Compared To Everybody Else, I Should Be Fine
By Phil Scovell
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,
(Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
Have you ever sought encouragement from a friend, or someone you
highly respect, and all you received in reply was a regurgitation of
this, not so new, doctrine that I call comparative Theology? Oh,
sure. You know the one I am talking about. The standard come back,
"Things could be worse" syndrome. How about the, "Look at old brother
Joe. Compared to him, you don't have any problems at all." Then
there is the one that states, "If you were any kind of a Christian at
all, you would be thankful you aren't as bad off as sister Calahan."
The variations on this theology is limitless. I call it theology
because that's the way it comes across when you get caught in the
cross fire by Christians who have achieved perfection and have no
feelings any longer. The problem with this twisted form of theology
is that it is not true, it doesn't work, and it doesn't help. In
fact, you generally feel worse by comparing your situation with others
around you because they were never meant to be your source; Jesus is.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a passage of Scripture I learned as a child. I
always hated what I thought it meant, too, because I could never fit
myself into that level of spirituality. Deep down inside, I also knew
I would never reach that level of relationship with God. Plus, I was
lousy about comparing myself to others and focusing on someone else's
sorrow and sadness. Yet, I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 and quoted it to
myself often. It rarely made me feel any better but it was the
Christian thing to do because it made you a more spiritual person just
because you had memorized it and just because you recited it from
memory out loud. Well, I can't help it, that's what I was taught.
It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, recently,
things were very stressful. As I prayed, Proverbs 3:5-6 kept coming
to mind. I said, "Lord? Please! I don't think that is the passage
that will help me right now. Do you have any better ones because that
one never seems to work for me." No other passages came to mind so
after several days of being pestered by the Holy Spirit, I decided to
go and study the passage to check if there was something I wasn't
Believe it or not, trust doesn't mean what you think it means.
The idea of trusting the Lord always disturbed me, however, because I
have been a Christian for 50 years and I could never quite get it.
This last year, however, the Lord revealed something to me I had never
recognized. The word "trust" in this passage, has even a deeper
meaning than just to be able to rely upon the Lord. It means to have
security and to feel safe. Now, there's something you can sink your
teeth into and get your own personal theological thoughts around.
In recent months, the Lord also specifically answered my
questions about how I go about trusting Him. My personal definition
of trusting the Lord is quite simple because it is based upon what the
Lord told me. It is knowing for certain God's Word, or more
specifically, knowing God's voice, which, of course, is His Word. You
are going to discover many Christians, some with pretty popular names,
who believe the first part of my definition but not the second. These
will be those who have never bothered reading John Chapter 10 and paid
attention to what Jesus said about His own sheep knowing His voice.
Those who have read it, of course, think He, Jesus, was just speaking
metaphorically. Good old Jesus. You can always depend upon Him to
muddy up the true meaning of His own Words by speaking in word
pictures that nobody can understand except great Biblical scholars and
theologians. A little cynical tongue in cheek there, of course, but I
Years ago, I was sitting in a counselor's office. In fact it was
over 25 years ago. I was confused about my Christian life. The
Christianity I had been raised under wasn't working so it had to be
me, of course, and not what I was taught. After all, that's what
controlling others is all about.
My own pastor had come to my home and told me I was a failure in
the ministry and that I simply didn't know God's will for my life.
There is no feeling like being pounded into the ground when you are
already hurting and are at the lowest point of your entire life. So,
naturally, I went to a Christian counselor to find out what was wrong
with me because, as great as my pastor was, I knew he was wrong. You
would be alarmed if you knew how many Christians end up in a
therapist's office after something their pastor said to them.
I remember in one of our counseling sessions, the Christian
counselor asking me if I had ever heard the Lord speaking to me about
His will for my life. The Christian counselor, by the way, was a
Baptist. So was I. I was taught, as a Baptist, and back in those
days, that if you heard God speaking to you, something was
psychologically wrong with your mind. Only demons spoke to people;
not God; surely not God. I know how stupid that sounds now but back
then, it was how I was taught and it was what I believed. I had to
admit to this counselor that I had received no such direction from the
Lord. I understand now what he was trying to say.
