Knowing God’s Ways

…though they had seen My work…they have not known My ways. ESV Psalm 95:9-10

This afternoon I chatted with a good friend. We have been praying together for God’s direction for him for some time. An interesting opportunity appears to be opening, and while not ideal at first glance, it seems to have all the markers of how God works in my friend’s life. The future could be interesting. Last night my wife and I had a long conversation. Part of that conversation involved reflecting on how God had worked in our past while weighing some new information we received. Based on the past, it looks like the next few months may be a very exciting and challenging time for us. In both of these situations believers consider the works of God in the past to understand the general ways He works so as to be confident in His leading in the future.

In the psalm quoted above, the LORD bemoans the fact that even though the nation of Israel saw all of His miracles and mighty works, they failed to grasp His ongoing ways of guiding their steps. You would think that people who had seen the plagues, walked through the Dead Sea on dry ground and eaten manna from heaven would have embraced their Yahweh God who guided every step and always provided. However, they failed to learn from God’s mighty actions. Unfortunately too many of us do the same. God saves us, sets us free from sin, and answers prayers, and yet we fail to observe the unique ways He works in our lives. Part of our spiritual formation involves observing how God works uniquely with each of us.

With my wife and I, God often puts a burden in our hearts. Slowly over time, through prayer, counsel, and study of the Word, that burden grows into a clear vision. Usually it takes a year or so for the vision to clarify. Then there is a period of waiting, followed by a sudden fulfillment of the vision…with an unseen twist. This is how God provided both our homes, our marriage, our various ministry callings, and so forth. Your pattern will probably be different, but learning God’s ways of working in your life better prepares you to embrace His leading in the future. Then you can press on in confidence. Follow hard in His ways, my friend!

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