You know it is so easy for us to go down the wrong path. We know it is no good for us, and our flesh fights us ever so strong. We face the enemy every day, and it seems that some days the battle is tougher than others. But just as Jesus faced and overcame Satan in the desert after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights during arguably his most physically challenging circumstances, we can be assured that God will guide us down the right path. We can be confident that God will overcome for us. And knowing this, we certainly can rest easier knowing that He will fight our battles.
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“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3
If we want the Lord to fight our battles, we have to surrender the flesh. And in doing so we become one with the Lord. We all the know the verse, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (or I lack nothing). Then this verse 3. He guides me along the right paths. Thank God – literally. I love the song and lyrics made famous by William McDowell where he sings, “My life is not my own, to you I belong, I give myself, I give myself away”. What a great song, and what a great reminder. How do we keep from joining the enemy, and walking outside of God’s will? We have to surrender. And when we surrender, as Christians we are alive in the Spirit, and dead to the flesh. This is not always easy to do because we feel the flesh every day.
When I get out of bed, my body aches sometimes, especially when I have been exercising or have a lot of physical activity. We can easily get tired after a long day, and eventually can’t keep our eyes open, and need to recharge. And I assure you that when I am tired I don’t make the best decisions, am not the best communicator, not the most loving and caring individual. I’m tired and my body needs sleep. That’s the flesh, we all can relate to this because we are in these physical bodies.
Similarly, we want things in the flesh. To get these things we work hard, and have our plan. But things don’t always go according to plan, and you know what, that’s alright. Not that we want to sit idle and not take action, and not be bold in our actions. But what I am saying is, we have to know the difference of being bold for something that is our will, and standing for something that is God’s will. When it comes to the things of this world, our time, and our possessions, everything is God’s anyway. We are just blessed for a time and a season while God entrusts us with these things. But God sometimes wants more of you. Sometimes He expects more of you. And sometimes He knows that the only way that you are going to change is to bring you through change, painful change in the flesh, so that you can move forward to God’s greater plan for your life.
So if you ever feel like you are walking through the darkest valley, through the shadow of death, the Word tells us that we can fear no evil. God is with us. Surely His goodness and mercy and love will follow us all the days of our lives. Although we might be going through hell in the flesh, we can be assured that God has us in His protection and care. Amd we can be assured that what the enemy intends to harm us with, God will use for good. And we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Look, none of us are perfect. I am not perfect by a long-shot. I’m definitely what you would call a work in progress. I’m tempted every day. Bad thoughts enter my mind every day. But I lean on my shepherd, my Lord, to make sure that I take the right path as I am walking through the forest, through the fire, through the valley. And I can be confident that when I trust in the Lord, and follow the Way, that I too Will inherit the truth, and the light, and life in all it’s fullness.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you so much for this Word, and for your Promise. We receive this Word today with open hearts and open minds. Help us to let go of the things of the flesh Lord, and focus only on You and your will for us. Break down our stubbornness, and our desires, that our flesh might be dead, and that we can be alive in You. We surrender to you Lord, we give ourselves fully to you. Help us to overcome and not be subject to the desires of the flesh and temptation. Help us to rise above. For we know that our eternity matters, as do how we live every day in the flesh. Help us to be a light that shines in the darkness. We receive your Promises today Lord, we receive all your blessings and anointing and healing today. Let your Will be done. Help us to walk down the path that you have set before us. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Numbers 7; Psalm 23; Acts 27
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