The Leading of a Lifetime
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If you're paying attention, a child will often tip you off very early as to what to expect from them later on in life. I've got movies of our daughter, and she was about five or six, seven years old, singing for us using a spoon - a big wooden spoon - as a microphone and standing on something in the living room as a stage. Well, over the years, God used her wonderfully in singing, and musically, and speaking. It was really no great shock; we saw the first hints of that when she was little. When our son was five, he was tying our house together with string very imaginatively. I'd walk in...I'd open the back door, and it would open the drawer of my dresser in the bedroom. He had everything tied together. At the age of 13 he was the technician of the house, who loved to figure out how things work; how to take them apart; how to put them together, I hope - how to solve problems. You know what? Grew up to be a great planner and a very creative technician in ministry. There's a pattern...a connective line from the past into the future in the life of every child; my child and God's child. In fact, that's true of you too.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 37. I'm going to begin reading in verse 4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this." Verse 23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in His way." Don't you get the feeling as you hear about how God is leading in these passages that His leading in our lives is a consistent, long-term pattern - not usually a sudden departure. God usually leads in a straight line. Hey doesn't just go "boing" off in some tangent. It's a straight line from what He's been doing in your past, on into the present, and consistently into your future.
Now, maybe you're at one of those crossroads right now. It's decision time; you've got a major choice to make. Well, one guideline in determining what God wants for the future is to see where He's been leading you and how He's been leading you in the past. For example, here it talks about Him giving you the desires of your heart. Could you trust your desires in this decision? Well, if you've kept the first part of the verse you can. "Delight yourself in the Lord."
Have you been, over the last months and years, having daily time with the Lord, where you're just enjoying Him?
Then it says, "Commit your way to the Lord." I wonder if you've said to Him over and over again about this area of your life, "Lord, anything goes. Whatever You say is okay." You're not giving Him a contract to sign; you're giving Him a blank piece of paper.
Well, with those understandings when you're trying to decide, look at those desires you've felt for a long time, especially the ones you've felt when you've been close to Him. Not just things you've felt for days. And if they line up with God's Word and with good counsel, and with the facts, those desires are probably God-planted.
Now, keep a spiritual diary of what He says to you through the Bible. I've been doing that for years. I'm so glad I've got that. Don't decide a major decision on one verse, but look at the things God has been saying to you over and over. Look for the pattern. God's will for tomorrow will pull together all He's been doing in your life up until now: the experiences, the fulfilling achievements, the talents, the desires, the themes that He's unfolded to you in His Word.
So before you look ahead, look back at God's pattern in your life. His will is the natural next step of following Him daily up until now. He's leading you in a straight line. So, don't just grab the impulse of a moment. Look for the leading of a lifetime.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.