I was confused and upset. I had just found out that I had stage 4 colon cancer which had spread to my liver. I had an appointment with the oncologist that afternoon to discuss my treatment of chemotherapy. I had done some research and discovered that chemotherapy can sometimes trigger a manic episode. That sparked anxiety within me. I had been free from a manic episode for ten years with medication and did not want to have another one. I prayed to God for His peace. I then knew that my quality of life was more important to me than prolonged life with chemotherapy. As my friend and I parked later that afternoon in the parking lot of the oncologist, we prayed. The words strengthened me. As I talked with the oncologist, he wanted a treatment regimen of chemo – colon surgery – chemo – liver surgery – more chemo! As I told him that I did not want to be treated, I felt the Holy Spirit help me to speak boldly to the oncologist. As I exited the office, I had a spring in my step as I felt a load lifted.
“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your GOd, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17, NIV).
WHAT’S IN A WORD?
Direct is “an authoritative order or command” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). It is “to show or point out the way for” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). It is “the Lord’s guidance of the feet of His people” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).
Step is “any of a series of acts, processes” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). It is “a stage in a process” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).
In today’s world, it is easy for us to feel overwhelmed with a sense of being alone. However, God is always with us. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. We can cry out to Him for guidance and direction and He will never let us down.
“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:7-8, NIV).
Read Psalm 16:7-8. What did David start out doing in these passages?
What did the Lord do?
What happened at night for David?
What did David always do?
What did David say would not be shaken?
We do not have to be shaken because God is for us. He longs to direct our steps. David praised the Lord for His counsel and direction. When he went to God for answers, David was not shaken.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5, NIV).
Read Psalm 25:4-5. What did David ask God to show him?
What did David desire for God to teach him?
What did David request to guide him?
Who was David’s hope in?
As I began my writing career, I read this Psalm aloud every day. I so desired for God to guide me in His truth and teach me. We can all come to God to guide and direct our steps. When we do so, we will not feel overwhelmed but comforted in times of trouble.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are we to do with all our hearts?
What are we not to lean on?
Who are we to acknowledge?
What will God do in response?
God brought these verses to me often as I was convicted of my addiction to reasoning. As a child, I tried to make sense of the trouble surrounding me. It was a defense mechanism. However, God desired for me to submit to Him and let go of my human reasoning. When I did, I felt a load lifted.
YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV). It can be easy for us to plan our futures without seeking the Lord. However, God desires to guide and establish our steps. When we surrender to God’s plan, we will find relief and peace.
Name a time when you relied on your human understanding.
What was the result?
How did you cry out to God?
What was His guidance?
What Scripture spoke to you during this time?
How did you feel after you surrendered to God’s guidance?
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8, NIV). God is our Instructor and Teacher. Through the Holy Spirit, God will guide us in the way we should go through His Word and His still, small voice. We can praise God for always being there to instruct us in the way we should go.
Dear Heavenly Father, I surrender my plans to You this day. Guide and direct my steps and the will You have for me this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
NUGGETS OF WISDOM
Where God guides, He provides. Author unknown
And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ. Author unknown
When we fail to wait prayerfully for God’s guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions if not our lips, that we do not need him. Charles Hummel
Man proposes, God disposes. Proverb
For what Jesus would do, and how he would do it, may always stand as the best guide to us. C.H. Spurgeon