God Orders Your Steps….and Your STOPS!

GodStepsNStops

 

Order my steps in your word dear Lord
Lead me guide me every day
Send your anointing father I pray
Order my steps in your word
Please, order my steps in your word

GMWA – Gospel Music Workshop of America Women of Worship “Order My Steps” – http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/gmwa/order_my_steps-lyrics-1161250.html#ixzz4G17S3kyk

As sons and daughters of God, we are not left to wander aimlessly in this world.  When we make the intentional choice to invite God into our lives and serve Him, we have given Him access to order and direct our steps.  As long as we are surrendered to God and actively seeking Him, He will do just that!

Psalm 119:133 (KJV) Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalm 37:23  – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

Often times, we think we are going in one direction, but lo and behold, we find ourselves in an entirely different situation and it’s much better than we could have ever come up with on our own.  We know in our hearts that it is the hand of God.  We love it when God does this!

However, sometimes we have a plan and start making steps to arrive at a certain relationship, job, family or business “destination” only to find that it is totally different than what we thought it would be.  We had dreams.  We prayed about it. We made plans.  Then it all painfully dissolves right before our very eyes.

Poof.  Vanish!  Gone and nothing left but shattered dreams and emptiness.

In my current situation, it is indeed painful.  I know what it is like to seek God, move in a direction and all signs appear to point to “Green, Go forward” only to get a great big Red STOP sign smack dab in the middle of my face.

Ouch! It hurts God! What happened? Why God?

It’s because God knows.  God knows the good thoughts and plans for me that He has, thoughts for my ultimate good. (Jeremiah 29:11).  It’s because God has a plan for my life and He loves me too much to let me derail my destiny.

It’s because God is SOVEREIGN.  He sees all and knows all.  He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 8:1), the beginning and the end.  He knows and sees what I do not know and what I cannot see.

It’s because God hears my cry to be obedient in spite of myself.  He sees our hearts and even when we fall, He is right there to pick us up.  He truly delights in our steps even when we struggle. (Psalm 37:23-24)

God loves us so much that He numbers the very hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). He observes when we lay down and when we get up.  He knows the thoughts we think and the words we say before we say them. He knows all of our comings and goings. (Psalm 139: 1-5).

And finally, He also counts and numbers our STEPS:

Job 14:16 (AMP) – But now You number [each of] my steps; You do not observe nor take note of my sin.

Job 31: 4 (AMP) – Does not God see my ways and count all my steps?

In spite of digging up these scriptures and pondering them, it does not alleviate my pain right away.  I know God loves me.  I see that He orders, counts and watches my steps.

But I have also come to another conclusion in the midst of my pain and suffering.  That God not only orders my steps, but that He also ORDERS MY STOPS!  God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).  If God, who is Love Personified, choses to abruptly stop something that I want in my heart, and if I trust the nature and character of God, I must deliberately submit my will to His will and trust His timing and His ways even when it hurts.

Nothing for a believer, a child of God is EVER a coincidence.  I’ve been watching God in operation and I clearly saw how He gave me signs of an impending stop along the way well before it manifested. In His infinite love and wisdom, He prepares our hearts before the stops occur so that we are not taken totally off guard — if we pay attention and walk closely with Him.

I must remind myself that there always is a higher purpose beyond my limited understanding, emotions and pain.  It’s not always about me.  It’s about something bigger than my steps, my stops, my ways and my thoughts. His thoughts and ways are much, much higher than my mine (Isaiah 55:8-9).  I must trust Him every step and stop of my way, my life and my destiny.  Even when it hurts.

So my question, is still left out there begging to be answered – Why the hard stop God?  Why does it have to hurt?  Why?

To Protect Us

My life and the lives of those whom I touch matter to God.  If I am in a situation that has the potential to harm me, drag me down, hold me back or in any way create unnecessary pain and suffering, God will order a stop.

To Keep Us Moving In the Right Direction

If my plans will move me away from his original intent and purpose for my life or if they will significantly delay the progress or destinies of other people tied to my life, God will yet again, orchestrate another stop.

To Develop Us

Stops are also necessary in character development and refinement.  Some of my biggest life lessons and learnings have not come through the orderly unfoldment of steps and events towards a desired destination but through major, heartbreaking stops.

These stops reveal my character.  Stops allow time to slow down, catch my breath and go within, retrace my steps and obtain a different perspective.  We don’t always grow while we are stepping because we are so busy moving and making things happen.  However, when we are forced to stop, we have no choice but to seek God for answers and draw closer to Him.   It is during the stops that we receive the traction and strength necessary for the next series of steps that He has in store for us.

I don’t claim to have it all together right now.  I don’t have a full understanding of my current stop situation, but what I do know is this:  1) God is protecting me, 2) He is keeping me on track with his purposes for my life and; 3) He is preparing me for what He has in store next.

For those of you who are camped out at a major stop, or who are seeing the handwriting on the wall of an impending stop and for those of you who are still stepping, I encourage you to continue to surrender to God and maintain your faith knowing that wherever you are in this process, that your STEPS and your STOPS are truly ordered, counted and watched by God and that you can TRUST HIM all the way!

Scriptures for further reflection:

Proverbs 5:21 (AMP) – For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, And He carefully watches all of his paths [all of his comings and goings].

Proverbs 16:9 (NET) A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.

