~ Prayer Text for today is Psalm 139 ~
Every once in a while (sometimes pretty often) the Enemy whispers in my ear. He reminds me of the stupid things I’ve done … the embarrassing things … those things I’d rather forget. He’s not going to let me do that. He brings up those words that should not have been said and the pride and arrogance behind them. I’m a preacher. I talk a lot in front of people. My foot does not taste good, but it keeps finding its way into my mouth. Sometimes I wonder if other people struggle with this … but then I am reminded of the human condition and I wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t live with some regrets? Those remain mostly unknown to everyone, except One.
Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.
What makes grace so amazing? I tell you the more undeserved grace is, the more amazing it becomes. (As Paul would say, let’s not try to make grace more amazing by sinning a lot – that kind of goes against the Divine grain!) If you think God has reached a point with you that He’s ready to toss you in the garbage heap, take courage. More than that, a humbled vantage point is a perfect place from which to hear His leading.
You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me.
God’s ever-present care for us gives us light for the path ahead. No matter where we find ourselves, it is never a surprise to God. He will hold on to us and lead us where we need to go. From the time when you were made in secret, formed in the depths of the earth, God has been attentive to your path (see verses 11-16).
Some people believe that God directs their steps in every decision and has pre-determined how their lives are going to turn out. Some tend to believe that each of us makes choices and God uses the circumstances of our lives to glorify Himself. Whichever view you embrace, it is certainly true that we depend on God because our own ways are so uncertain. Our own failings come back to haunt us. So we say to God…
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
We can’t change the past, we can only face forward and journey with His Divine guidance discovered in His word and among His people and through His Spirit. The prayer asking God to ‘search me’ certainly makes us take a deep breath … walk into His throne room with courage … and talk to our Abba. Ask Him to lead you in an everlasting way by showing you a better way. Where might God lead you in the coming new year … to places you’ve never been before?
“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”
― Oswald Chambers
I love this song by Mandisa considering the ways that the voice of God leading us is maybe more evident than we ever thought. Listen for the Christmas connection in the song.