Psalm 37:23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.”
Psalm 118:23-24, “This was the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Have you ever wondered about the term, “being in a rut?” I think everyone has at one time or another. Throughout our lives there are times when we feel like we are “stuck” in that rut.
Here’s what an online dictionary says about it:
The thing about ruts, is that we are the ones that have a habit of digging them and following them ourselves. You see, the everyday routines we follow can be comforting and easy. Comforting because we don’t have to consider, “what if” and easy because they are established and direct our path without effort.
If anyone has ever had the opportunity to drive on a muddy road, following big trucks, you will know the futility of trying to avoid and once trapped get out of a deep rut. So it is in life as well. If it’s a rut you established, you know the direction it goes and there is very little thought necessary in following it.
The trouble with ruts, is that they can be easily diverted and destroyed and if you have become too comfortable with those established paths, a diversion can be not just uncomfortable but devastating.
With Christians, you don’t always hear complaints directly, but it shows up in actions and demeanor. Apathy can and does have a tendency to set in at times and it shows in relationships with one another and between us and our Heavenly Father.
What we don’t realize is that our Heavenly Father has never wanted us to be comfortable with the ruts we establish for ourselves. His promise to us has always been found in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We read this Scripture and immediately we think of the enemy of our souls, the devil. But the truth of the matter is that we can sometimes be our “own worst enemy” if we become too apathetic in our relationship with the Lord. We often times, give the devil way too much credit, not to undermine his tactics because they are real, but sometimes, he gets the credit when our own carnal nature is at fault.
This last week it has been physically tough with not just the chronic pain, but everything that goes along with it, BUT, I have been able to think on things that we sometimes take for granted when everything seems to be going well. This is one of the reasons why the Spirit IS life! He can take us out of our routines and cause us to think on things we normally take for granted.
I have thought often this last couple of weeks about when I was Worship Minister at Desert Chapel in Tucson, Arizona. One of our favorite songs leading us into praise back then was, “This is the Day, the Lord Has Made.” It is a rousing song of praise and triumph as well as thanks to the Lord for where we are in the moment. It has become a common statement on a day to day walk when talking with others. Yep, this is the day the Lord has made and I’m glad of it!
But how many have truly given it thought as to what it truly means? We look at common Scriptures and we have a tendency to gloss over them with an attitude of complacency. We tend to make Scriptures simplistic and fail to explore the depths that so many can contain.
Psalm 118:24 has become one of those Scriptures that I believe the Lord pointed out to me to give some thought too. It’s easy when everything is going “according to man’s heart plan.” But then the rest of that Scripture in Proverbs 16:9 takes hold and “the Lord directs his paths” takes hold in our hearts and minds and you realize that truly “this IS the day the Lord HAS made,” and we are jolted back to reality in the spiritual!
You see, when everything is going fine, it’s easy to state with authority, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” But, the truth of the matter is, if this Scripture hasn’t been a part of your spiritual well-being, it is not so easy to see the truth of it when things aren’t going so easy! I have had practice with this and I wondered this last week or so why the Lord was pointing this particular Scripture out to me. You see, not everyone has had the “opportunity” to practice this during those “unpleasant times of life.”
We all go through things in our lives that could be considered, “bad” and yet they are every bit a part living. Whether it be illness, grief, loss, pain, stress, whatever the cause of unpleasantness these are times when we have to believe in the TRUTH of Scripture in ALL things.
When we can believe that EVERYDAY is a day the Lord has made, no matter how the day appears to our natural senses, each and every day then becomes a day to give thanks for and a day to actually live. It is days that aren’t always in our plans that tend to make us feel alive. It is those days out of our self-dug ruts that cause us to think, to move, to do. Life was never promised to be easy as a Christian. It was promised to be more abundant! It was promised to be a life worth lived.
If the Scriptures given at the top of this exposition have any truth to them (and I KNOW they do) then no matter the circumstances in a person’s life at any given moment is ordered, prepared, by the Lord who loves us above everything else! When we know that He truly wants only the best for us in all circumstances, then and only then can we determine to let Him lead us beyond the ruts that we dig for ourselves.