" The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and He delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. " (PSALM 37:24)
This is a verse, a concept, I was taught as a child. No matter how hopeless or successful we are in life, whether by disobedience or faithfulness, God knew from the beginning the steps we would take. Our desires are changed in the process -Hard lessons learned for disobedience and joy for obedience. We learn of the love of God, His tender mercies and forgiveness when we repent and turn from evil. I do not speak of an evil like we read of in the news of gross sin; but a wagging tongue, a lustful thought almost acted upon, lack of prayer, intercession and witness. Or at times desiring things we really do not need or trying to fulfil those desires and letting the good things we could have done to languish in the process.
Interspersed in these thoughts are some thoughts of Matthew Henry hundreds of years ago; our battles are the same. The enemy of our souls is very adaptable but the issues and the battles are the same.
God will direct and dispose of our actions and affairs in a way that will bring Him glory and praise. By His grace and Spirit He directs our thoughts, affections and designs. Every person's heart is in His hand; but His children's hearts are His by our own consent. We have given our hearts to Him.
By His providence He over rules events that concern us. He makes our way plain before us if we seek His guidance; what we should say, what we should do. God orders our steps and has expressed His desires in His written Word. The words of God are as silver, refined seven times (completely) written by those who were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.
He whispers to our conscience, our spirit (for He is spirit) and says, " This is the way, walk in it..." If we would only listen, all of the time! He does not often show us things into the distant future, but leads us step by step, as one leads a small child. Why lead in this way? Perhaps, in this manner of guidance we are always totally dependant upon Him.
He delights in His ways! We should also. Who are we to direct the LORD? God orders His way for us to follow because He loves His own image upon us! Though we fall and falter at times, ready to "throw in the towel" we are not utterly cast down. He is still here. If we are overcome with a fault, and for a time lose the joy of our salvation, yet we will be restored unto Him; He has declared this.
By His providence and our repentance the root is kept alive, though the leaves may wither for a season. There will come a Spring after our Winter. We may be in distress, our affairs embarrassed, our spirits sunk, but we are not utterly cast down. God will be the strength of our heart and uphold us with His comforts.
It may be a song, perhaps a passage of scripture, somehow, someway, He breaks through on our behalf. Remember, He has promised, a smoking wick He will not extinguish; He will never put our our candle-though it grow dim in our winter seasons. He rekindle's the flame and our light will shine in the darkness once again as we wait upon Him.
Matthew Henry has said that a our good person will be in distress, our affairs embarrassed, our spirits sunk, but we will not be utterly cast down; God will arise with strength in our hearts when our hearts and flesh fail, and He will uphold us with His comforts, so that the spirit He has made shall not fail before Him.
I believe deep in my spirit that He will not deny us, for He cannot! He cannot deny Himself. He is in us; we are in Him - indwelled by His Spirit. We are created in His image; transformed daily into being more and more of the image and character of Christ. It is a process in which He is in total control; even in our shortcomings.
Our duty is to believe, follow, worship, and yield as He leads. Self sufficiency has no place in the Kingdom of God! Even though we are now adults, we must remain children, totally dependent upon Him.