Note* I’ve recorded the blog, if you’d rather listen than read.
I sit on the couch with lists on my lap wondering how I should spend my day. Part of me thinks I should walk where I want, just walk there rightly. Another part thinks that God cares about my choices of where to go. Which is it?
Psalm 139 says that God is intimately aware of all my movements but doesn’t say He directs them. Then again another verse says, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord…” I can’t remember the reference. I think it’s in Proverbs. Maybe if I look up the verse it will tell me more. I’ll grab my phone to Google the phrase.
On a whim, I pick up a Bible instead. Leafing through Proverbs for less than a minute I see, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” These verses weren’t what I was looking for, but they add to the answer to my question.
Those verses have cross-references, which in turn, have more cross-references. I look them all up. One is in Isaiah 8:19, “Should not a people consult their God?” And Psalm 90:17, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”
The final cross reference I look up is, Psalm 37:23, which, believe it or not, is the original verse I wanted and thought was in Proverbs!
Winding through scriptures, I discovered that the answer is not whether I choose my path or God chooses, it’s both. I decide my actions but first I should consult Him and then trust Him. I wouldn’t have understood that if I’d jumped straight to the verse I had in mind. I had to slow down to observe how and where He wants me to walk. Slow down, isn’t that a lesson He taught me in the Covid Shutdown?
Using the web to find verses quickly is useful, but thumbing through the Bible’s pages awakes other scriptures and slows me down so that the Holy Spirit can speak. It’s like walking the neighborhood versus driving to a destination. Walking allows me to notice details in landscapes and clouds and frees my thoughts to wonder and wander.
Have you found this to be true in your life? The next time you need a particular reference, try searching the physical pages instead of asking Google to do it for you, then share with us your experience.
Sometimes it’s not so much answers we need. It’s the lessons along the paths of the journey.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things from Your law.” Ps 119:18