that God was making me stand upright (literally to stand up and be strong). This is what He has done in my life, He has made me stand up. Now that I am upright (looking ahead), I am able to see the path in front of me, and appreciate where we have been and where we are yet to go. He is so Good in that way, to help us see our way clear of things. If you look up, as the Psalmist says, then you are much more able to acknowledge Him rightfully (give Him the Praise where it is due). If you are always looking down at the ground, you tend to stumble and fall a lot. Look up, therefore, and see what the Lord is doing for you and through you!

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