A Prayer to Follow God
By Jessica Van Roekel
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” – Psalm 37:5-6, ESV
There have been times when I made a commitment to something I did not want to do. I scowled and grumbled and looked for a way to get out of it. But there was no way out without violating my principles, and I needed to follow through. It became an opportunity to grow. One of my favorite Scripture passages, Proverbs 3:5-6 echoes Psalm 37:5-6. Both passages refer to committing our way to the Lord and trusting him.
There are times when this feels impossible because, whether I like to admit it or not, sometimes I want my way more than I want God’s way. For instance, my way is the comfortable way. I’m not going to choose the rocky path when the smooth path lies before me. But I’ve learned that when I say yes to God, he may lead me along paths that go through valleys and over mountains. It means comfort may be swapped for the adventure of trusting God for the next bend in the road, rocky or smooth.
When I choose the easy way of my own understanding, I miss out on deepening my trust in God’s character. He leads by telling us when to go and when to stay. He strengthens us by encouraging us to take the next step and then the next. He comforts us while simultaneously compelling us onward despite the difficult terrain.
Psalm 37 is a set of instructions about godly wisdom and shows the proper godly attitude toward the hardships Christ’s followers may face. Life holds difficulties and blessings. Both the hardships and successes in life give us an opportunity to deepen our reliance on the Lord. He helps us through the hard times and guides us to keep our successes in the proper perspective. Within this passage, we discover two actions that lead us closer to knowing God’s heart.
First, we can choose a wholehearted commitment to the Lord. It’s tempting to withhold pieces of ourselves from him. We may have regrets which keep us from a whole-life commitment. Or we may have habits or perspectives which we withhold from God because we know he’ll want to refine them, and we don’t want to. Yet, we’re instructed and encouraged time and again to commit our whole selves to the Lord. Our whole-hearted commitment leads us to know God’s heart for us because we learn how gentle and kind he is with us.
A whole-hearted yes to God creates opportunities to grow our trust in him. To trust him means we place our life in his hands even when we cannot see the outcome. Taking a risk to surrender every bit of our heart, including the parts we keep secreted away, brings us closer to receiving from him the care and concern we desperately want.
Second, we can trust him with our hurts, offenses, and unforgiveness. He is not going to respond with a hammer when we bring them into his light. Instead, he helps us sort through the rubble to repair the broken pieces. Commitment and trust go hand in hand. We commit the secrets of our hearts to him and trust him for the healing process. The results reveal Jesus Christ’s righteousness in us, and we shine for him. Our world is wandering in the dark, and we have the light of the Gospel of Jesus shining through us to point the way to him. We can commit our ways to him, trust his heart, and watch him work through us.
Only you can make sense of a journey that takes us through deep ravines and over steep mountain paths. I want the easy way, but without difficulties, I don’t learn to trust you more and more. Forgive me for wanting my idea of comfort over growing in my relationship with you. I choose to trust you with my journey. I choose to commit my ways to you and believe that you will make your righteousness shine through me so the world may know you. Draw others to you through the way I live my life. Let your light shine as I commit my life to you and trust you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Twomeows_IS
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more at reframingrejectionbook.
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