Psalms 32:8 - "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
Yesterday we were talking about listening to God's voice and making good decisions based upon what we hear. Psalm 32:8 was one of the verses we used, and I couldn't shake it off as I wrote and rewrote that piece. Boy, that's a good verse! He will guide thee with His eye!
In three different churches, one of my main responsibilities has been ministering to teens. That, over a span of several decades. A few days ago I spoke of my ability to think like a six-and-a-half year old as a result of spending so much of my life with them. I almost mentioned a second 'superpower' then. I can do that 'thinking-like' thing with teenagers, too. This one is a little harder, but I'm still pretty good at it.
I LOVE teenagers. If I'm not careful here, I will spend a great deal of time talking about them. But I'd better get to the point and continue that another time. I will tell you that when a teen truly falls in love with the Lord, it is the most wonderful and rewarding thing that can happen to you in the ministry. Bar none. Better than anything that can happen with an adult. The passion is unsurpassed. And the potential for changing this world for the cause of Christ is unlimited.
It would be logical to think that I worked mainly with teen girls. It is that way with adults-- my interactions have always been mainly with woman. But it is different with teens. There have been lots of long and very deep conversations with teenage boys. Many hours invested. Many who are preachers today. I think I have figured out why that is, but we'll save that for another time.
So, when you get a kid like that, boy or girl, they will have a pressing question or two for you as they get closer to the end of their high school years. And they will lean hard on you for the answers. You'd better be able to provide them, and you'd better be able to back up what you say with chapter and verse. Teenagers are hard customers. Did I mention how much I love them? They are as raw and real as it gets.
So, their questions go like this:
'I want to serve the Lord, but how do I know what He wants me to do?'
'How do I choose a Bible College?'
'What if I go to the wrong school?'
'How will I know who to marry?'
'What if I go to a certain Bible College, and the person who God wants me to marry is going to a different one!?!'
And it goes on from there, getting more and more complicated and specific. 'What if I'm wearing brown and having a bad hair day because it's raining, and the man who I'm supposed to marry walks by and he doesn't even notice me? And I'm all stressed out because I'm about to take an exam. So I'm not even smiling. And he hates the color brown. What then?'
Just don't wear brown and force yourself to smile, even on rainy exam days? :) You get the drift.
Let's go back to our text.
Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
And then, this:
Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
And so, my response to those kids-- always the same: Lean in heavy on the Lord and trust Him. BIG! If you mean that with all of your heart and you truly want to live for Him and please Him above all else, it is not possible for you to make a mistake. God will close the door if you are about to go the wrong way. He will slam it shut. Do not try to pry it open. Trust Him. He will absolutely not let you make a mistake, and the doors that He wants you to go through will be wide open without you so much as touching them. He will guide thee with His eye. His all-seeing eye that sees the end before you begin. Trust Him!
I know with one hundred percent certainty that this advice is true. First of all, it's God's promise, not mine. And secondly, in all of the times that I have steered young people this way, not one of them has ever come back to dispute it. Not one.
Because it always works. I've watched those young people, still serving God today. Those from our first youth group are now in their fifties, just two or three years younger than me. And God has never failed to keep that promise. God is never slack concerning His promises. (2 Peter 3:9) Never!
And so, we go on trusting. It's easier now. God has proven Himself to me so many times without ever failing. You know that I'm not even calling this faith these days. He's a proven, solid fact to me. It's a good thing that the trusting is easier, because the battles loom larger and the storms are more fierce. But still I trust Him.
"For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." ~2 Timothy 1:12
Because I know Him!
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