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.

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Do You Go To Google Or Do You Go To God?

GotoGoogleOrGoToGodCHSv2

Need tips on how to have greater self-confidence…no worries – Google it!

Need to find out information on that new degree program …research it on Google!

Struggling with forgiving your spouse for infidelity…there are thousands of articles on Google for this!

Need to understand how to overcome depression & anxiety…don’t fret or get depressed – Google it!

(Click here to listen to the audio of this blog post, sign up and follow me on Soundcloud to so that you can have access to the spoken version!)

The power of the internet. The ability to have boatloads of information, videos, content, and articles at your fingertips in nanoseconds. We don’t have to think too hard and neither do we have to wait.

Why wait on an answer from God, when all you have to do is go to Google? Google is quick. Google is fast. Google provides instant answers.

But, alas, with God we must wait! God is just too slow! We need an answer NOW. Therein lies the essence of the problem. To go to God and not Google, we must resign ourselves to wait patiently, sometimes a long time for the answers.

It is far easier to type your issue into the search engine box, than it is to shut down the TV, the mobile phone, the social media and the computer to sit quietly before God in prayer, praise & worship.

It is far easier to surf from article to article, blog to blog, video to video, post to post, tweet to tweet than it is to open the Bible and read it.

It’s because we are humans. We tend to take the easy way out or the path of least resistance. We would rather go to Google than to God because we can control the timing, what we click and what we choose to read. We can get an immediate response from Google and we do not have to have discipline, humble ourselves and wait.

Going to God is simple, but the truth be told, it is not really that easy. It requires discipline, consistency and a certain tenacity. If it were that easy, then we wouldn’t struggle so badly with it. If prayer and seeking God above going to Google were so easy, then we wouldn’t have so much opposition and resistance from without and within.

Why is it that as soon as you do decide to seek God that EVERY DISTRACTION in the world comes your way? Why is it that as soon as you crack open the bible, your cell phone goes off and folks that you haven’t communicated with in a while all of a sudden take a notion to text you, tag you, DM, and inbox you? Why is it that when you get in position to pray you are all of a sudden so-o sleepy and can barely stay awake, but when you are not trying to pray at all you are buck wide awake?

Going to God requires humility. It almost always means being willing to let go of what you thought you knew (if you really had the answer or the solution to your problem your life would reflect that by now). Going to God means that you have to relinquish control of your situation to Him and admit that your way is not working. This is humbling and painful sometimes, especially if you really thought you had it all figured out.

It means that you must be willing to submit to His higher ways and purposes. His ways and His purposes are always higher, bigger, better and for the ultimate and highest good of ALL FOLKS INVOLVED in your situation, not just you and your world. This sometimes is a tough pill to swallow and hard to get a handle on because of our inherent selfishness.

Going to God almost always, 99.9999% of the time requires some level of change in your mindset and emotions, i.e., GROWTH. You cannot go into His presence, seek Him out and remain the same. Receiving and walking out the answer from God, usually requires that you have a different mindset than the one you had when you came with the problem, i.e – “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it” (author unknown).

In other words, going to God requires change and growth – things that we humans typically tend to resist. Whereas, going to Google just means that we simply gather information, but do not have to change.

Finally, going to God forces us to meet and see ourselves in the silence as we wait.

Real growth happens in the quiet moments, in the silence when we are just alone with God and ourselves. Under the search engine of the Holy Spirit, our flaws, weaknesses, hurts and emotional wounds will rise to the top. The unhealed parts of us. The dark side. The parts of us that only God sees where Google’s powerful algorithms cannot access. The parts of us that need to be healed before we have the capacity and the maturity to handle the answer we are searching for.

This is where God really wants us. He wants relationship. He wants communion. He wants to give us life, heal us and bless us. Google can give thousands upon thousands of answers, but God is THE ONLY ANSWER. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Google can give you lists, but only God can give life. Google can entertain your mind, but only God can engage your heart.

When we go to Him, we go to our Creator. Our Father. He is The Source of All Truth and All Power – not Google or Bing or any other search engine for that matter (even if they appear to have all the answers and information).

So, Instead of going to Google about your relationship problem, your marriage, your career, your health, your kids’ problems, your medical condition, your distresses, your ministry, your brand, your business, worries, spiritual and emotional questions and issues – Go to God first. If He leads you to go to Google to look up something, than follow that lead. What does a lead look like?   It looks like a little inkling. A gentle nudge. A prompting. A series of coincidences such as four different people referring you to the same book to read or scripture in the Bible within the same day. That still, small voice. That is your lead for inspired action. And if that inspired action says “look it up on Google”, than by all means do so….

But first, always remember: before you go to Google – GO TO GOD!

Until next time,

Tonika

For more information on walking in emotional wholeness or ending dead-end relationships, order your copy of Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW! A Christian Woman’s Guide on How to Get Real, Healed & Move On TODAY! Available at http://www.amazon.com in paperback or Kindle or for an autographed copy go to www.tonikabreeden.com.