Knowing Gods Ways
Taken from a message
by Walter Beuttler
“Show me now Thy way, that I may know Thee.”
Many have focused on the latter clause of this petition –“that
I may know Thee.” Now we want to consider the first
part of his prayer: “Show me now Thy way.” So
many Christians do not know, or have very little understanding
of the ways of the Lord in their daily experiences. This is
one area in which there simply is not enough teaching.
The Patience of Job
The most outstanding example on knowing the way of the Lord
in affliction, of course, is the experience of Job. Job was
a righteous man, extremely careful in his religious observances,
and very godly; the Lord Himself bore testimony of this man
to Satan. There was none like Job in all the world. Yet God
allowed him, at the instigation of Satan, to be thrown into
God said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant
Job?” Apparently, God had observed Satan going about
upon the earth, and that the evil one had taken special note
of Job’s piety. Any man or woman with outstanding piety
or godliness becomes a conspicuous object for the attention
of Satan, because Satan does not like to see people like that
around. God took notice that Satan had taken notice of this
man while going “to and fro through the earth.”
We cannot fail to recognize the fact that there are attacks
made against God’s people that are Satanic in origin.
Satan is described in Zechariah 3:1 as the “Adversary”
and in Rev. 12:10 as “the accuser of the brethren.”
Satan’s answer to God was, “There is a reason
Job serves You. You have blessed him; he’s the richest
man in the East. His fame is known all over. Why wouldn’t
he serve You? You just touch what he’s got, and I predict
he’ll curse You to Your face.”
Lightning struck, a tornado came, the roving bands of the
Sabeans attacked, and while one servant was yet speaking still
another came and told Job of more troubles. When it rains,
it pours. Troubles come one right after another. Does that
ever happen with you? There are times when God, under Satan’s
accusation, feels obliged to vindicate His Name and His servants,
to put the devil to shame. When we as God’s people are
going through situations for which we can give no adequate
accounting, for which we can attribute no valid cause, for
which we can give our inquiring friends no satisfactory explanation,
we need to have an insight into God’s ways so that we
are not so easily overthrown about what others say or think
Trusting in the Integrity of God
When we are in this place called “the wilderness”—a
situation where we cannot understand what is happening, can
give no explanation, are possibly confused and don’t
know what to do—we must trust God. God permits some
situations for which we’ll never get an answer, and
in which all that we can do is cling to and trust in the name
of the Lord. What else can we do, in such a place, but trust
in the integrity of Almighty God?
There are decisions we must make, spiritual perils we must
face, when we are going through the wilderness; unbelief,
rebellion, and the risk of murmuring. We may be tempted to
call it quits; to cast away our confidence; to say, “What
is the use of believing in God? Look what He did to me! Why
does He allow such things?” This, of course, is the
wrong way to be; but it is so easy to do.
Look at Deuteronomy 8:15, 16 which begins: “Who led
thee through that great and terrible wilderness . . .”
Here we see that, even when we are going through the wilderness,
it is God Himself Who is leading us, either directly or indirectly.
“. . . wherein were fiery serpents, scorpions, drought.
. .” Drought! Have you ever gone through a place in
your life where everything was dry? You got nothing from the
Word; you felt like withering. It is then that we have to
go by naked faith: “It is written, ‘I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee.’” In the wilderness,
He is there! Right where you are, in the midst of those circumstances,
God is with you! We need to believe His Word, even when we
can’t sense His Presence.
“. . .where there was no water; Who fed thee in the
wilderness with manna.” God was providing for the children
of Israel in a miraculous way with this mysterious bread,
but still they murmured. The complained against God’s
very provision, the very thing that sustained them in their
Remembering His Works of Old
“Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy
God led thee . . .” There is a place for reflecting
on the past and remembering how God brought us through, when
we thought there was no hope. Never forget what God has done
for you. It will help sustain you in the wilderness.
“. . .to humble thee and that He might prove thee,
to know what is in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep His
commandments or no” (Deut. 8:2). It is in the wilderness
periods, when we are under pressure, when we are in God’s
crucible, as it were, with the fire burning underneath, in
a situation calculated to bring out of our carnal nature all
the meanness, all the discouragement—it is there that
God listens to what we say, so He will know what to do.
Counting the Cost of Experience
There are many people going through life situations that God
will use to comfort others “with the same comfort wherewith
they are comforted of God.” There is a ministry of comfort,
a ministry of helping people in their distresses. However,
the fulfillment of such a ministry will cost much; it carries
with it a high price. If you want a ministry of comfort to
the people of God, God is going to take you through deep distress.
In all probability, it will be when you will find no one to
give you comfort, and you will have to find your own comfort
in your God.
If you want a ministry to the despairing, God is going to
take you through deep despair, and teach you in despair, and
give you a ministry out of your own despair, if you can stand
it. It is inevitable. We cannot impart what we do not have.
There is only one way to learn the way of the Lord in the
wilderness: in the wilderness! When you are walking in circles,
with no one to give you direction but your God and His book,
then you can learn His ways. But the greater your ministry,
the greater the price you are going to pay for it. Real ministry
that is going to amount to something is not found in God’s
bargain basement. There is no other way.
Understanding His Purposes
Isaiah 43:19 reads “ . . .I will even make a way in
the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” What is God
doing in the wilderness? He is adding a new dimension to our
Christian experience. He is seeking to broaden our experience,
to improve and personalize our relationship with Him, to extend
our knowledge of God and transform us by another degree of
truth into the likeness of His Son.
“Therefore I will allure (entice) her, and bring her
into the wilderness” (Hosea 2:14). How does God “allure”
us into the wilderness? He gives us a hunger to cry, “Oh,
God, I want more of You.” He gives us a yearning, “Draw
me, Lord.” We find ourselves praying, “Lord, I
will give You all I’ve got for Your best.” Then,
because His best will cost you just that, things start to
happen. The devil steps in. We begin to be tested. Because
the blessings lie beyond the wilderness, and we cannot experience
them without going through it, the Lord will “allure”
us and bring us to that place of testing.
“. . . and speak comfortably to her,” the verse
continues. There will be distress, sorrow, suffering; but
He will bring His comfort.
Rejoicing in Adversity
“. . .and she shall sing there!” In the wilderness!
Despite what is happening to us, we can have the joy of the
Lord. When we can rejoice in the midst of affliction, then
we know we have really got something. Anyone can rejoice when
things are going well.
Leaning on the Lord
”Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning
upon her Beloved?” (Song of Solomon 8:5) Here we see
the daughters of Jerusalem watching the Bride come out of
the wilderness. The bridegroom has come for her, and His is
bringing her out. If you don’t know what to do in the
wilderness, sit down and wait for the Bridegroom. See her
dependence on Him? She is leaning on His arm. He is her strength.
“Who is this?” the others ask. “My but the
Lord is so real to you! How did you ever come to know Him
in this way?”
Let Him take you into the wilderness; and there, if you do
not rebel, if you do not throw His Book into His face, and
lift up your heels, and throw in the sponge, but keep trusting
Him, submit to Him and wait for Him, He will come for you,
offer you His arm, His support, His strength, and bring you
out having entered in a new dimension in the ways of the Lord.