“Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” NLT
Here is how the same verse reads in the NSB version: “And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”
How many times have you read this verse and repeated it aloud even? How many times? I know, for me, it has been dozens of times.
Yet, I wonder, have I really given it much thought about how God will “Point out” my offensive behavior or show me any “hurtful way” of which I am guilty? As I pondered this question, I began to see the many different ways God has “pointed out” or shown my “hurtful ways.”
Here is a partial list of “God’s POINTERS.”
1.) ADVERSITY: A situation of event that causes distress, hardship or affliction.
About ten years ago, my husband and I got into real financial trouble. We lost our businesses, a construction business and a restaurant. We were going to lose our home also. Was it stressful? Oh my, yes. Was it hard and did I feel a burden on my shoulders? Yes and Yes. Yet God knew it was going to work out.
During the time of our financial loss, we drew closer to God than we had ever been in the past. We chose to believe Jesus is Enough! We couldn’t see this at the time, but God was using this adverse situation in our lives to lead us in His everlasting way.
Adversity is a very real “Pointer” to Jesus. He had to face His adversity also.
1A.) Jesus also faced His Adversity as He went forty days without food. I can’t imagine how exhausted, starved, physically ill His body was. How He must have felt so alone for all that time. And yet, what was this the beginning of? His earthly ministry. God used the adversity of Christ to usher in His Grace in Person. See Matthew 4.
2.) PHYSICAL PAIN: A pain experienced in a person’s body is very personal. Nerves, muscles, ligaments, heart tissue, tears, sprains, toothaches can all bring tremendous pain.
We’ve all felt pain of different levels in our lives. I have experienced days when my arthritis kicks into high gear bringing more pain than usual. I hurt and I just want to be away from people. I’ve also experienced such chest pain I was admitted into the hospital for a heart attack type event. Though this pain was caused by anxiety and not actual heart muscle pain, the pain was just as real. I understood the pain and hated it.
So when confronted with the cause of my chest pain, I could have chosen to deny any problem or choose to admit, yes, I did indeed have an emotional problem needing correction. I could choose to ask God His purpose of this pain.
I could choose to follow Him because Jesus knew physical pain.
2A.) Jesus also faced physical pain. He was beaten, a crown of thorns was placed on His head, He fell under the blows of the whip, He fell as He was made to carry His own cross on which He knew He would soon die of horrible death. He understood pain as I never have. Yet He chose to look to God for strength to endure. See Matthew 27: 26 – 66.
3.) BETRAYAL: When someone acts against you to intentionally betray you, breach a trust, or violate a confidence.
At the time my son and his wife were going through a huge marital struggle, I shared my hurt with a very close friend. I believed my secret and my family’s secret would be safe. Yet, it wasn’t. My very close friend, in speaking with another young mom going through the same type of situation, told about me and my children. You can imagine the hurt and betrayal as this young mom came into church the next week and told my daughter-in-law she knew all about our family secrets and offered to “help.” My very private daughter-in-law lost trust in me that day.
I had betrayed her by sharing her secrets. I begged forgiveness but the relationship could never recover to be the same. I chose to turn to God and allow Him to forgive me and teach me His way about keeping secrets and not betraying others. By trying to alleviate my pain and hurt, I caused pain to another.
I never want to do that again, because Jesus knew betrayal also.
3 A.) Jesus also knew betrayal. One of His own chosen Disciples, Judas Iscariot betrayed his friend. For thirty pieces of silver, Judas sold Jesus’ identity to the Jews. This led to the arrest and ultimately, to the crucifixion on the cross of our Savior Jesus. See Matthew 26:14-16.
4.) TEMPTATION: The act of attempting to lead someone astray by promising a gain or pleasure.
Is there a day when I am not tempted? Never! We all know the obvious temptations: chocolate, sweets, too much TV, gossip, laziness, etc. But it’s the little sneaky temptations which catch me off guard.
Recently I was checking out in the grocery store and had a coupon for a free pound of butter. Free food, can’t go wrong there! As I checked out, the cashier ran the coupon and handed it back to me. I couldn’t believe how tempted I was to keep that coupon and get another free pound of butter. I started justifying keeping the coupon by telling myself, “God must want me to have this or He wouldn’t have allowed her to give it back.” Or “This store will not be hurt by me using it again, they have enough money.”
I walked about ten feet away from the register still holding the coupon in my hand. God was using this little coupon as a “Pointer” in my life. I walked back and turned it into the cashier. To be honest, I didn’t do this easily. It was as if I had two voices in my head, one saying “it didn’t matter, keep it.” The second saying, “it is the little things that count. It’s who you are when no one is looking.”
I want God to point me in His way. My Savior knew temptation too.
4A.) Jesus knew temptation. As he fasted for forty days by himself, he knew hunger and need. As he was ending that time, the Evil one met Him with three temptations, tempted in His flesh, with the lust of His eyes and lastly, with the temptation of Pride. See Matthew 4: 1-11.
AS you can tell by this partial list of “Pointers,” there are many ways God will point out our behavior and give us opportunities to live more as He would want us to live. Are you ready to change to be more like God? Are you willing to pray the prayer written in Psalm 139:24? Please let me know, I would love to hear how God has shown you areas of growth.