Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Sing Praise To God Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)
Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (NIV)
One thing that I've learned in my journey with God is that He always builds on what went before. There's a sequence or a pattern to each adventure — and the Christian journey is always an adventure! When we're undecided about the direction in which God may be calling us, we can ask for insight and for confirmation. We can submit and pray, "Whatever Your will is, I'll do it". We can also look back on our life at the spiritual milestones that marked major transitions and the changes that took place each time that we submitted. When we can see things from God's perspective, that will give us a clue as to where He is taking us next.
For example, Joshua's men placed stones in the Jordan River to mark the place where they crossed, to serve as a reminder to following generations that a mighty act of God had taken place there. Samuel took a stone and named it "Ebenezer", the "Stone of Help". Gideon built an altar of peace, a memorial. Today we build cenotaphs, statues, or monuments. We erect a plaque or name a road after someone who made a great impact on our society. It's a physical act to help remind us of an important event, and we can use that to teach our children about God's activities.
A wedding ring is a tangible object, but also a spiritual marker. It marks an event in the past with a view to the future. It's a covenant, or a promise. Throughout the Bible, we see God reminding His people, "This is what happened before. Trust me!"
Have you ever made a montage of magazine pictures to represent your past, present, and future? It's a fun project that will probably surprise you when you see the finished product. You'll notice a theme, like a thread running through it. There are the markers — the milestones representing great happenings in your life. Alternatively, you could make a list of the times when you have clearly seen God's hand at work in your life — even if you were not a believer at the time. God's promises are generational. We can look back even further than our own lifetimes.
God has a unique plan for each of us. He had a purpose in mind before we were even born. He builds our character in an orderly fashion. We know that this is how God works, because every year, spring follows winter; every flower has its own time to bloom. He doesn't operate in chaos. We can trust Him. He often surprises us — but He doesn't want us to be afraid of the future. He wants to make Himself known to us. He wants a relationship with us. Let us each ask Him to come into our lives today and to use us for the purpose that He made specifically for each one of us.
Prayer: Father, we submit to Your will. Sometimes, we're not sure what that is. We understand that You take us one step at a time, one day at a time, but we want to be absolutely sure that we're on the right path. Would You help us to see the spiritual markers in our lives, that we might know that You had a plan for us all along? That would help us to take the next step. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.