- God Will Give Us The Right Way
- by Dr. Ken Matto
- (Ezra 8:21 KJV) Then I proclaimed a fast there,
at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God,
to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all
Before the Pilgrims had set out from Leyden in South Holland in 1620 to
go to Southampton in England and then eventually on to the new world,
their Pastor had preached a sermon using the text above from Ezra. Their
desire was to pray to God and ask Him for the right way that they should
go as they began their perilous journey to New England. They sought God
for everything which was being planned. There was over 100 of them who
planned on leaving England for the new world and with them was children
and women, some of whom were physically frail. Before they began their
journey from Leyden, they had to sell some of their belongings to buy
provisions for the journey. In those days there were no shipís chandlers
where they could buy provisions from. If someone was planning on a long
voyage by ship, it was up to them to purchase their own provisions.
Some of the provisions they had to sacrifice were certain foods which
was needed for the journey but their faith in God was so strong
believing that God would supply what was essential and life-sustaining
for the voyage. What they sold netted them only sixty pounds but was
sufficient for other needs. It really did not matter how much provisions
they took with them, without the guidance of God, it would have mattered
little. All the provisions in the world will do no good if there is no
faith in God. (Heb 11:6 KJV) But
without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God
must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him. Even though the trip was
rough and they landed in winter, God had rewarded their faith by
allowing them to come to a land where they could be free to worship Him
and to spread the Christian Faith.
The other day I was driving in a small town close to me and I was
stopped at a red light and spotted a squirrel walking across a wire and
it made it across but had stopped for a moment on a place near an
electrical transformer with many wires. That squirrel had no idea what
danger he was in. If he would have stepped on a wrong wire or terminal,
he would have been terminal. A squirrel is an animal with good instincts
but an animal has no idea what danger they are in when crossing power
lines or even a street. One morning about three years ago I was sitting
in my room getting dressed. It was summer and my windows were opened.
All of a sudden I heard ZZZZZZZ and then saw a big puff of smoke rise
from a transformer on a pole around the corner from me. So in my
curiosity I went to the scene only to see a squirrel on the ground in
rigor mortis because he was the one who died on the transformer.
When we look at these two narratives, which one best describes us? Are
we like the Pilgrims who seek the Lord for guidance, not only for us but
for friends and loved ones? Or are we like the squirrel, confident in
our abilities but ignorant to the dangers around us? As Christians we
must realize that we have an enemy who is bent on our destruction, even
though he knows he cannot repossess us but would love nothing more than
to destroy us. Every day we Christians go out into uncharted waters. Yes
we have a routine which we perform every day but even in a routine there
may always be surprises. The squirrel has a routine too and that is to
find food and get it back to their nest or their tree to eat whatever
they scavenge. I have seen plenty of squirrels cross wires with success
but there are times when a squirrel dies from electrocution.
It is this type of warning that the Christian must heed. As the Pilgrims
were setting out to go to a new land which meant leaving everything
behind that was familiar to them. They had no idea if they would make it
across the Atlantic since they were in the middle of the ocean during
Hurricane season plus they didnĎt have the Weather Channel. They were
leaving a comfortable, populated area in Holland and would be facing the
rigors of frontier living. Their faith in God under girded their hope.
They would not leave Holland or England without faith that God was going
before them. One of the greatest promises in the Bible is that God
always goes before His people, no matter what the situation is.
31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be
with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not,
neither be dismayed. This promise in Deuteronomy does not only speak to
those Christians in dangerous situations around the world, but is also a
promise for us that we can invoke for our daily routines. No matter what
our routine is, God goes before us and the great promise is that He will
never fail nor forsake us. The Lord Jesus Christ has also promised to
His children that He will never leave us or forsake us.
(Heb 13:5 KJV) Let your conversation be
without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he
hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
What great promises we have that God is going to go before us and to
guide us, even in seemingly routine living. Yet, how many of us neglect
those truths by never asking God to guide us in our daily tasks.
Sometimes God has to interrupt our routine to show us that our routine
is of the Lord and it was his protection of us that keeps our life in
proper practice. How would you like to wake up every morning to a life
changing situation? I donít think many of us could handle it. Many of
our lives seem passive only because God is there to watch over us. Those
who become complacent in Godís tender mercies, may have to be awakened
to the fact that their abilities are unable to cope with the realities
of life. Suppose God would remove His hand of protection from us and
allowed Satan to have his way with us. How many would be quick to get on
their knees and ask God for help? Job was a wealthy man and all his
possessions could not stop the assault of Satan on his life. Job trusted
his life to the Lord and the Lord brought him through safely, even
though there was much suffering. It was the Lord who restrained Satan in
the life of Job and that is a great principle for us to understand.
Satan could not have free reign in Jobís life but was under the
authority of God during that entire ordeal.
As Christians today, we have the privilege of 20-20 hindsight in seeing
how Satan attacked other believers in the pages of Scripture. Sometimes
he would come with a subtle lust and let it mushroom as in the case of
David. He may come with words which question Godís verity such as he did
with Eve. He may come to you with something small which may eventually
lead to the total ruin of your Christian testimony. This is why we must
never become complacent in our Christian walk, simply because the enemy
is never complacent. In these last days, he will do whatever he can to
derail the Christians and there are plenty of tools for him to use.
This is why we must never be like the Squirrel and be ignorant of the
dangers around us. We must be like the Pilgrims and pray for guidance
and protection in our lives, and not only for us but for friends and
family. The biggest danger that the Christian faces is not the visible
enemy but the invisible enemy, who is the driving force behind the
visible enemy. This is why it is so important for us to acknowledge this
fact in prayer to keep us conscious that an enemy is out to get us.
Remember, prayer is not only bringing to God our concerns but it is also
a reminder of the fact that we are totally dependent on Him and as we
bring our concerns, it continually makes us cognizant of the fact that
we are in a spiritual war.
The Old Testament sacrifices were done on a routine basis and the fact
that sin and burnt offerings were done continuously for the people was a
reminder that they were continually sinning before God. The sacrifices
were a reminder of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. It
takes very little to entice the flesh into sinning against God. Since
there are no more sacrifices today, we can be reminded of our sinfulness
and frailties when we go to God in prayer, as we ask Him to guide us
into holy living and walking on the right path, to keep us from
straying. In this month of November we can take a great lesson from the
Pilgrims, to seek God for every venture in our life, whether it is
routine living or an immense undertaking. Squirrels may be cute but they
are ignorant of danger from electrical wires. Let us not be like the
squirrel who walks close to death on the wires. Let us be in prayer to
ask God to keep us from walking close to sin. After all, why would we
want to help the enemy of our souls.