Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Back in the good old days my wife and I would go camping with our kids when they were young. We did some camping after they were grown up too. But it was actually easier without the kids. You know the routine. We'd get the three little Hutchcrafts ready for bed, make sure no bears were going to eat them during the night, and then we would snap all the snaps and tuck them into their sleeping bags, tied up all the flaps and zipped all the zippers on the tent door. Finally, able to settle into our sleeping bags, having found the most comfortable piece of ground underneath that we could.
Just as my wife and I were beginning to get sleepy, you'd hear the voice, "I've got to go potty!" Great! Somehow we were missing the most important nighttime routine of all for one of my kids. So I unzip my bag, unzip the sleeping bag they're in, get a jacket and shoes on her, shoes on me, unsnap the snaps, untie the ties, unzip the zippers, and march around in the darkness in the campgrounds heading for the bathroom. My best friend at that time of night? My trusty Coleman camp lantern. Not that it exactly illuminated the whole campground, or even our destination for that matter. But it did tell me what I needed to know; where to step next.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Little Steps to God's Big Will."
In our word for today from the Word of God, Psalm 119:105 we read, "Your word is a lamp to my feet. It is a light for my path." I can't read this without thinking about those night walks through the campground with my little lantern. It's that lantern, that lamp for my feet that gets me there. It's what God says His Word can do for us to get us through our life, showing us where to step next. Sure, we'd like for Him to light up the whole campground, or at least show us where the path is going. But generally He just shows us what we can handle right now. Guess what that is? The next step. I mean, how many steps can you take at a time anyway?
Sometimes this business of "God's will for your life" or "living the Christian life" just sounds so overwhelming. But really all He's asking us to give Him is today – one day at a time. "Take up your cross daily and follow Me", not once and for all. He leads us in steps toward the destination He knows but that we don't have to know.
So how can we experience a daily step with God; this light for the next step of the path? First, you commit yourself to turn on the lantern every new day; to get His Book in your lap to meet Him and let Him show you the step for that day. Then you read a few verses maybe two or three times, asking yourself two key questions. First of all, in my own words, "What has God just said here?" and secondly, "What specific thing in my life does this apply to this day?" Or, "What am I going to do differently because of what God said?" See, the Holy Spirit knows God's Word and He knows all about your life and His planning to bring the two together for this day.
So if you read about patience, then ask the Lord, "Where am I not being patient right now?" Whatever He puts the spotlight on, that becomes your area for specific involving of Jesus in that part of you; consciously making Jesus Lord of that specific piece of your life for the next twenty-four hours. If the verse focuses on resisting temptation, you say, "God, where am I facing temptation today? Let God focus the light on that. So it goes. He shines His light on something in your life for that day, using His Word to turn His light on some part of you. And if you focus on Him being Lord of that today, you'll take the next step in His natural will for your life.
See, God's macro will is made up of thousands of micro wills; in small micro obediences that ultimately will become a whole life lived for Him. So don't focus on the big walk ahead or even the ultimate destination. That's God's business. Just let the illumination of God's Word light up what He wants you to focus on right now.
It's like walking through that dark campground. The great will of God is really just a big step-by-step walk in the Word of God.