Stay connected to my #GetRealBeHealed Movement by clicking here!  For a FREE audio on 3 Signs of a Toxic Relationship go to www.tonikabreeden.com and download today.  If you are struggling in a dead-end relationship, check out my book Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW available on www.amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.

Advertisements

When I Thought I Was God: The Danger of Fretting & Figuring

incontrol

Isaiah 30: 15-17

For this is what the master, the Lord the Holy One of Israel says: “If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, but you were unwilling…”( New English Translation)

God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.  Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me — The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do…” (The Message)

I have recited these scriptures over and over again, yet I still struggle to remain at rest on a daily basis.  Some days are better than others, but for the most part, it is no easy feat to calmly trust in God when everything seems to go wrong.  When mishaps, mistakes, and misunderstandings occur.  When there is not enough money to go around.  When it seems like I am all alone.  When people act funny towards me or get easily offended.  When the kids act up.

God clearly tells me these scriptures to repent or turn back to him and calmly trust Him.  Yet, I am still unwilling.  The main way my unwillingness to calmly trust in God is manifested by choosing to fret and figure in a situation instead of calmly waiting on God for revelation.

There is a difference between calmly going over a situation in your mind and going off the deep end trying to figure it out.  You know that you have crossed over into not trusting in God when the thinking turns into fretful figuring.  This is a manifestation of a silly effort to save myself when I try to figure out something that only God can give the answer for.

The last time I checked, Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He did not fuss and fume to figure out anything.  The only time He sweated was at the Cross when he sweated blood in preparation to die for the sins of the world.  He told us plainly to not let our hearts be troubled and neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).  He told us to stop allowing ourselves to be agitated, distressed, fearful, cowardly and unsettled.  He told us to fret not ourselves.  He lives in us.  We are complete in Him who is the Head of all Principalities and Powers (Col 2:10).  In Him we live and move and have all of our being (Acts 17:28). If all of this is true, then why do we act the opposite? Why do we let agitated and anxious thoughts take over until they take root in our souls?

It is because we are carnal human beings.  The Self, The Ego, The Flesh naturally thinks that it is God, that it can figure out something, that it can control something that somehow or another it can solve something and get the credit without God.   We want to be IN CONTROL.  It irks us to no end when we are not “in the know”, when stuff happens that we didn’t expect, what stuff takes a turn that we didn’t anticipate and we are left struggling trying to gather ourselves.  When things like this happen, we decide to do all we can to anticipate, plan, prepare and be in control of our lives, but in spite of our best made plans and preparations, something inevitably goes awry.

When stuff like this happens it HURTS.  It feels bad.  We look bad.  What will other people think? The list goes on. We don’t want to hurt again.  We don’t want to go through that mess again. We don’t want to be embarrassed.  We have our pride.  We don’t like the shame.  So we figure. We fret.  We plan. We fuss.  We think and think and think some more.  We can turn a situation around in our heads a thousand different ways.  We say a quick prayer and think we are trusting in God.  But we are really trusting in ourselves. We think we can figure out all by ourselves.  Even though we would never dare verbalize it or admit it to ourselves, our actions show that we think we are smarter than God. God takes too long to do stuff.  We can do something now.  Although we have confessed Jesus as our Savior, He is not our Lord when we still have our small weak, selves sitting on the thrones of our hearts trying to run our personal worlds as if we were the Sovereign God.

In my head I know that I am not Sovereign, yet  in my day-to-day life,  I sure think I am!  I don’t have any control over my own heart beating.  I can’t control the automatic inhaling and exhaling of my lungs.   I can’t wake myself up in the morning from deep slumber. I could easily die in my sleep on any given night and not know it.  God, however, has control over all of this in my life.  He created me. He knows my thoughts and words before I think them.  He knows the past, present and future for me. Why do I think I am smart by trying to figure out something beyond my capacity?  Why do I worry, fret, fume, and figure?  It is because I think I am God.   I still wake up in the morning and act like I’m God when I attempt to control circumstances or run my life by figuring in the flesh instead of calmly trusting that the One Who made me in the first place will order my steps.

To me the most painful part of this awareness is the fact 1) it is sin and 2) the fruit of such behavior will eventually manifest in my life as the form of lack of peace and poise.  How can we attract unsaved people to God when we have no peace? Why would they want what we got? Peace is defined as the absence of all strife or fighting within or without.  It is also defined as the absence of agitation or discord. Fretting, figuring, trying to be in control is evidence of strife, agitation and discord from within.

The biggest blessing from the times where I have surrendered is the state of peace from within. It is worth its weight in Gold.  Nothing can compare to it.  Surrendering your will to God’s will in life situations bring peace.  Peace that passes your understanding.  It is ironic that the only way to come to this level, is a slow, long process of self death.  By the time you really surrender, you are to the point where you could care less, you just want peace.  When God is Sovereign, you have Peace.  When Self is Sovereign, you have Stress. When God is truly on the Throne, there is quietness in the soul.

I realize that I will not change overnight.  It would be very easy to actually start stressing about the fact that I am unable to trust God fully and that I am probably relying on myself most of the time. Ouch.  I cannot change myself by trying figure it out how to do it.  It is a work of the Holy Spirit from within.   Therefore I continue to read this scripture further and receive comfort in knowing that when we truly settle down and rely upon Him that he ….“ longs to be gracious to (us); therefore he will rise up to show you (us) compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him…”