God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom. – He is not looking for perfect rightness, but right heart-ness – sincerity of heart (that is) continually submitted to Him.
God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7) “when the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth”
God can and does direct, redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21) “to man belongs…, …the LORD determines his steps.”
God uses “…all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes" (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)
God is close to and rewards a sincere heart (Psalm20; James 4; Heb 10:22-23)
“May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your places succeed.”
As I have considered each of the person’s we have looked at in regard to God’s devotion toward us, the question of redirection keeps coming to my mind. I have had many ask me “how do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...what if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.” Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.
Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 5:6:1-10). It says “...for those who love Him…”.
Well, what is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to trust Him enough to “...obey me…”. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience, or, at least, of sin and repentance and continued attempts to obey - life as we know it. Or, more accurately stated - life as we know Him. (John 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3)
What we are actually looking at in the case of Philip, Peter, and Paul (Acts 9-16) is that they were each and all – redirected. Their hearts were sincerely directed to God and by God, it was their understanding and plans of the heart according to that understanding, that needed to be honed – or – redirected. It is important that we see that God was so devoted to them that He obliged. They were all, with sincere hearts toward God, going the way they thought was right, and God, by His Spirit, rewarded their heart’s sincerity by guiding their steps on each of their chosen paths, as each, it would seem, were going according to their bent, or, person – how God had made them and were making them to be.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.
Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
This may be more natural than it may seem, God knows who we are – He made us.
We may be thinking “how can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing”. Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We forget sometimes that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, (He) is creating me, and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? “…we are God’s workmanship…” (Eph 2:8-10)
God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:6; 2:13)
And that includes what appeals to me. What I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, which is, or better stated, Who is, Jesus. (Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)
As I grow in Christ, though I am me, the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward that which is pleasing to God and the Spirit that resides in me. So that that which appealed to me before (and still may in some regard to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it might have before.
It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…
...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.
It’s a little bewildering, actually.
But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19) “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
So, as a grow in Christ, I go, and as I go, I go as I know and understand, and as I go, God steers and corrects and redeems and redirects and uses, me. Together Him and me, we.