When was the last time you truly stood back and allowed God to direct your steps? By that I mean, how long has it been since you left all your decision-making up to Him and said, “Lord, this thing is much too big for me, so I’m not going to try and figure it out. I’m going to get out of the way and let You have it.”
If you’re completely honest with yourself, then likely you don’t remember when that time was. Oh, you can probably recall the last time you prayed and sought God about a certain situation. But did you really turn it over to Him? Did you really cast the care of that situation over on the Lord, trusting Him to handle it?
For most, the answer to those questions would likely be an honest “No.” And that’s not surprising. Those times when we sincerely trust God and release our problems into His hands are usually few and far between for many of us. Although we know God’s Word says He stands ready to help us in the time of need or trouble, it is our nature to want to take control, to devise our own plan or way, and then see it through. That way we can be assured the outcome will be as we desire.
But look at what the Bible says about that in Proverbs 16:9, New Living Translation: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” As a born-again believer, you should already know God has great plans for you, that He has destined for you to prosper and succeed. But you should also know that, by His Spirit, which dwells inside you, His presence is always there, ready to lead and guide you in the right direction, according to His will. In other words, you are never alone.
We can get a really good understanding of the importance of God’s presence by looking at the story of the children of Israel in the book of Exodus and their journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt.
For 40 years, the Israelites wandered through the wilderness on their way to a land God had set aside for them, a land that had everything they would ever need or desire to enjoy life. But that journey was not always a pleasant one.
Along the way, the Israelites found much to complain about and, at times, God was about to destroy them all. But, through all the complaining, God’s mercy was with His people. The Bible says to make sure they didn’t lose their way God stayed with them and kept them on course.
He gave them a visible manifestation of His presence: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night” (Exodus 13:21). God’s presence was always with His people. He dwelt with them day and night, leading and guiding their every step. And as long as they acknowledged His presence and obeyed His instructions, they stayed on track and were safe.
That’s what God desires for His people to know and understand today.
Sometimes we feel rejected, neglected or we’re just confused to the point we wonder if God is really with us.
We ask, “God, where are you? Why have you turned your back on me?” When those times come, it’s important that you realize two things. First, that God is always with you. You have that assurance through the Word, which says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). And, secondly, Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Times may be difficult but the one thing you can always be certain of is that God loves you and that He is faithful to never leave or forsake you. Because God’s presence is always there, you are never alone.
*Henry Fernandez is senior pastor of The Faith Center Ministries in Sunrise and is author of the bestselling book Faith, Family & Finances: Strong Foundations for a Better Life. For more information, visit henryfernandez.org or call 1-954-742-7832.