There is a glorious freedom that occurs in our lives when we commit our ways to Jesus before we commit to another activity or event. When I am in constant communion with Him and am listening for His voice, I am chained not to the expectations of others, but to His leading and His desires. Oh, I know that there will certainly be days that are filled from start to finish with endeavors, appointments and even craziness—but in the midst of it all, if I am committed to Him, there will be joy and even peace.
There is a beautiful sequence of Scriptures found in the book of Psalms that often carries me toward wisdom as I try to determine what the activities of my life should be.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and practice faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:3-7a).
First of all, I must trust in the Lord and in His plan for my life, then I must determine that everything to which I am setting my hand is something "good" in nature. Jesus went about doing good—and so should I! Every activity in which I involved myself should smack of the goodness of God, whether it is working in the church nursery, reading to my children or taking my neighbor to a doctor's appointment.
The third step in this lovely process that will only lead me toward peace is that I must be faithful. If I said I will do something, I must follow through. Faithfulness is an attribute of God Himself, and it is one of the areas in my life when He can show up in power and strength. On my own, I am not a very faithful person, because I can make up excuses, feign illness or pretend I have forgotten a commitment. Later, the dodging of a prior commitment only stirs up mental stress in my life because I feel so guilty for fudging my way out of it. Faithfulness always brings peace, even when it means dying to self.
The next thing required of me as I travel toward the peace the Lord has for me is that I must delight myself in Him and not in the approval of man. I must remind myself that it is His applause for which I live, not a standing ovation from friends. When I delight myself in Him, I discover the deepest desires of my heart. He cultivates ideas and yearnings inside of me that I didn't even know were there before I delighted myself in Him. How wonderful is that?
And then, before I commit to anything else in life, I must commit myself fully and wholeheartedly to His plans and His ways for my life. I must understand that what He has for me might be different than what He has for you. As I commit myself to Him and to His ways, a wonderful trust will flood over my soul. I will realize He is in control, and He will accomplish what concerns me. My righteous behavior is dependent upon my ability to trust Him, to be a faithful servant, to delight myself in all that He is and to commit to Him before I commit to anything else.
When I have the first tenets of this passage in order in my life, my righteousness and my judgments will be strong and wise. And then the wonder of it all—I will be a woman at rest! Who wouldn't want to approach life in this manner?
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written 10 books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart; Defiant Joy!;Holy Estrogen!; No More Ordinary; Refined; Joy For All Seasons; Let There Be Joy!; Pass the Joy, Please!; Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Stormproof, which releases on March 1, 2019. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at carolmcleodministries.com.
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