September 14, 2023
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A number of years ago I was driving for a pretty extended trip with my son. And in that relaxed moment I said, "Hey, there's something we need to talk about." He rolled his eyes, "Dad, is this 'the talk'?" Well, he must have read me pretty well. He was right. It was time for "the talk."
Yeah, it was time to talk about sex. And so, feeling that he needed this information at this point in his life, I explained everything very clearly. I even used all the right words; we didn't talk about "oogie boogie wagga boogie" or something you know. We didn't use the crazy names that parents make up for body parts. No, we were very clear about everything. And he's usually pretty communicative, but he was strangely silent during this conversation.
Finally when it was all over, I said, "Hey, what do you think?" He gave me his three-word reaction. He said, "Dad, that's gross!" Well, apparently he changed his mind. He later learned that it was beautiful. One of the truths in parenting is recognizing how much and how soon to tell our children all kinds of important life information. It's knowing when they need to know. Did you know you're being raised that way?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "God of the Next Step."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 119:105. And there we have a very revealing look at how God likes to lead us into His will. "Your word," it says, "is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
I got a new appreciation of that verse when I was camping with my kids. You know, you get all settled into the tent in the middle of the night, and then they say, "I got to go potty." And so you untie the tent, and you get out, you go out with your Coleman lantern and start down the dark path. Did you know you can't see the whole path? You can't see the bathroom. All you can see is the next step. But then, how many steps can you take at one time? One at a time, and that's enough. You don't have to see the destination; you just have to see the path ahead of you and know you're on the path.
That's how God leads us. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." That's one step at a time guidance. See, we want God to show us next month, the next year, the next five years. And He shows you all you can handle, because He's a good Father. He knows you only give what your son or daughter can handle at that time. And that is one step. On the day when the next step is a major decision, He'll tell you then. But He won't tell you early.
Now why does God give it to you in daily instructions? Why doesn't He give us the bigger picture? Well, if He told us early, we'd probably make one of two mistakes. We'd either run ahead of Him to get to it because it looks so exciting, and thereby ruin it because we're not ready for it yet, or we'd run away from it like my son saying, "Oh, that's gross, Dad!" Well, he wasn't ready for the information. We'll run away from it.
But you see, by God leading us a day at a time, when we get to it, it will seem like the most natural, exciting thing. But right now we're not ready for it. If you rush it, you'll ruin it. And if He told us early we would just take the plan, fold it up under our arms and walk away.
I like the old hymn that says, "We cannot see what lies before, and so we cling to Him the more." Maybe you're frustrated because you want to know the future now. But maybe you're not ready for all of that yet. Can you focus on today - God's leading for this 24 hours? His macro will for your life is made up of a thousand micro wills - a day at a time. So you stay on the path that leads to God's ultimate best, the day-at-a-time path.
Let God tell you His will in bite-sized chunks. Like any good Father, He won't dump the whole load on you before you're ready. He'll keep you on His need-to-know basis.