Ready to Follow

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Some of the best known verses of the Bible are found in Psalm 37. We cling to Psalm 37:4-5, claiming its promises particularly when faced with decisions that need making or challenges that need facing.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this."

In their context these verses are words of encouragement to those who are surrounded by evil and might be tempted to cave to the status quo, or wonder if it is worth it to follow God when it seems like the odds are on the side of evil men rather than on the side of good men.

Surrounding the verses we usually claim are these: "Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land" (37:1-9).

My pastor recently commented that someone he has been working with decided to take another path other than that which follows in the footsteps of Jesus. He was disheartened about that choice. It's never easy to watch helplessly while people you care about made bad choices. God's word is clear that bad choices led to bad ends.

But the core verses of Psalm 37, the ones we claim and cling to, remain true. Those who choose to embrace the abundant life that God promises to those who follow Him will never be defrauded. When we "delight" in Him, our desires become to honour Him through our lives and He will bless us by guiding us in such a way that our lives will do just that—bring Him honour. And we will love what He gives us along the way.

We don't always understand the path that He takes us on. Sometimes the way ahead is not always plain. We only see today's step while tomorrow's may be hidden by mist. But that's okay. He's already been ahead of us and knows that path—because He designed it. The mist that we see is not what He sees.

So in faith, we take today's step with our hand in His knowing that tomorrow He will be there to guide us through the next step in the journey.

It's a pity that so many cannot "be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him" but insist on choosing their own path rather than trusting Him to give them the desires of their hearts as they follow His.

We can only pray that their detours are not permanent ones, and that they will come back. In the meantime, we trust, we delight, we commit, and we are still and wait for Him to show us the way that we should go.

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