RANDALL J. BREWER
Life is like a road map. The plans we make to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives can be compared to the highways we take to reach a certain destination. Sometimes there are roadblocks and detours on these roads and signs are posted pointing the driver in another direction.
Granted, the roads on the detour are not as well kept and maintained as the main highway and in truth it can be a pretty rough ride. It is a fact of life that we all have to travel on this road, some more than others, and wisdom would dictate that we be prepared and know what to do when we encounter life’s detours.
So here we are going down life’s highway and for the moment everything is nice and smooth. Suddenly, without warning, our plans get interrupted and we are jerked onto a secondary, bumpy road that is full of crumbling blacktop, gravel, and potholes. We have no idea where we are or what lies ahead. We are in unfamiliar territory and we know not what to do.
On some detours the signs are far and few in between and you are tempted to wonder if you’ve missed the arrow sign somewhere behind you. Your mind is cloudy and you don’t know what to do or where to turn. You don’t have time to take out a calculator and figure things out and you can’t stop and pray for two hours. What happens next all depends on what’s inside of you.
The key to reaching your destination is to be mature when you come upon that detour sign. There is a time frame between this moment and the time you emerge back onto the main highway. It is during this detour when all the forces of the enemy seem to lash out against you.
You need help and Ps. 89:19 says that God gives help to one who is mighty! If you are mature you will trust God with all your heart and lean not on your understanding and if not you’ll probably panic. Let’s look now at some verses from Ps. 143, a prayer David wrote when his plans got interrupted. Twice David seems to start to panic but quickly overcomes this with trust in his Lord.
Vs. 1a,3,4 says, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications.” Notice this is plural. He had more than one request. Don’t we all? “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed.” Have you ever had a day like this? For most believers this type of day would be called “normal”. Your plans will probably get interrupted 80-90% of the time and when they do try to follow David’s example here in Ps. 143. His plans got interrupted and the first thing he did was go to God in prayer. His is always a good place to start. Ps. 146:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” A mature Christian is a praying Christian who knows where his help comes from.
David began his prayer by telling God the situation he was in. Here is a very, very important point. Always be honest with God. Tell Him how you feel. Make known what’s on your heart. What some people call “faith” God calls “lying.” Be real! If you’re hurting, tell Him you’re hurting.
If you’re mad at Him, tell Him you’re mad at Him. After all, He knows it anyway. If the enemy has got you down, then be like David and tell God he’s got you down. When a person goes to the doctor he doesn’t say everything is great in an effort to be “spiritual.” No, he tells the doctor what is wrong so he can get the proper treatment. Success is dealing with a situation as it is and not as it’s supposed to be. A mature Christian is a believer who is always honest with himself, with others, and especially with God. Listen to what David says next.
Vs. 5, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” Most of Satan’s attacks are in the area of the mind for this is where doubt and fear reside. David counters these attacks by focusing on the faithfulness of God in times past. In other words, he took his mind off his problem.
A fact in life is the more you meditate on something the bigger it gets. Your problems seem to get bigger than God if all you do is talk about and meditate on them. That’s a powerful truth. David chose the right move. He meditated on God. All believers must do the same when their plans get interrupted. God’s faithfulness yesterday will cause them to trust Him today and tomorrow.
Vs. 7a says, “Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails!” Once again David gets honest with God and panic appears to be knocking at his door. No place in scripture are we promised an easy life. On the contrary. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33).
Many of the storms of life bring with it a sense of desperation where we don’t think we can go on any further unless God intervenes. But in order for Him to do so there is one thing we must do first and David tells us what it is in the following verse.
Vs. 8a, “Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust…” Here is the key to getting all your problems solved. Wake up trusting God! When your plans get interrupted and you don’t know what to do… trust God! Learn to wake up each morning and begin the day by putting your trust in the God Who created the heavens and the earth.
Vs, 8b continues, “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.” When you don’t know what to do, trust God and He’ll show you what to do. Listen to Him. Push your problems aside and get before the Lord. The importance of trust cannot be overemphasized. Prov. 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” A mature Christian is one who puts their trust in God no matter what the circumstances of life may bring.
Ps. 143 was the heart cry of David at a time when his plans got interrupted. Notice that it began with prayer but ended in trust. The importance of prayer is a vital necessity in the life of any believer.
However, there comes a time when you have to stop praying and start trusting. Why pray a second time for something you believed you received when you initially prayed? Make your prayer request known and then start trusting the One Whose business it is to bring fulfillment to faith-filled prayers.
The surest way to trust God is to have an extensive past history of answered prayer. The more a believer prays with faith and trusts God the more they will see the manifestation of answered prayer.
This in turn will make it easier for the believer to trust God the next time a trial causes their plans to get interrupted. Let’s face it, very rarely do new problems rise up on the path we travel on. I Peter4:12 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you.”
Most problems are situations that have been faced on more than one occasion in times past. If the problem was conquered then by trusting God, then it can be overcome again with the same trust. If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.
There will come a time when getting problems solved will be second nature to you. You’ll learn with experience to simply cast your care on the Lord and then go about your daily living. You won’t even give your problems a second thought. This is what it means to walk by faith. So trust God today. Your life and your plans depend on it. After all, He is the One Who causes interrupted plans to get fulfilled.