It all began one summer morning - a morning not unlike the thousands of mornings that had come before it. The promise of the impending sunrise could be seen in the lightened skis and heard in the chorus of song birds outside my window. A new day was about to dawn and with it, unbeknownst to me, the beginning of a new adventure. As I opened my Bible on that first morning of devotional writing, the first steps of my walk with God began.
The project seemed to be a fairly simple idea; almost an obvious conclusion to the events that had led up to it. The hard part had been developing the vision. Bits and pieces had come together from the influence of a friend, a comment in a sermon, a decision to teach, and a sudden desire to seek a deeper understanding of God's word. If I was to spend time in preparation for teaching a Bible study class each Sunday, why not share those preparations with the class members so we could all be better prepared? Perhaps our discussions would go a little deeper and our understanding of God a little broader.
So I arose early that morning with the intent of writing the first study for that first class to be held just two weeks away. My friends and pastor had been encouraging when I had discussed the idea of writing a web-page-based morning devotional for the four Lectionary Bible verses each week but I can still hear the words of one friend who couldn't contain her honesty about the project - "Oh my God! You are going to write every day? Do you know how much work that will be?" Frankly, I didn't have a clue. How hard could it be to read a Bible verse and pen-up a few thoughts? It didn't seem like an earth shattering concept. Yes, I would need to get out of bed a little earlier each day but it seemed like it would be worth it. How little I knew…
Looking back now on three years of this daily exploration of God's word the realization of how earth shattering a walk with God can be is overwhelming. The idea that the Most High God will spend so much effort and time on me, a lowly sinner, is mind-boggling. For you see, it was never about the writing and no matter how large the subscriber list grew or how many wonderful emails I received discussing the impact of this ministry in their lives, it was never about my ability to discern or decipher God's word. It was about the walk.
"Noah was a righteous man… Noah walked with God." (Gen. 6:9)
"But those who are right with God will live by trusting in Him." (Romans 1:17)
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
"The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock." (Matt. 7: 25)
It is about the walk. Whatever path we take, no matter which Bible verse we choose to study or what habits of prayer life we develop, when we choose to walk with God, He will be there with us. He will use every tool imaginable and many beyond the scope of our understanding, to guide and grow us into the holy children He has designed us to be.
Every Bible verse I have studied and written about in the last three years has opened up new images of God for me to see. Every lesson has struck a chord of personal growth. Every word written by Him through these available fingers has taught, inspired, led, stimulated, stirred, moved, and molded me into being more Christ-like in all aspects of life.
I am not saying that I am a righteous man - far from it. There are many more steps in my walk with God that need to be taken. I am not saying that I won't still stumble and fall at every turn but the foundation has been established and I fully understand that He will not let me fall. I walk with God and because of that I trust His guidance, have faith in His abilities, and have a clearer understanding of the love He has for us all.
I walk with God and it is an amazing journey. Will you join me?
Glorious Father: We humbly pray for your love to cascade down into our lives. We seek your guidance in everything we do. We long to follow you wherever you may lead. We want to walk side-by-side with you through every issue in life we face. This is our frequent prayer but so many times we find that we have strayed from the path you would have us take. We think we are walking closely by your side and then, suddenly, we find that our worries and fears have taken hold, our selfish desires have rekindled, our sins have resurfaced, and our focus has shifted. Bring us back to your side. Lead us into your light. Guide us to follow your will and teach us to walk with you for the times that we dwell in your house are blessed times. There are other paths we could choose to follow in life "but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15) and we are richly blessed by it. Thank you for your love and grace, through Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
Amen!!! Brother Gary, thank you so much for sharing this history with us! It is so comforting to know that it is all about the walk! And He has sure shown Himself to be the One who holds your pen. Be blessed this day!