Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Path - WFW

I'm not one to dwell on the past. I tend to look forward to the future. Oh, I do enjoy trips down memory lane, reflecting on times the Lord has been faithful and loving, revealing Himself as my Shepherd or the Great Physician. One thing I will always hold dear regarding this year (aside from the births of a grandson and nephew and many other wonderful family memories) is how God has filled me with the joy and peace of eternal life.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13 (NIV)

There was a time when I was terrified of the end times. I believe we are living in them and there was a time that I didn't understand Bible prophecy as well then as I do now. I'm not saying I understand it all. Behold, some things are still a mystery to me! It's heavy stuff. I remember as a young child hearing our pastor preach on Armageddon. That was one battle I wanted no part of! I also wasn't exactly excited about dying, whether Jesus made us all disappear at the Rapture or dying a painful death, even if it involved going straight to Heaven. After careful reading of God's Word and learning more from some good Bible scholars I now can laugh at my fears. I rejoice that as I have grown in Christ, I look so forward to being an active participant in anything God has planned for me, end times or whatever the future holds.

Yes, this year the Lord has shown me, like the Psalmist, the path of life, filled me with joy in His presence, and the assurance of eternal pleasures yet to come. He has drawn me closer to Him this year than I've ever been drawn before. I grew up knowing Christ and have been saved since I was in my teens, but this was a year of a great growth spurt for me, and I rejoice that the Holy Spirit has comforted and assured me with the truths of God's Word as I seek to walk more closely with Him on the path He has set before me.

The Hebrew word for path in the Psalm in the picture above is 'orach, which means:

1) way, path
a) path, road
b) the path, way, passing of life (fig.)
c) way of living (fig.)
d) traveller, wayfarer (meton)

I have definitely learned that walking down the path God has shown me is far better than walking down paths unknown. From past concerns over how Bible prophecy would play out to seeing His handprints over every part of my life, I try to search His Word and pray daily that I stay on the path He has set before me.

This year I was moved to a new way of living, one that is more sensitive to the things I read and watch on television, more sensitive to the things I allow myself to listen to and what words I allow my tongue, untamed at times, to speak.

I love the fullness of joy that I live in now. The Hebrew word for fullness in the Psalm in the picture above is soba`, which means:

1) satiety, abundance, fulness
a) satiety
b) abundance

The Hebrew word for joy in this verse is simchah, which means:

1) joy, mirth, gladness
a) mirth, gladness, joy, gaiety, pleasure
b) joy (of God)
c) glad result, happy issue

This has been a happy year for me, not only in the things I have learned in the Word and from reading your blogs, but also in feeling the abundant pleasure of babies being born and seeing God's plan working out in His own way for my uncle, my Dad and others I love.

I can't wait to see the handiwork of our precious Lord as He brings an abundance of glad results to my heart as I see God work out His good and perfect will throughout the coming year.

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah" ~ Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

Knowing that there are eternal pleasures awaiting me has caused me to grow in confidence and assurance in God.

The Hebrew word for pleasures in the Psalm in the picture above is na`iym, which means:

1) pleasant, delightful, sweet, lovely, agreeable
a) delightful
b) lovely, beautiful (physical)
2) singing, sweetly sounding, musical

I am no longer frightened or worried at the state of the world we live in or of what things may come. I tend to look more toward the delightful and lovely future God has planned for me, both now and in the hereafter. Though things may seem bleak on earth at times, I trust in God's will completely. My faith is strong that whatever happens, He is in control.

The Hebrew word for eternal in the Psalm in the picture above is netsach, which means:

1) eminence, perpetuity, strength, victory, enduring, everlastingness
a) eminence
b) enduring of life
c) endurance in time, perpetual, continual, unto the end
d) everlastingness, ever

I no longer think of the end times as the end times. They are only the beginning.

"But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. " ~ 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

Like the new year ahead, the path of life God has prepared for us holds great promise. I look to it with joy and hope.

The Hebrew word for life in the Psalm in the picture above is chay, which means:
1) living, alive
a) green (of vegetation)
b) flowing, fresh (of water)
c) lively, active (of man)
d) reviving (of the springtime)
n m
2) relatives
3) life (abstract emphatic)
a) life
b) sustenance, maintenance
n f
4) living thing, animal
a) animal
b) life
c) appetite
d) revival, renewal
5) community

There is such promise in all the meanings for life listed above. God wants us to live all these things out loud in our daily walk with Him along the path He has prepared for us.

