This is the Way

Have you ever wandered away from God?

It’s easy to do – there are so many distractions.  It’s difficult to keep God at the top of our priorities when long lists of other things clamor for our attention.

So we wander.

I have wandered.

I used to wander away from God pretty regularly.  I wouldn’t even it realize it until something bad happened and I would look up to God – surprised at how far I had drifted away from him.

I stopped wandering when my spiritual habits became the foundation of my life.  Reading and studying God’s word daily has moved from a ‘if I have time’ thing to something that is not optional.  Talking with God and listening to him as he helps me stay in line with him is not optional in my life.  Worshipping and serving God with my spiritual family is also not optional.  Tithing my time and treasures is not optional.   Others things have to be taken out of my schedule if my time with God is not happening.

When my life became grounded on my spiritual habits, the wandering stopped.  I am experiencing the blessings Isaiah told the people of Judah they would receive when they turned back to God –

God is gracious to me and always answers my call.  He has walked closely beside me in all of the tough times I have gone through here in this broken world.  He blesses me during these times – guiding me and teaching me. 

Whatever is happening, I hear his voice in my head saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21.

The key was making God my first priority.  That’s when everything changed.  That’s when I became rooted in his grace and mercy.  I became constantly aware of his perfect love for me.  I also became totally confident that he will be my loving and faithful Father all the way to the end of my days.

Are you looking for direction? Peace? Purpose? Joy?

This is the way,

Walk in it.


Who?

Who are we imitating?

Who are we following?

‘Following’ has a different definition today because of social media.  But it still refers to our choice of people that we are letting have an influence on our lives.

These are the people we are giving permission to enter our minds and thoughts because we’re reading and listening to what they are sharing.  We are ‘following’ their lives.

Who are these people in your life? Are they the right people to help you grow where you want to grow?

Who are these people in my life? Are they leading me to places I should go? Are they helping me grow my integrity?  Are they helping me become more wise?  More caring?

The Israelites were not careful about who they followed. “They rejected his (God’s) decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statues he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. ” 2 Kings 17: 15 – 16.

Wow – worthless.

They picked the wrong things to follow. They imitated the wrong things and ended up on a very bad path.

That is not a path I want to be on.

Please give me wisdom in deciding who to follow, Abba Father

My Highway

I can visualize it.

Isaiah tells us that when God comes, “he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”  Isaiah 35:4.

“And a highway will be there.” vs 8.

This highway is called the Way of Holiness.  I can see it stretching all the way up to heaven.  Only those of us who walk in the Way of our Savior will use it.

Those who don’t believe will not be able to travel on it.  The wicked and the foolish will not go on it.

There will be no danger when we – the redeemed – walk home on this highway.  As we return to the LORD, we will be singing praises.  There will be no sorrow or sighing – only everlasting joy.

Thank you, Abba Father.

What’s the Goal?

Where do I want to be next year?  What do I want to have achieved?

Where do I want to grow in my life?

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my years on this planet is that I need to feed what I want to grow.  I can’t just wish it.  I can’t sit frustrated because nothing is changing if I’m not doing something to change it.

I need to take action.  There must be forward movement – one step at a time – towards my goal.

I need to feed what I want to grow.

And I am encouraged as I read King Hezekiah’s story in 2 Chronicles of his vast and successful religious reformation of his nation.  One step at a time, working with the priests, he took his people who were far from God and led them back into obedience.  This is a great role model for us if our goal is to grow closer to God and grow in faithfulness.

Hezekiah’s first step was to cleanse the temple.  They purified everything in the temple and consecrated it.  What would this look like for you and I?  We need to stop habits that are not good for our minds and souls.  Stop reading articles, magazines, books that don’t feed what we want to grow.  Change our favorite channels on TV, our favorite music channels and our most visited websites.  Cleanse our minds and souls by using discernment in what we’re feeding them.

Then Hezekiah had the people gather together to use the temple as it was meant to be used – sacrificing to God and worshiping him.  For us, this means committing to meet with God’s people regularly – studying God’s word and growing together.  It also means making sure we are in line with God’s directions on tithing and giving of our time.  The Israelites gave so much back to God that they had plenty to share with their neighbors who needed help.

Next, Hezekiah invited Israel and Judah to come to the temple together to celebrate the Passover.  He invited his neighbors – just like God wants us to ask our neighbors to come with us to church or our small group or watch the worship on line together.

Then Hezekiah told his people, “Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the LORD…” 2 Chronicles 30: 7.

Do you and I have any people in our lives that aren’t good influences?  Do we need to pick different friends?  Different role models?

They attacked their idols – destroying them and getting rid of the distraction.  What are our idols?  What things in our lives make us too busy to spend time with God personally and with other believers?

We need to feed what we want to grow.

We read that God blessed Hezekiah and his people as they grew more and more obedient.  God gave them unity of mind as they all looked to him for wisdom and guidance.

I know I want God’s blessings in my life.  I want unity of mind, wisdom and guidance.  One of my main motivations for reading the entire Bible every year for these last 11 years is making sure I’m on a steady path of knowing and loving God more.

I know that I need to feed my relationship with God in order for those things to grow.  And God will be faithful in helping me – he always is.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Isaiah 9, 2022

Dear Father,

We ask that the people who walk in darkness today would see your great light.  Shine your light of love and grace on all those who are now living in the land of deep darkness.