In 2003, the Lord spoke to me one day as I was studying some
intercessory training prayer materials. He told me to order the
advance materials so I could learn more. I told the Lord I wasn't
interested in doing any advanced learning in this area but was only
interested in doing it for my own personal relationship with him. He
insisted I order the advanced materials. I asked, "why?"
He said, "Because you are going to be working with sexually
abused women and people with multiple personality disorders."
"I said, "What did you say?" I explained to the Lord, I had no
interest in this area at all. Furthermore, it had absolutely nothing
to do with what I thought I was supposed to be doing for the Lord as
far as full time ministry was concerned. Yet, His message was clear.
You should carefully note that the Lord did not suggest this to
me or even say, "I have called you to the ministry." All He said was,
"This is what you will be doing." So much for being called and
anointed and led by the Lord. Quite simply, Jesus assigned me to the
work He wanted me to do. By the way, I obeyed His Word. This was the
first time I understood what trust was all about and I didn't like it
then any more than I do now.
As I was studying the advance training intercessory prayer
materials a few months later, I was sitting on our deck swing. I
decided to go inside to get a drink. The split second I stepped
through the open doorway leading into the house, I heard in my spirit,
"This is who you are now." It was so loud in my thoughts, it nearly
made me stop dead in my tracks. I realized I had moved into a
completely different area of my relationship with the Lord. I could
hear His voice now and His written Word now made sense to me in ways
impossible to describe. In short, the Lord was teaching me to trust
Him and that is scary when you've never done it before. By the way,
He teaches us to trust Him by revealing Himself to us in very deep
spiritually intimate ways and, yes, it is for every child of God.
TRUST IN THE LORD
About this time, somebody is saying, "Well, dah. Who else would
we trust as Christians if it wasn't the Lord?" Oh, that's an easy one
to answer. How about yourself? The very first person we all trust in
is ourself. Oh, no self-respecting spiritual, born again, Bible
toting, church going, Bible thumping, Bible believer would ever admit
to such a thing. If they were honest, however, they would have to
admit self always comes first. Except, of course, those who have
learned the hard way and generally more than once. We rarely get it
the first time. Take it from me, I know, because I'm still learning
this one. So, the question really should be, "How do we trust the
First, the word for "Lord," you likely have guessed, in this
passage is "Jehovah." It is spelled that way so it can be pronounced.
It originally, as written by the Jewish translators, had no vowels.
This is due to the fact that "Jehovah," was, and is, the "Existing
One," that is to say, the "I am." Yes, I know "Jehovah" and the words
"I am" in Hebrew are different Hebraic words but they are the same
person. If you missed it, Jesus and God are the same person. I don't
care if you don't like that idea because your opinion isn't important
as far as God is concerned. This is why Jesus said, to the Jews who
were inquiring as to His true identity, "Before Abraham was, I am,"
(John 8:58). They disliked this identity as God so much, the bible
says they took up stones to kill Him. How do we, therefore, react
when Jesus, The Word, (See John 1:1), says, "But my God shall supply
all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus?"
(Philippians 4:19). Do we take up stones to cast at Him or do we
believe Him because He is The Word? Oh, but I thought we trusted him.
You mean, we don't? Maybe it's just that we have trouble believing it
means "us," that is, "we," or those of us who are His own children?
I got to thinking about this idea of trusting the Lord recently.
The only comparison I could settle on was how I trusted my father when
I was little and growing up. I always believed we would have food on
the table. I also believed my dad would read Bible stories to us when
we went to bed each night because he always did. I never doubted once
that my dad would drive the car when we went to church. I never
doubted the bible was the most important thing in my father's life
than anything else in the world. I never once doubted he wouldn't
lead someone to Christ if he was witnessing the Gospel to them. I
never worried about the car having enough gas in the tank or the lawn
mower being out of gasoline when I went to mow the grass. I never
figured when I got ready for school that I would be without clothes in
my dresser. I never worried about having shoes for my feet. I knew
if the light went out in my room, dad would get a new bulb and replace
it. I knew when the house needed painting, dad would do it. Why?
