Just as this boat needs necessary navigation techniques to safely sail through the vast globe of the world’s oceans and waterways from point A to point B, in life, we, too, need a Good Shepherd to live a good life.
A nautical chart or a “road map” is vital to take this boat and steer a course to and from destinations in a safe manner. It is meant to avoid driving blind and pilot this vessel with efficiency and effectiveness not just to keep this boat protected, sheltered and guarded but also to do the same to the other boats around it.
God has given us His Word to be the lamp to guide our feet and the light for our path (Psalm 119:105). It keeps us safe and secure, at peace and joyful, as we incline our ears to it and do what His word instructed us to do. It sets parameters for our own safety and well being. Our God is not a KJ (kill-joy) God but a FJ (full of joy) God! He enjoys being with us and guiding us to His great plans and purposes for our lives.
One day, someone shared with me a documentary video about something that I felt was contrary to what I believe. When you come to think of it, there is nothing wrong with watching it as long as your heart is anchored to the truth of His Word. In fact, when you are established in righteousness by the Blood of Jesus Christ, it shouldn’t bother you for it is not what you do that sustains your righteousness, right? But somehow, I had this stirring in my heart not to watch it.
At this point in my life, I don’t want to be judgmental. As much as possible, I desire to be open to anything but just choose to partake of what is good and throw away any information that goes against the flow of my being a believer in Christ. I thought … maybe there could be some knowledge that could be of use as I journey in this life but then again I had no peace in my heart when I think about this video. It was just my curiosity that kept bugging me yet I just couldn’t seem to move forward to watch it.
You may find me odd but when peace doesn’t dwell in my heart, truly, I seek the Lord to guide me even in this little decision that I need to make. I meditate on His Word and pursue to hear Him speak. Because He said … “call unto Me and I will answer you ..”, I did call and He answered. Cool! He led me to go through Psalm 23 … “The Lord is my Shepherd ..”! STOP! Hmmmm … He leads, guides, and instructs! Then, I came to verse 5 … “He prepares a feast for me ..”. I knew deep in my heart that the table that He has prepared for me is His Word. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
I stopped to linger for a while. I was sensing that JOY was beginning to rise up from deep within me. It wasn’t about anything … but when light comes piercing in, when revelation comes, you can’t help it but be joyful. It is the atmosphere when His presence starts to settle. Then, another verse shoot up from deep within me … “discern what is best …”.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and in practical insight, so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God [so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized].” Philippians 1:9-11 AMP
Yes, there is really nothing wrong with watching whatever we desire to watch. The choice is ours to make. But in my case, with much emphasis on this that He deals with us differently, unspeakable joy hit me when I geared towards not watching it. Then suddenly these words came upon me. … “All things are permissible but NOT all things are beneficial.” Oh wow .. I had to search this as He put it in my remembrance.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. (1Corinthians 10:23 NIV)
There are aids to safe navigation of a boat that every boater should know. These assist mariners in determining a vessel’s position and course and that warn of danger. Ignorance to such costs just as His word says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [of My law, where I reveal My will].” (Hosea 4:6 AMP) When a boater follows a plotted course it is but just to ensure that he maintains the course, he periodically will need to obtain a fix, or find out where you are according to the coordinates on the chart.
Where we’re at at this moment is a result of our past decisions. His Word is our plumb line, our standard, our plotted course. If we’ve drifted away from it, with God THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE! Just like this boat, in spite of best planning, the forces of nature all conspire to throw it off course. Wind, tides and currents can pull such vessel off its intended track which can very well lead to danger BUT corrections are available, adjustments are to be made so it will get back to its path and remain out of harm’s way.
At the end of the day, my decision was set NOT to watch the video. It gave me PEACE! It infused me with JOY! I chose to feast on His Word, feed on His faithfulness and continually eat from the TREE OF LIFE, Jesus, Who is The Word. He is my Shepherd Who leads me beside still waters and into the path of righteousness. He is the LORD of my life and His Lordship matters most to me. Many people call Him GOD but not so many know and call Him as LORD.
Humility is when we make Jesus our LORD. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalm 25:9 NIV His thoughs and ways written in His Word revealed and inwardly spoken to us by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are His will for all of us.
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:32-34 NKJV
The thought-provoking question remains … “What food are we feasting on? Just keep in mind that EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE BUT NOT EVERYTHING IS BENEFICIAL.” The choice is ours. Choose well. Choose life. Life is in the Word.
Photo Credit: Edna Arriola
Location: Viaduct Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand