He guides me in paths of righteousness

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3(b)

Image source: broraz.com

Sat-navs are fantastic gadgets. Just pop in the post code of the location you wish to get to, and it’ll take you there. That’s the theory, anyway. A couple of years ago I found myself driving through Arizona. I was on a fairly busy interstate when my sat-nav told me to turn off, which I duly did. Very quickly I found myself lost in the midst of a vast desert, whereupon my sat-nav decided it no longer knew where I was or where I wanted to be. I was well and truly lost, and it took me some time to find my way back onto a major road.

There are times in our lives when we feel lost. We feel like we have pulled into a desert with no clear exit and simply don’t know where to go. Maybe we’re stuck in a job that we don’t like, but can’t see a way out, or we’re in an unhealthy relationship, or we simply want some guidance about where to go next. Where do we turn?

Well we might feel uncertain of the direction our lives should be heading in, but God our Father has a clear vision. He has a way marked out for all us, a path that will be pleasing, and that will best serve his and our needs. When we feel lost, we just need to trust that God knows what he is doing, trust that he will lead us, and pray that he will guide us.

If we let God guide us, that worry that inhabits us about whether we are doing the right thing will diminish, because we can rely on God’s encouragement. We can also draw comfort from the fact that the paths that he leads us down are “paths of righteousness,” paths that will help us to shape our lives to be more like Jesus. By following the paths that God has marked out for us, we will be blessed. And, when the time comes, that path will lead us to God’s eternal kingdom.

If you’re feeling lost, pray today that God will guide you along those paths of righteousness. If you think you know the way, pray anyway that God will reassure you, and continue to lead you along his paths. And pray that, one day, when the time comes, those paths will lead us to heaven.

David trusted that God would guide him through his life, and said with confidence, “the Lord is my shepherd.” I wonder if we can trust in God to lead us along the right paths of life and say, “the Lord is OUR shepherd?”

As featured on Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Inspirational Breakfast’.

premier-christian-radio

Listen to this Thought of the Day:

He refreshes my soul

He refreshes my soul.

Psalm 23:3(a)

Image by freewine @flickr and made available under this licence.

Have you ever felt so tired that you feel that you could sleep for a week? As a teacher, I often feel like that as the end of term approaches, particularly the long Christmas term. After weeks of working flat out, the end is tantalising close, but then, on top of all the usual preparation, teaching and marking, I suddenly find myself having to write several hundred reports, arranging Christmas parties, and sometimes even preparing for end-of-term trips.

It’s tiredness like that that is sometimes described as “soul-sapping.” Not only are you tired, but it actually feels like your very life force is ebbing away from you. It’s at times like this that basic things become neglected; perhaps you feel your home life suffering, and you find yourself isolating yourself from our friends. Maybe you even feel that spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study drops down your priorities list.

Today’s verse is a warning against this neglect. God can help us through these difficult and busy times. If we spend just a few minutes of our busy day in quiet reflection, reading our Bible and praying, then the promise in this verse is that God will refresh our soul. Not only will he physically help us by sustaining us through our busy-ness, but spending time with him also puts what we are doing into context.

Work suddenly is not the be all and end all in our lives, since as Christians we have an eternal perspective. We should not focus solely on work, because we also need to spend time with God, and we need to ensure that we are doing his work, living a life worthy of Christ’s salvation. We also understand the importance of maintaining a focus on Christ in all that we do, whether it is at work, at home, or with our friends. We can support our colleagues through their busyness too by maintaining our calm, and working as if for our Father in heaven. By doing so, we can be witnesses for God, even though we are busy.

The realisation that God can refresh our souls can help us to put our daily life into perspective. Spending just a little time every day with him can really change our lives, and change our perspective on the world.
The next time you are tempted to neglect your daily time with God, just remember the promise of this verse, that God can refresh your soul. Talk to him, and listen to him, even if just for a few minutes a day.

David trusted that God would bring him true refreshment, and said with confidence, “the Lord is my shepherd.” I wonder if we can trust in God to refresh our souls and say, “the Lord is OUR shepherd?”

As featured on Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Inspirational Breakfast’.

premier-christian-radio

Listen to this Thought of the Day:

Paths of Righteousness

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3(b)

There are times in our lives where we feel as if we simply do not know which direction we should take. Sometimes that’s in a literal sense, when we are out walking or driving. At other times, it can be more of a metaphorical direction; where should we be heading with our lives? I’m in just such a spot at the moment, having resigned from my job, but not having another job to go to. The need to earn money to support myself is a pressing issue – I have to get a job to make money to survive – but this is even more true now since I am getting married this summer, and will have a wife to look after too. The temptation is to start panicking; I don’t know where I’m going! What should I do?!?

I’ve been trying not to panic, however, and this verse is just one of the verses that has encouraged me recently. We might feel uncertain of the direction our lives should be heading in, but God our Father does. He has a way marked out for us, a path that will be pleasing, and that will best serve his and our needs. When we feel lost, we just need to trust that God knows what he is doing, trust that he will lead us, and pray that he will guide us.

If we let God guide us, that worry that inhabits us about whether we are doing the right thing will diminish, because we can rely on God’s encouragement. We can also draw comfort from the fact that the paths that he leads us down are “paths of righteousness,” paths that will help us to shape our lives to be more like Jesus. By following the paths that God has marked out for us, we will be blessed. And, when the time comes, that path will lead us to God’s eternal kingdom.

If you’re feeling lost, pray today that God will guide you along those paths of righteousness. If you think you know the way, pray anyway that God will reassure you, and continue to lead you along his paths. And pray that, one day, when the time comes, those paths will lead us to heaven.

He restores my soul

He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:3(a)

Have you ever felt so tired that you feel that you could sleep for a week? As a teacher, I often feel like that as the end of term approaches, particularly the long Christmas term. After weeks of working flat out, the end is tantalising close, but then, on top of all the usual preparation, teaching and marking, I suddenly find myself having to write several hundred reports, arranging Christmas parties, and sometimes even preparing for end-of-term trips.

It’s tiredness like that that is sometimes described as “soul-sapping.” Not only are you tired, but it actually feels like your very life force is ebbing away from you. It’s at times like this that basic things become neglected; perhaps you feel your home life suffering, and you find yourself isolating yourself from our friends. Maybe you even feel that spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study drops down your priorities list.

Today’s verse is a warning against this neglect. God can help us through these difficult and busy times. If we spend just a few minutes of our busy day in quiet reflection, reading our Bible and praying, then the promise in this verse is that God will restore our soul. Not only will he physically help us by sustaining us through our busy-ness, but spending time with him also puts what we are doing into context. Work suddenly is not the be all and end all in our lives, since as Christians we have an eternal perspective. We should not focus solely on work, because we also need to spend time with God, and we need to ensure that we are doing his work, living a life worthy of Christ’s salvation. We also understand the importance of maintaining a focus on Christ in all that we do, whether it is at work, at home, or with our friends. We can support our colleagues through their busyness too by maintaining our calm, and working as if for our Father in heaven. By doing so, we can be witnesses for God, even though we are busy.

The realisation that God can restore our souls can help us to put our daily life into perspective. Spending just a little time every day with him can really change our lives, and change our perspective on the world.

The next time you are tempted to neglect your daily time with God, just remember the promise of this verse, that God can restore your soul. Talk to him, and listen to him, even if just for a few minutes a day.