First, he was my father. Secondly, he did the things for me I could
not do for myself. Oh, but you say, "I can work and make my own
money. I pay for the food we eat. I buy our clothes. I pay to send
my kids to Christian school." Woe horse! You can't even take a
breath without the Father God. Jesus said, "Without me, you can do
nothing,"(John 15:5). So don't give me this bilge of garbage about
what you can do for yourself because Jesus isn't buying it. "But
doesn't God expect us to do things for ourselves?" Listen, if you
don't have horse sense, you are unstable. Pun intended. If you
think, on the other hand, these are things you are doing, underline
the word you, you have the wrong concept of Lordship salvation. Go
ahead and work for yourself. Jesus will let you carry all that heavy
burden all by your lonesome until you drop from exhaustion. When the
wheels come off your life, and the bottom false out of your
relationship with God, and when your train jumps the tracks, and you
crash and burn, it won't be His fault because He said, "My burden is
light," (Matthew 11:30). The good news is, when you crash and burn,
He'll be there to lift you up and to rebuild your life. Now there's
an aspect of Christian growth most preachers fail to teach.
One day I was working in my office doing high speed cassette
duplication for a customer. I was praying, more to myself than the
Lord since my prayer had taken the form of complaining rather than
petitioning, and I said, "Lord? I just can't carry these burdens
because they are too heavy for me." As clear as a bell, I heard a
voice inside of me say, "Then they aren't mine." I suddenly realized
I was carrying all my own burdens and thus, they weren't being cast
upon the Lord for Him to manage. So, as I said, go ahead. Work on
your own salvation all you want. Develop that relationship with the
Lord by adding up everything on your "Do Gooders" list until its a
mile long. Count up all the things you've done to prove you indeed
love God. Subtract all the things you don't do because they aren't
Godly. Wave your Sunday school pin under God's nose and show Him how
you haven't missed Sunday school for the last 28 years. Point to your
bible college and seminary degree to make sure Jesus knows you done
graduated. Flash your ordination certificate around and see if He
notices. Tote that big large print King James bible around with you
so everybody knows just how Godly you are. Don't forget your tithe
and your missionary offering and your building fund offering, and all
you, and your church, do for the poor. Don't forget to toss your
prayer life in on top of the whole thing, too, and whatever you do, if
you are going to work it all out on your own, don't forget all the
people you've won to Christ. That impresses Jesus the most because He
really needs you and without you, He can do nothing. Isn't that how
we think the verse really reads? Once you run out of things to list
to make yourself feel Godly, as I did one day sitting in a hotel
waiting for the pastor to pick me up for the revival meeting I was
supposed to be preaching in his church that night, you will realize
that your life is over. That's right, I said, your life will be over.
The life of Jesus as Lord will then, and only then, begin to be
manifest in your life and not one second sooner. Put a match to it
and as they say, "As you burn for Jesus, people will come to watch."
WITH ALL YOUR HEART
It doesn't take much to recognize the meaning of this part of the
passage. Of course the Lord wants all of what we have as a person,
that is, our heart. In context, this "heart" isn't the physical organ
that pumps blood throughout the body but the real person, the real
you, in other words. Let me show you what I mean.
"14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be
strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and
grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what
is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the
love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with
all the fullness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the
power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by
Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen,"
There is another very interesting passage that I would guess is
not often considered when we think about who we really are
"1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that,
if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the
conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste
conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that
outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of
putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price," (1 Peter
What would be your guess as to the meaning of, "the hidden man of
the heart?" Oh, by the way, the word for "man" in both Ephesians 3
and 1 Peter 3 is the generic usage of the word. That is, it can mean
man or woman. The "inner man" and the "hidden man of the heart" is
the real you. Simply stated, if you die, your spirit instantly is in
Heaven with the Lord, (See 2 Corinthians 5:8). What is left, your
body, we bury. So, your spirit is what is born again, or born anew,
or is created to be compatible with that of the nature of God. Thus
it is the Holy Spirit can indwell your spirit, (see Romans 8:9, 2
Corinthians 5:17, and Ephesians 1:13).
AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING
The word for "lean" simply means (to support oneself). The basic
meaning of the word "understanding" is discernment. So, it simply
means, don't just trust your own feelings, ideas, creativity, logic,
or human reasoning. Why not? Because you might discover you aren't
as smart as you think. Let me illustrate what I mean.
I trust one of my older sisters won't ever read this but she is
about 11 years older so when this happened, she was probably 14 or 15
years of age. That would have made me about 3 or 4 years of age.
Our dad had been painting the living room. Our upstairs was a
finished off attic with two bedrooms. When you opened the closets to
hang your close up, the steep slanting roof was right there to touch.
We had no heat and no air conditioning upstairs. The bathroom was
also upstairs. In each bedroom was a floor vent. They were a
rectangular shape about 2 feet long by 1 foot wide. The secret was
gravity. According to physics, heat rises but whoever came up with
that law never slept in my bedroom, that's for sure. Anyhow, I used
to love going into my two older sisters bedroom and looking down
through the vent to the living room. I would find small pieces of
paper, marbles, bobby pens, clothes pens, rubber bands, and just about
anything else close at hand to drop down the vent and watch them fall
into the living room.
Well, as I said, dad was painting the living room. When he got
to the ceiling, he unscrewed the bottom half of the vent so he could
paint the ceiling without the vent getting in the way. This was
great. I went upstairs one night and pulled off the upstairs vent in
my sisters room. Now I could not only see down into the living room
without any blockage but I could toss all types of larger things down
the big whole. I had one problem, the upstairs vent was too heavy for
me to pull back into place. I tried and tried but couldn't get it
back into the whole. So I pushed it as far away from the hole as
possible so no one would see what I had done. I then took one of the
throw rugs in my sister's room and covered the hole and went
Later that evening, we were all in the living room. I believe we
had some friends over, too. I know we were not watching TV because
our TV was in the dinning room and besides, we couldn't watch it when
company was over anyhow. My sister announced she was going upstairs
and left the room. Moments later, there was this god awful blood
curdling scream the came from upstairs and before the scream could die
away, this bare, pure white leg, shoeless, came snaking down into the
living room from the whole in the ceiling. It thrashed around wildly,
like a striking snake, as the screaming continued. My dad jumped up
and ran upstairs to lift Saundra out of the whole because she had no
way of pulling herself up. Staring at the wildly kicking bare leg, I
thought to myself, "I am going to get the worst whipping I have ever
experienced over this one." Fortunately, for me, my mother, and
everyone else, including my dad, thought the whole thing was so funny,
I was totally forgotten. My oldest sister hates this story to this
day but I love telling it since I never got punished for it.
Now, what does this story have to do with "leaning on your own
understanding?" Well, my sister, God bless her, had been trusting on
the strength of that vent for years. It had always supported her
weight, regardless of how many times she stepped on it, as she entered
her bedroom. Her trust was, therefore, complete and it had never
failed her before.
Circumstances have a strange way of suddenly changing and not
always for the better. As a Christian, what happens? Normally, we
immediately dive for cover, or run out and get an extra job pumping
gas, or call a rich friend or relative to borrow some money, or maybe
we call the bank, whip out the credit card for groceries, Call the
doctor for medication, and sometimes we might even call the pastor.
Of course, all he can do is pray and his prayers have never seemed to
work for you before, so why bother him now. Besides, he doesn't even
care for you in the first place and beyond that, he is worse off than
you are right now. In our passage under consideration, however, we
are told not to lean on our own understanding. Why not? Well, as
with my sister, your understanding may not be quite the same as God's
in that given situation. It is best, therefore, to check with the
Lord first. Let me expand further.
Many years ago, when our three children were smaller, we had just
left the Baptist church. We had to leave or we would have been asked
to leave. Why? I spoke in tongues now and I knew somebody would find
out eventually. When they did, I'd be out. In fact, when they did
find out, although it was six months after we had left the large
Baptist church we attended before anybody seemed to notice, my three
children, who still went to their Baptist Christian school, were
denied scholarships because, we were told, we were Charismatics now.
That's the truth; believe it or not.
