Counsel and Promise!
"In all your ways acknowledge Him — and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:6
The counsel of the wise should be regarded, especially when it is given under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. It is intended for our good, and cannot be neglected without loss. The Christian's path is often . . .
difficult — being through a dreary wilderness;
dark and perplexing — so that he knows not which path to choose;
all strange — for he has never trodden one foot of it before!
But his God . .
is always present with him,
is always ready to attend to him,
and is willing to direct him.
Therefore, "in all your ways acknowledge Him." As His beloved child — you are dependent upon Him. You should therefore acknowledge Him:
1. by consulting His Word — which gives you general rules to be applied to particular cases;
2. by believing His promise — in which He engages to be with you, to help you, to guide you, and to crown you with His blessing;
3. by praying for direction — God loves to be consulted by us, and we should never purpose, plan, or attempt to go anywhere without seeking His direction;
4. by watching His hand — it is not enough to read, believe, and pray; we must expect God to answer prayer, and look to see His hand working for us, clearing our way, and supporting us in it;
5. by submitting to His will — His will is not only regulated by wisdom, but love; He only wills our sanctification and salvation, and it is our duty to submit to His pleasure with patience, prayer, and faith;
6. by gratitude for favors already received — all our comforts are from God, to Him we are indebted for all we enjoy, and we should acknowledge the same with grateful praise.
The Christian who acknowledges God by . . .
consulting His Word,
believing His promise,
praying for direction,
watching His hand,
submitting to His will, and
praising Him for His mercies —
will never be allowed to go far astray, or be long left in suspense.
Hence the promise, "He shall direct your paths." Man cannot even direct himself! This the prophet knew when he cried, "O Lord, I know that our lives are not our own. We are not able to direct our own steps!" (Jeremiah 10:23.), "A man's heart devises his way — but the Lord directs his steps!" (Proverbs 16:10.), "A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:21.) Therefore, "Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him — and He shall bring it to pass." For, "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delights in His way." (Psalm 37:5, 23.)
He will preserve you from wrong paths — He will shine upon the right path — or He will lead you step by step, as He has said, "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go." (Isaiah 48:17.) And if at any time you feel bewildered, and are uncertain about the way, "Your ears shall hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it!" (Isaiah 30:21.)
When God directs your paths and your ways please Him . . .
you will have peace of mind before Him,
you will become increasingly acquainted with Him,
and you will feel growing confidence in Him.
Therefore see the propriety of this counsel, and act upon it, for . . .
you are but a child, and are liable to be misled;
God is your Father and your Guide, and He expects you to consult Him;
He is willing to guide you by His counsel, until He receive you to glory.
You will not walk in the right path — unless He leads you; therefore acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, in the prosperous — and adverse, in the plain — as well as the difficult. He will guide you and conduct you right, for He says, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16.) If the Lord leads you through the wilderness — He will bring you right; if He takes you along the longest road — you will find it is the safest; and be at length constrained to say, "He led me by the right path — to go to a city where I could live."