Daily D – Psalm 119:59
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. PSALM 119:59 (NLT)
When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
A service repairman was due at our house at 11 AM. He was late. Some repairs take longer than estimated. No big deal.
The phone rang and the repairman quickly apologized. He entered our address into his GPS incorrectly. It took him a few minutes to figure out he was going the wrong way. He was delayed due to his mistake.
Life is like that, isn’t it? Sometimes we go with the flow, the traffic moves smoothly, and then we realize we missed our exit.
When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees.
One important sign that we are maturing in our faith is our recovery rate. It is the distance between our sin and our repentance. It is the time it takes us to realize we require a course correction. These three translations of this verse help us see this truth.
The New Living Translation gives us four strong words to describe the nature of repentance: ponder, direction, turn, follow. The emphasis is on recognizing the wrong direction and considering where it leads. Highway 287 from Fort Worth will never get me to Dallas no matter how badly I want to go there. I will have to make a turn somewhere along the path to arrive in Big D.
The Message says, “When I took a long, careful look at your ways, . . .” Plato tells us Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The path we are on is worth examining not merely regarding what we want to happen when we arrive at our destination, but also if this is really, truly the direction we should choose.
Here is what we know for sure: God’s paths always lead in the way we should go. He always wants to give us clear direction to his highest and best for us. His path is the way of love and life abundant. Every other path is a poor imitation at best. The trail God blazes is full of adventure and deep joy. Where God guides, God provides. We do not have to be afraid of anything when we journey with him (Psalm 23:1-4).
The New Revised Standard Version emphasizes the shift, the return to God’s path: “When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees.” Our Father in heaven cannot and will not lead us falsely (Psalm 23:3). Every step with him is a step in the right direction. Every step with him is filled with meaning and purpose (1 Corinthians 9:26).
Repentance, returning to God’s path, is not to be feared. It is as simple as admitting you are not going to Dallas via Highway 287 and acknowledging that you need to exit onto Highway 67 North. Self-loathing is not required. It may even be helpful to laugh at your mistake. Whatever you do, do not allow pride to keep you on 287 all the way to Ennis. You will have wasted time and gasoline, and you most assuredly will arrive much later than you otherwise planned.
How quick are you to recognize and acknowledge you are on the wrong path? How quick are you to make necessary course corrections to get back on the right path? The quicker we become at recognizing and returning, the better. This is a sign of growth and development. This is evidence of spiritual maturing.
I will return back to the right path as quickly as I realize I have left it.
Our Father, show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Lead me step by step, moment by moment, thought by thought, and word by word throughout this and every day. I want to go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do. Where shall we go today? Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.