During that winter, my daughter became ill. I had seen our
children miraculously healed at different times and been instantly
healed myself a couple of times. I was confused concerning what to do
for her at this particular point for some reason. I had prayed over
her but she hadn't gotten better and her throat was getting worse. As
I walked into my bedroom to get something I needed out of a dresser
drawer, I prayed silently and said, "Lord? I don't know what to do.
What should I do now?"
The answer came back instantly, "Take her to the doctor."
We did and it was strep. Now you want to know, would I have not
taken her to the doctor if the Lord had told me to keep her home? I
don't know. When it comes to children and their well being, well, you
can figure what I would have done and that is I would have taken her
to the doctor any way. Why? Because I don't believe? Yes, at that
time, such would have been the case.
IN ALL THY WAYS
This may be difficult to believe but the phrase, "in all thy
ways," is a single Hebrew word which means (in all your ways). No
fooling. It has more meaning such as your journey in life, a path,
and a road, but "in all thy ways," covers it pretty well.
We have trouble believing this truth, however, because it doesn't
always seem possible. How could God be interested in all our ways?
In fact, there are some of my ways I don't want Him to know about.
Sorry, He knows about them all and He wants to help you with all those
I want you to take another look at the phrase, "In all thy ways."
Whose ways? Shouldn't it read, "In all of God's ways?" I mean, we
are supposed to be believing and following Jesus. At least that's the
way I heard it taught. So what's the bit about "our ways?"
Years ago I was preaching a week of special meetings in Montana.
We were staying with a couple our own age at the time. Sandy was with
me and our first son had been born but he was still an infant. As I
mentioned, we were all about the same age, in our mid twenties, so we
decided that we would stay a second week and just have a little
vacation with these folks. They were delighted and we had a great
time on the ranch.
Jimmy, that was the rancher's name, had a great deal of land and
raise cows and calves. Thus, he was on the back of a horse nearly
For the first couple of days, he would tie a lead rope from my
horse to his but after those firs couple of trips out to the range, he
asked me if I wanted to ride by myself without being roped to his
horse. I said, sure, and told him that as long as we talked, I would
always have a point of reference. Hence, I'd know where I was going.
I told him I didn't want to jump over any fences or leap over any
creeks without at least knowing about it ahead of time, if you get my
meaning. Jimmy laughed. We got along just fine.
One day, we were out riding among the cows because Jimmy had
noticed a cow the had dropped a calf but she didn't seem to know where
it was. When I asked him why, he said that he had found a blind calf
roaming around balling for its mother. He brought the blind animal
into his corral the day before and now he was hunting for the mother.
I said, "Jimmy, how, out of 150 cows, are you going to tell who the
He said, "Well it's hard to explain but she'll just be roaming
around acting like she can't find her way or something."
"I doubted seriously, being the skilled cowboy wrangler that I
was, he'd ever find the mother. He did.
We talked as we rode but I could tell Jimmy was trying to
concentrate on the beeves, because his voice was often turned away
from me when he talked. Sometimes he never answered me at all. So,
again, being the skill horseman that I was, I decided just to let my
horse drift back a few yards and I would focus on Jimmy's horse. That
way, Jimmy could focus on the task of finding the mother and I
wouldn't be bothering him. So, I followed along casually behind him
as I listened to the herd as they moved slowly around us.
About 15 minutes passed when I heard this tiny small voice so far
away, I wasn't even certain it was a voice. The faint voice was
saying as loud as he could, "Hey Phil. Ride down this way."
I kicked my horse into a little trot, and a few moments later, I
rode up to where Jimmy was now laughing. "What's so funny?" I asked.
"What were you doing over there?" he asked.
"I thought I was following you. I knew you were busy so I
thought I'd just hang back and listen to your horse and follow you."
Jimmy laughed. "You were following a cow, my friend," he belly
"Some horse you got here I'm riding," I huffed. "He don't even
know the difference between a horse and a cow," but we both got a good
laugh out of it.
The point of this story is simple. I was on my own path, or
trail, sort of speak, but my friend eventually directed me to where he
was. Jesus does the same thing. In fact, if you think about it
carefully, you are going to learn something about Jesus you never knew
before and that is, Jesus wants to do what you want to do. "Prove
it," you say? I thought I just did. "In all your ways?" Isn't that
what it says? You need more proof? Ok, let me quote to you another
passage of Scripture.