Let's purpose together to stay on His path.

P - Pray daily to stay on the path God has prepared before you. "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer." ~ Psalm 17:6 (NIV)

A - Abide close to Christ, who will never lead you astray. "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." ~ John 10:4-5 (NIV)

T - Take others onto the path with you. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ~ Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
H - Hide God's Word in your heart daily so that you do not stray from His path. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." ~ Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


Denise said...

May your path always be sweetly blessed, love you.

Homesteader in Training said...

An awesome outlook my friend. I used to be "afraid" of the end times but now I look at it as one step closer to glory! Obama being elected as our next president just makes it even closer lol.
Hugs to you my friend.

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post and I have to agree...God's path is the best and the one I hope that I never stray from. I know that He always has my best interest at heart.

lambofHisflock said...

Amen. What a blessing to read your post today! Our hope is not in this world or in myself but in a God who is worthy. May His path always be ours.

Tammy said...

Praising God for the wonderful things He reveals to us and the hope He brings. I am so thankful we do not have to worry and fear - He is in control.

Amydeanne said...

very cool!

hennhouse said...

Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

Willow said...

Laurie Ann, I love how much thought and research you put into your posts and how much I learn from them! I am so looking forward to 2009 and all the ways that His glory might be multiplied!

I like this line that you wrote "I no longer think of the end times as the end times. They are only the beginning." I said something similar to my husband the other night when we were talking about the unrest in Israel and end times prophecy and I said something about it being the beginning of the end and then I corrected myself and said that maybe we are entering "the end of the beginning"... which is just EXCITING to me and not frightening at all!

God bless you and I pray for God's continued light on your path in 2009.

Chelle said...

wonderful post. be blessed!

Joyfull said...

Truly a wonderful post. The first two verses you shared are some of my favorites. They keep my heart, mind and actions focused on Him. May the Lord truly lead our paths and fill us with His hope and joy through the New Year. Be blessed!

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I missed you, my friend! I want to be on the path Jesus is on..and I am no longer afraid of anything else. Thank you for always taking the time to teach and exhort us!

Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!

Blessed With 4 said...

Awesome post. Thank you for taking so much time in your posts. I so love seeing God's handprints on everything in my life. He is so awesome! Awesome is such a puny word for all he is.
Have a very happy and blessed new year.

Lisa said...

Great post on promise and eternal life. Have a blessed New Year!

Schotzy said...

WOW! May our paths be straight and true!

crittyjoy said...

wonderful thoughts. This is our signature verse where I work and I am going to share your post with the rest of the staff...this is something we need to ponder in our heart.

Thanks for sharing.

Happy New Year!

God Chaser said...

Great- I love PATH- great advice for the coming year. I would like to copy this for my personal use-on my blog- let me know if that is ok with you.

Jnette said...

Laurie Ann, I really loved what you wrote, it really ministered to me! Thank you and Happy New Year!

Speaking from the Heart said...

Great post and a great reminder, as we begin a new year.

JesusRulzMe said...

My precious twin sister,

You said,

"I am no longer frightened or worried at the state of the world we live in or of what things may come. I tend to look more toward the delightful and lovely future God has planned for me, both now and in the hereafter. Though things may seem bleak on earth at times, I trust in God's will completely. My faith is strong that whatever happens, He is in control."


"I no longer think of the end times as the end times. They are only the beginning. "

AMEN!!! And as I reflect on this past year, you, my dear twin are one of the many reasons why I give thanks! :-)

I love you!

Marsha said...

Thank you for shedding your light on the path for so many of us, Laurie Ann.

Happy New Year, my blog friend.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Laurie Ann,
It used to scare me too, thinking about thee end times, and dying etc. In church there was an old couple that used to sing I'll fly away... and when they sang about going to heaven they acted all happy like they couldn't WAIT to get there; and I'd think... "NOT ME..I CAN WAIT." But now, I realized it truly is GOING HOME.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful new year. I'm so happy to have met you!

Sue said...

As I was reading your post, I thought to myself several times that it could have been me writing this. I look forward to Christ returning. I love that Romans passage, too.

Thanks for visiting my blog again.

Blessings for your new year,