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This Way or That Way?

“Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.”
Joshua 3:4, NIV

Are you constantly on the move yet at the end of the day wonder what you’ve accomplished? Do you spin your wheels only to find, you’re stuck? Like me, there may be days when you question if you’re even moving in the right direction?

In Alice’s pursuit of the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland, Alice said to the Cheshire Cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

At times, I’m directionally challenged, but unlike Alice―I do care where I’m going. It’s frustrating when my GPS takes me miles out of my way, or the directions someone has given me are wrong. Sometimes, we need a good old-fashioned road map, or better yet, someone to follow.

Years ago, I was driving my car down a narrow two-lane road. Fog and rain made it difficult for me to see, but I spotted a tractor-trailer pulling out from the intersection ahead. Typically, I don’t want a truck in front of me, blocking my vision and slowing me down, but that night, I was thankful the truck was there. It was easier for me follow its taillights along the dark and winding road than to navigate the route alone.

In Joshua 3, the Israelites camped along the east bank of the Jordan River at the edge of the Promised Land. They were waiting for God to instruct Joshua on when to move out and claim the territory for themselves. As they faced the raging Jordan River and an area occupied by the enemy, God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. He reminded him that he would go with them and would never leave or forsake them.

The same applies to us. As believers, God calls us to do his will. Although it’s not always easy to discern, he doesn’t intend for us to chart our own course. He’s given us a roadmap, his Word and has sent the Holy Spirit as our guide. We have everything we need to navigate the sometimes perilous roads ahead.

God cares where you’re going. Wait for him. Place his Word before you and thank him for his guidance. He’ll lead you safely to your destination.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

‘This is the way; walk in it'” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV).

Starr Ayers

Spiritual Blindness-Saved by a Talking Donkey!

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.”
Numbers 22:31 NLT

One day, I watched someone attempt to back out of a parking space at a local drug store.  They couldn’t get more than a few feet out of their parking spot due to a little car that was stopped behind them to their right and a van stopped behind them to their left. The driver began to tap their horn but no other vehicles moved. Finally, he laid on his horn motioning for somebody, anybody, to move. What the frustrated driver couldn’t see was that the driver of the little car was in a long line and purposefully left a gap so as not to block the intersection leading to the bank. The irate driver was blind to the reality of the situation from his angle of view.

When we rely on our own wisdom instead of God’s, we can fall prey to spiritual blindness.

Balaam learned this lesson in an unusual way. He was a sorcerer propositioned by the King of Moab to put a curse on the Israelites for money. God had already told Balaam not to go. Balaam outwardly said he had no power to go against God’s will but in his heart he wanted the money! Eventually he headed out with the Moabite officials. Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord blocking her way and she attempted to avoid it three times in order to save Balaam’s life. Balaam beat his donkey in a fit of increasing anger because she wouldn’t go down the path. Then, a funny thing happened–God gave the donkey the ability to speak, and she asked Balaam why he beat her! Now, if I had just beaten my donkey in a fit of rage and she started asking me why, I believe I would have jumped from the beast and run! But, Balaam answered her and shortly afterward, the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to what he could not see earlier. Balaam confessed his sin, obeyed the Lord and blessed, rather than cursed, the Israelites.

Balaam missed every sign from his donkey that there was trouble in his path even though he was a wise sorcerer. He was unable to see what was right in front of his face because he was focused on his own wisdom and desires.

Only God, through the Holy Spirit, opens our eyes to the truth so that we can clearly see the obstacles in our path. Is spiritual blindness clouding your vision today?

By grace through faith,

Rita

The Great Fixer Upper

“He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:3 NASB

As I look through my dining room window, I catch a glimpse of the old church pew sitting on the front porch. A gift from my son and daughter-in-law several years ago, it remains unfinished. I really should do something with it. It’s an eyesore; a weathered and worn out piece of furniture.  Rather ugly and useless since it is not a very inviting place to sit. What a great project it would be for one of those TV shows that can turn junk into treasure!

Thinking about it, there have been times when I deemed myself to be much like the description of that pew. Maybe you have, too. I felt tired and worn out; worthless and of no use to anyone; unattractive, both inside and out.

During those times, we can rest assured knowing that we have a fixer upper that trumps all the experts on every TV show combined. He’s our Shepherd – the guard, caregiver, and ruler of the flock. He watches over us, tends to our needs, feeds us, and delights in our presence.

He restores my soul. He renews my strength. He refreshes my soul. He renews my life. [Ps. 23:3 NASB; NLT; NIV; HCSB]

As the great Shepherd, God watches over us and knows our every want and desire. He sees when we’re weary and inadequate. Gathering us in His arms, He carries us to a safe place and renews, repairs, and renovates our tired soul, bringing much-needed healing. And then, He tenderly guides our steps in the right direction because He has a purpose and plan for our lives…for YOUR life! (read the rest of Ps. 23:3).

[Digging deeper – Psalm 19:7; Psalm 51:12; Isaiah 40:29-31]

Being restored,

Beverly <><