God’s Language: There is no ‘But’, ‘Except’, and ‘However’

[reprinted from January 1, 2011]

I have set Yahweh always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.   Psalm 16:8 (WEB)

David, or another psalmist, states that he has made a choice: God is in front of him and everything he sees and how he sees it is through God’s viewfinder. I must remember that God’s perspective may not be the majority’s perspective or the perspective of the ‘loud’ minority.

David’s son, Solomon, continues the tough wisdom he learned – trust God. But remember – chances are that His way of doing things is not going to be the way you think or plan (Proverbs 3).

I wish there was some ‘wiggle room’ on this, Lord. I wish I could trust You and yet see clearly the path You have given me and understand it. Know the reasoning behind it and leave that ‘faith’ part for the ‘easier’ times. But in point of fact, the best way that I acknowledge You, especially in the difficult times, is when I move forward with You withoutknowing the way or the why.

My understanding of God has both improved and gotten worse! On the one hand, I
know God more today than I did 20 years ago. I know His characteristics, His heart. I have felt His love, His extraordinary comfort. But God still troubles me with what He allows to happen. I have difficulty connecting His deep love with the terrible suffering of innocents. And yet…even in those situations I also see the fruit of His Holy Spirit as those who are in those situations have great courage and strength that, in turn, inspire others. Maybe that is the point.

David also said in Psalm 16 that because he has made this choice and God is there, then there is nothing that can shake him from the path he is on or has been given. Where God is, that is where I want to be. I do not want to get distracted from that place.

As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce the Kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”       Luke 9:57-62 (WEB)

Accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord is simple but hard. It takes a step of faith. Following Jesus, being a disciple of Jesus means that I not only choose to put God in front of me every day but I also take my steps in faith every day, all day. I choose to go with Jesus first and have faith that all the other things demanding priority in my life will fall in line behind and be OK. For me, there is no ‘wiggle room’ here either. I must start my day and end my day with the Lord. and I must be willing to ‘adjust’ the rest of my day (week, month, year, season, life) when God taps me on the shoulder and gives me my orders. He is my Commander-in-Chief! I really don’t want God to leave it up to me but…there is no ‘but’.

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