Monday, February 8, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
It was one of those ministry trips where I had to take my office with me. I had my files and I had my computer. I was going to three different cities so I had to be prepared for everything. In other words, I had a lot of luggage. There was this one garment bag that I used often and I always ended up stuffing it to the gills! I actually introduced my bag to airline agents as Big Bertha. Yeah, I named my suitcase.
One day, I was loaded down with heavy luggage as I was paying my hotel bill. I looked over at the door that I was going to be using to leave the hotel and there was a problem. There was no handle on that door. I had this heavy load and a door with no apparent way to open it. Is that a problem? Well, of course not. You know what happened. As I walked toward that door, wow, it opened all by itself.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Stepping Where God's Shown You the Light."
Our word for today from the Word of God; we're in Joshua 3 where the Jews are about to cross into their Promise Land. But they are facing a flooded Jordan River and they're wondering how in the world they are ever going to get across when God gives these instructions in verse 8, "Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river." Now, this is a roaring, flooded stream. "As soon as the priests who carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, set foot on the Jordan. Its waters flowing downstream (God said) will be cut off and stand up in a heap." That's what happened!
Verse 15, "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during Harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing." Now when did the water's part? It said, "...as soon as their feet touched the water's edge."
I might have tried to negotiate this one, "I'll tell you what, Lord. How about you part the waters and I'll start walking in." He says, "No. You start walking in and I'll part the waters." Sounds like my automatic door at the hotel. It looked like I could hurt myself if I just kept walking toward that door. I couldn't see any way it would open, so I could have stood there with Bertha, my suitcase, all afternoon waiting for an opening. But the door opened as I was walking toward it – by faith you might say.
Now, that's the Lord's way of directing your whole life. We, of course, want to know how every door might open. We want to know how every need will be met, every obstacle will be removed, and the Lord says, "Just start walking." So meanwhile, we just stand still waiting for the waters to part or until we've had a lot of our questions answered, till it looks safe. And many people have lost God's plan for their lives that way over and over again.
God is asking you to walk by faith, not by sight. Maybe you're insisting on walking by sight. The waters are never going to part for you at this rate. God's primary way of showing you the next step is His Word. You can't separate God's will from God's Word.
David prayed, "Direct my footsteps according to your word." That means your destiny is tied to whether or not you are faithfully having your time with Jesus through what He wrote to you in the Bible. But it's not just reading the words, it's asking the Lord to show you through those words what specific things He wants to touch in your life that day.
And as you obey that, you take a step in the direction of His larger will for you. His macro will for your life is made up of a thousand micro wills; a thousand daily obediences to something God says He wants to touch in your life. God will combine scripture with His prayer leading, with His Godly counsel and with circumstantial confirmation to shine light on the next step He wants you to take. Take it and He'll show you the next one. You will end up being the right person in the right place at the right time. How does it work? Take a step, see a step.
Right now you need to be taking steps in the direction God seems to be leading before the waters part. That's the way to walk in His good and pleasing and perfect will, even if it looks risky, unconventional, and uncertain.
Like walking toward a door with no handle, it's a door that opens as you walk toward it.