God is an ever-present reality in our lives, whether we recognize it or not. And He is always near to lead and guide His people. As we direct our thoughts toward God and His Word, acknowledging Him in all our ways, we have the promise that He shall direct our paths. In any situation, we can be aware of God’s presence and keep our thoughts on Him and His Word. This is a Biblical principle that helps us build a new quality in our minds—that helps us be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This is what brings forth positive, powerful results.
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.
God directs our paths as we direct our thoughts to Him, not leaning to our own understanding. As we trust in, rely on, and confide in God, we stay aware of His presence in our lives. We want to always allow Him to lead and guide us. One way to do this is to give God priority in our thoughts: we acknowledge Him by directing our thoughts to Him and His Word and His perfect way. He wants the best for us so that we have optimal results. Who wouldn’t want optimal results? We can have them as we turn to God, for God wants only the greatest realities for His people!
When I was a young person growing up in the northeast part of the United States—in rural New England—one of my favorite things to do was to walk to a field across from my family’s home, sit on a boulder there, and talk out loud to God. It was a peaceful setting, and I would pour out my heart to Him. I didn’t realize at the time that I was practicing the presence of my heavenly Father. What I did know was that it helped me be more peaceful and quiet in my heart. This verse in Psalms can help us direct our thoughts to God and acknowledge Him, so that He can direct our paths.
Be still, and know that I am God….
This verse is set in the context of Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” No matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, even when we face trouble, we can direct our thoughts to God. We can practice His presence at all times.
God has wonderful examples set in His Word of people who directed their thoughts to God to get the best results. One was Moses. He was aware of God’s presence in his life and sought Him for refuge even in circumstances that were not optimal. Moses, who was responsible to lead the children of Israel, helped them to do the same. At one point Pharaoh, with his army and horses and chariots, was pursuing the Israelites. They needed optimal results! Moses spoke to the children of Israel. He told them not to be afraid, regardless of how the situation looked. He helped them keep their thoughts directed to God.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Moses must have had his thoughts directed toward God, for his proclamation was bold. He did what the Bible declares in Psalms 77:12, “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” Moses directed their thoughts to God by talking about the wonderful works that God would do. Moses reminded them that God was with them in this time of trouble, and He would deliver them! After they saw the great victory God wrought, they practiced the presence of God as they sang with rejoicing about the great miracle God had performed for them!
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Moses sang of the wonderful works of God and encouraged the children of Israel to keep directing their thoughts to Him. We too can direct our thoughts to God, knowing that He is an ever-present reality in our lives. As we decide to not lean to our own understanding but rather to acknowledge God in all our ways, He shall direct our paths. Even in times of trouble we can turn to Him, as Moses and the children of Israel did, and remind ourselves that God is with us and able to deliver us. Let’s give God priority in our thoughts, renewing our minds by practicing His presence and claiming the promise that He shall direct our paths.