Enlarge your kingdom on earth, Father.  We rejoice before you for you have broken the yoke of our slavery to sin.  You have lifted the heavy burden of guilt and shame from our shoulders through the death and resurrection of your son.  You have removed the oppression brought into our lives by our disobedience and rebellion.

For a Child was born to us, you gave us your son, Jesus.

We call him Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

Those of us who have accepted your ‘saving grace’ have placed Jesus on the throne of our lives where he rules with justice and peace for all eternity.

Thank you for making all of this happen.

What Does He Want?

Have you heard anyone say something like, ” I just can’t figure  out what God wants from me?” or ” I really don’t know what God wants me to do?”

Statements like these confuse me because I think God is amazingly clear and to the point about the ‘main things’ that need to be a focus in my life.

The first and second commandments are love God with my whole heart and love others.  Jesus tells us that obeying these 2 commandments fulfills ‘all the law and the prophets’.  That includes the original 10 commandments from the Old Testament.

We used to have 10 commandments – now it’s 2.  How much clearer can God get?

As I read the 6th chapter of Micah, I am again amazed at how direct God is as he tells me what he expects from me. ” And what does the LORD require from you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” verse 8.

Which part of that is unclear?

Act justly – do the right things and God tells us what is right in his Word.

Love Mercy – forgive others.  Give people a break especially when they don’t deserve it.  Help others.

Walk Humbly with God – develop a close relationship with God understanding that he is a supernatural combination of Creator of the Universe, the Holy and Perfect One and my Abba Father.

Micah told us this thousands of years ago.  It’s time to stop asking God what he wants us to do and start doing it.

Thank you for how clearly you guide me through your Word, Abba Father.

It’s Not Okay

I’m surprised at how often I find myself doing it – rationalizing.

Making up excuses for bad choices.

Telling myself that something is ‘not that bad’.

Do you do this, too?

Do you tell yourself “everyone’s doing it” or “no one will ever know” when you think about doing something that’s not totally the right thing to do?

God’s words through Isaiah are very clear about our tendency to rationalize away bad decisions.  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”. Isaiah 5:20.

Woe to me when I call evil good…..or call evil okay…..or call evil just easier.  These words echo through my head as I recommit to stop rationalizing things.

I need to be discerning – don’t accept evil as good, don’t call shades of darkness light.

I need to be wise – this doesn’t mean I go around judging other people.  God is their judge.  I’m focusing on my behavior and my values and my choices.  I’m focusing on calling good good and calling evil evil in my life.

Stop the excuses, stop the rationalizing.

Please open my eyes, Abba Father.

Not Like Me

I am created in the image of God,  I am like him.

But he is not like me.

I have found this to be a crucial truth to get straight in my brain so that I have the correct expectations of God. I have to apply this every day to my relationship with God so I can avoid frustrations and confusion.

God tells me through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Isaiah 55:8.

God is perfectly holy, perfectly just, perfectly loving and always right.

I am farrrrrrrr from perfect.  I cannot judge God’s actions – whether they are right or wrong – based on what I think.  My thinking is very flawed.  It is self-centered, self-seeking and severely limited.  I don’t think like God.  I will never think like God.

So I submit to his will, his plan, his purpose.

I am totally confident in God’s goodness and his perfect love for me.  I know to the depths of my spirit that God wants the best for me.  Even though I will never understand how he thinks and why he has permitted a painful tragedy to happen in my life when my son was killed, I will trust God.  His ways are not my ways – his ways are perfect.

In response to this truth, I have decided that my way is to walk in trust and faithfulness to God for the rest of my days on this planet.  I have decided to live in gratitude for his free gift of redemption through Jesus.  I don’t question what God does or doesn’t do.  I don’t try to determine if he is right or wrong – I know he is right.  He is always walking beside me, loving me and caring for me, even when he is not doing what I think is best.  He knows better.

I trust you, Abba Father.

I Want to Go Back

I have days when I want to go back in time. I would gladly go back to anytime before my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty.

So much was lost when he died. So much has changed.

Do you ever want to go back?

God speaks to me – and to you – today through Isaiah when he says, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19.

God is doing a new thing in my life and in your’s. He wants our eyes to be focused on today and tomorrow. The past is past.

I have been watching God do an entirely new thing in my life since my son was killed. God has a very different plan than I had for the rest of my life and he is gradually revealing it, one step at a time.

God is making a way in the wilderness that defined my life after Davey was killed. He is leading me to streams which feed my soul. He is guiding me out of the wasteland of grief and pain where I found myself 5 years ago.

The past is past. God wants my ‘now’ to count. He wants your ‘now’ to count.

He is doing a new thing.

Thank you, Abba Father.

He is With Me

God has spoken very clearly to me through Isaiah 43:2 these last 5 years since my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. Here is my response –

When I am passing through the waters of grief…

*of disappointment…

*of disillusionment…

*of pain….

God is with me.

When I am passing through a river of tears…

*pierced by the shattered pieces of my broken heart.

*trying to figure out how to live with a huge hole in my life…

the river does not sweep over me.  God is with me.

When I am walking through the fire of anger…

* not happy with my reality…..

* trying to understand….

I am not burned.  God is with me.

I am passing through.  I’m not getting stuck in these places.  Everything that happens in my life has first gone through the hands of my Father God.  He has a purpose.

So I will trust him as I pass through the water, the river and the fire.

Thank you for walking closely beside me, Abba Father.