"7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so
shall ye be my disciples," John 15:7-8).
I grew up being taught that this passage of Scripture had to do
with evangelism, that is, winning, or bringing, the lost to Christ.
You can apply it to that topic but you cannot interpret the passage
that way. The passage, in its context, is clearly talking about
prayer and nothing else.
Let's clear up a couple of confusing parts of this passage right
up front. We have already cleared up one and that is the topic, or
subject, of the passage being about prayer. Generally however, this
passage is taught to be conditional. I agree. However, the condition
isn't what most think. I am referring to the initial statements, "If
you abide in me and my Words abide in you." If you are born again,
the Holy Spirit already dwells within you, (See Romans 8:16-17 and
Ephesians 1:13). The Bible confirms that Jesus is the Word, See (John
1:1), and we are already "in Christ," (See First John 4:15). So, in
truth, we are already abiding in Him and His Words abide in us.
Now, in case you have never heard this before, in the New
Testament, we have two distinctly different terms rendered "Word." I
have already referred to John 1:1 a couple of times in this study but
here is an excellent place to quote it. "In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.) The Greek
term for "Word" in this little verse is (Logos). However, the term
used for "Words" in John 15:7 where Jesus said, "If you abide in me,
and my Words abide in you," is the Greek term Rhema. Yes, the King
James translators used the same English word in both cases but the
Greek words have different meanings. "Logos" takes on the meaning of
the totality of the spoken Word. As just quoted, Jesus is also called
"The Word of God." He is, therefore, the totality of God and God's
Word." Why? Because Jesus and God are one, that is, the same person
yet uniquely different.
The Greek word for "Rhema" is a specific term, that is, as in a
stated promise. "Logos" is the Word. For example, when Jesus was
Baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove,
God the Father spoke from Heaven so it could be heard by those on
earth, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased," Matthew
3:17). This statement is the Word; the Word of God. "Rhema," on the
other hand, is a statement in the form of a promise. Since we are
discussing John 15:7-8 concerning prayer, we couldn't find a better
illustration of a stated promise. It is the Word of God but with
specific intent, that is, a promise.
Let's bring it right down to where we live. "I wear a cowboy
hat," is a statement, that is, my word of acknowledgement. It carries
with it information. When I say, "I am going to give you my hat right
now," that is a fulfilling promise which is being carried out as I
speak. If I said, "I am going to give you my hat tomorrow," you would
have a promise that is being fulfilled in time but you could believe
it now because you know me and you know I keep my word. That is the
difference between logos and rhema. By the way, I am not giving you
my hat because I know you wouldn't wear it even if I did give it to
The rest of John 15:7-8 says, "Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit; so
shall ye be my disciples." This statement further confirms the
promise that God not only wants to answer your prayers, but He is
glorified, that is, He is happy to do so based upon "what you will,"
or, based upon what you are asking of Him.
Now, if you have forgotten what we were talking about, don't feel
bad. I am just trying to point out that God wants to do what you want
to do. If you are unable to see that from just these two passages
alone, you need to read and pray about it until you do understand it.
This Biblical principle is absolutely paramount in your personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him..."
Some of you are going to have trouble with this one. Why?
Because you aren't going to believe it. You aren't going to believe
it because you aren't going to like it.
The word for "acknowledge Him," in this part of the passage is a
Hebrew word which is (yada). You likely recognize this words since it
is used by so many today. For example, Some will say, "I went to the
library, the grocery store, the shoe store, and yada, yada, yada."
The word "yada" is found hundreds of times throughout the Old
Testament. It is easiest to understand from Genesis 4:1 where it
says, "Adam KNEW his wife Eve and she conceived." That's right. It
is the word meaning sexual intercourse. I told you that you wouldn't
like it. If God is using such a powerful word to describe the type of
relationship He wants us to have with Him, the question has got to be,
do you have that type of spiritual intimacy with God?
