“I can’t do everything!” This is true. Often during the busy seasons of life, we must pick and choose what we are able to do and what we are not. Sometimes we select out of our own convenience rather than out of obedience to God.
Recently in my life, I made such a decision. I stopped writing because my schedule was so eaten up I didn’t feel like I had the time, so I stopped for a season. The season lasted longer than I intended. It’s been a difficult season too.
Whenever there is disobedience in your life, spiritually things seem off. This is the Lord communicating that you need to search your life and evaluate if you are walking in full obedience. For me writing these devotionals wasn’t my idea, it was something I felt the Lord asked me to do and He didn’t ask me to take a break. That was my idea.
Psalm 32:8 (NLT) The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
I love that the scripture says the Lord will advise us! The issue with anyone who gives us advice is that the choice to listen depends upon us. We must listen to the Lord when He gives us His advice because He knows us not as a friend, but as Creator. He created our very lives and He created the very paths that we walk upon. He knows exactly what path we should follow.
Still, we sometimes veer off course onto paths that we thought would be beneficial to us, even though we later realize we were mistaken. In Nehemiah, there is a beautiful prayer recounting all the times the people of Israel went their own way and God continually showed mercy to them, these two verses particularly stood out to me.
Nehemiah 9:30-31 (NLT) In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them. 31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!
God is not only patient with us, He sends warnings when we begin to wander. We must learn to recognize the warnings. We must be attentive to His presence and listen intently for His voice so that we may walk in His perfect and pleasing will. Most of us do not intentionally choose disobedience, yet there will be moments when you realize you have stepped into it. Do not despair. God has not abandoned you.
The moment of realization followed by a moment of repentance is the moment of restoration. God will gently guide you back onto the right path! Of course, it’s important to remember, God is the one guiding. We are the ones doing the walking. We have to take that first step of change. For me, today that means writing this devotion and tomorrow doing the same thing.
What does it mean for you? What is the step God is asking you to take as He leads you down His paths? Perhaps it is a difficult conversation you’ve been putting off. Perhaps it is dusting off the book you stopped reading. Maybe you need to clean out your cabinets and get rid of some stuff. It could be examining how you’ve been handling your finances. Maybe it’s as simple as making more time for prayer.
Whatever step you need to take, as you begin to take it I pray you will enter into a new season of encountering the presence of the Lord and that He will use you to impact this world for His Kingdom.