It should be obvious that this is a word picture. It has been
used divinely, on the other hand, to focus on the seriousness and
sincerity of the Lord's instructions concerning every day
circumstances. The application is what is confusing to most. In my
experience, I find precious few believers that can even remotely
conceive of the idea the God loves them that much that He wants to do
whatever they want to do.
The part of our passage which says, "And He shall direct thy
paths," is literally a reference to making our paths straight. We may
be drifting, leaning off center, feel unbalanced, and like we have
been walking the wrong way all together. Jesus, on the other hand,
knows where we are and He is right with us no matter what is happening
at any given time.
One of my cousins, many years ago, told me this story about his
cross country trucking days. He said he and his partner were driving
through a hard rain. They been on the road for many hours and were
tired. Although they were running slower than normal due to the hard
down pour, and although my cousin, who wasn't driving at the time,
noticed all the road construction equipment parked on the side of the
road, he and his partner thought nothing about it. They were just
trying to keep the truck on the road.
Suddenly, and without warning, the truck jumped off the end of
the asphalt and began slipping and sliding on the unfinished road bed
that was now mud. He said that it took them a mile before they
finally got the truck stopped but at least it didn't jack knife or
slip off the road bed.
Considering their situation, they knew they only had one way to
get back to where they had been. That was by standing outside the
truck cab on the running boards, and with their doors opened, they
both faced back toward the trailer and called direction back and forth
through the open cab as they slowly man handled the big machine
backwards in the mud, the night, and the rain.
A couple of hours later, they finally slowly backed the truck up
on to the solid road. They jumped down and walked all around the
truck to inspect it for damage. There was none but the entire truck
was caked in mud. They backed the truck further down the asphalt
until they found a side road, and got the truck turned around and went
on their way. They had missed the detour sign a few miles further up
the road and that's how they had gotten themselves into an almost
I often think of this story when I feel like I have missed it
somehow. I have lost track of all the times in my fifty years plus of
walking with the Lord that I have felt I was lost and on totally the
wrong road of life. Yet, the Lord promises to make all our paths
straight. He can correct being on the road path if we simply
acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Many years ago, I was a youth pastor in western Colorado in a
small town church. For awhile I practiced going to sleep at night by
meditating on a picture of walking down a road all alone. Green grass
filled the eye as far as one could see to either side of the road. I
felt peaceful and eventually drifted off to sleep thinking in this
One night, however, the picture unexpectedly changed. I came to
the end of the road. I have written about it and called the
testimony, "Road's End." As I stood, in my mind's eye, looking at the
end of the road, I saw nothing but a continuous green field. I
finally decided this was a test and that the road likely continued
just beyond the next hill. I stepped out and walked to the top of the
first green hill. The road wasn't ahead as I had expected. I walked
to the next hill, and the next, and the next, but no road was found.
A voice kept yelling in my ears, "Go back," but I pushed on. I knew
the road had to be just on the other side of the next hill. It
wasn't. Eventually I became hopelessly lost. Needless to say, I
stopped thinking of this mental picture because it no longer gave me
comfort and kept me awake instead of putting me to sleep.
Later, many years later, I realized that Jesus was with me all
the time although I was off the road and felt lost. All I need have
done was look up.
AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS
In has only been in recent times I recognized the true spiritual
impact of this promise. They are "my paths." All my life, I lived
attempting to please God by doing His will and seeking to walk where
He wanted me to be. I always felt I was screwing up and missing the
road and it seemed like I was being robbed again and again of being
where I wanted to be so desperately. Then one day it dawned me that
they were, as I said, "My Paths." I don't worry nearly as much now
about where I am in life because as long as I am walking with the
Lord, we are together and He will straighten out the mistakes I make.
In short, Jesus wants to do what you want to do. I trust I have
proved this to your satisfaction by now.
In reality, as Born Again Christians, we don't have to worry
about where we think we might be in Christ because Jesus already
knows. All He requires is acknowledgement. That simple act alone is
spiritual intimacy with God. You don't have to work at it because He
has already completed all that work in our behalf. What do we do
then? Good question. The answer is simple. We live in Him.
Safe Place Fellowship
Mountain Time Zone
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