When I write and email or send a card, I have to enter an address of the receiver of my message. Without the address, the letter would just be a draft and never arrive to its intended receiver. I have to acknowledge whom I want to receive my message.
We like to post our messages and pics on social media platforms to let the world see what’s trending with us. I wonder, though, if God sees our interactions online and shakes His head. He would say, “They want to acknowledge each other, important topics and interests, but they don’t always acknowledge me.”
So, what does it mean to acknowledge God in Proverbs 3:6? In Genesis 22:1, God called to his servant, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. First of all, God called then Abraham acknowledged God. It always is in this order. God’s Holy Spirit calls us and as people, we have a choice to make. Either it will be a “Here I am” or “I’m not here right now” or “I’m not listening”. Abraham would soon be facing a journey down a path that he didn’t choose, but one that would show God Abraham’s heart. I kind of think that God sets us out on a journey at times to see what we’re really made of too.
The scripture tells us that in “ALL OUR WAYS” to ACKNOWLEDGE God and he will make straight our paths. God knew that our path would appear crooked and out of sorts. He knew we’d need a little or a lot of help in choosing which path to take. In the case of Abraham, God provided a miracle baby, Issac, but then told old Abe to walk an unexpected path to make a sacrifice to the Lord. It became Abe’s path to obedience which led to generational blessings. God saw the kind of actions in Abraham that showed the value of preparation to pursue God and Abraham saw God’s Provision. I believe we’ll see God’s Provision in His time as we prepare our hearts by reading His Word and praying then pursuing Him.
In Genesis 22:3, I see the actions of Abraham before he ever set out on the path to make a sacrifice to God: “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.” I notice the words from this verse: early, got up, loaded, took with him, had cut enough wood, set out. In Verse 2, God had told Abraham to go to the region of Moriah to a mountain that He would show Abraham. Abe didn’t have an exact address, but he knew the general direction. He first prepared for the journey then started the trip on the designated path.
God has designated a path for you and me but first we need to load our minds with His truth. We have to prepare our minds and our hearts to be ready for our daily journey into the world of work. Once he had heard from God, Abraham cut the wood then set out on the path. I have often wondered why he took two servants. Clearly, he would need Issac since God had told Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice, but I think he knew the value of having supportive people in his life too.
In my life, God has placed the support of my family to surround me and build me up. Likewise, I am in their lives to speak life and truth while savoring moments with them. We’re walking the journey of faith and enjoy love, joy, peace, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness and self control but, occasionally, our path is crooked and winding until the Holy Spirit straightens us out. I know I’ve needed Him to straighten me out especially when I was headed down a path leading to no where or when my mouth was about to speak words that didn’t edify my family. In fact, the words that I have spoken in error, I’ve had to repent of and ask God to redeem them.
The words I speak are internalized by my husband and children. They will pick up on the irritation, on the kindness, on the humor, on the silly, on the hangry, on the whatever. I’m so bad about beating myself up about what I said or how I said it when it’s clear that Jesus just wants me to acknowledge Him. He didn’t say, “Acknowledge that you were wrong.” He says to acknowledge Him. If a mistake is made, I think it is right to apologize and make it right, but I also know that sometimes, only God can redeem the words spoken in error. He knows how to redeem; I have to know how to acknowledge Him and pray. His Spirit always confirms or convicts my choices.
When I acknowledge Him by reading His Word, He always notices. When I sent Christmas cards last month, I wasn’t always sure if the card was delivered before Christmas since I didn’t get them sent until the Saturday before the Wednesday Christmas. I was thrilled to hear of a friend who received the card before Christmas. When I pray and send my requests to our Father in heaven, I know that He hears and desires to answer my prayer to make the path that seems unclear to become clear.
Taking steps down the path of life is usually done by walking at a steady pace, but sometimes, I’ve stood still. I’ve waited. I’ve cried. I’ve even stomped on the path. Sure, I’ve laughed and loved on my path. I haven’t always known what to do, what to say, when to move, where to go next and why I should change course, but I know the God who sees. He made every inch of planet earth. He placed trees in the Garden of Eden and needed a caretaker to look after the Garden. He caused the waters to flow and know where to go. I think if He can create light, dark, stars, water, air and people, He can guide us along our paths in life.
Acknowledging God means to answer Him with a “Hear am I” and a willingness to do what He says. It’s my actions that will show God my heart, not just my words to Him. I want to be led into all truth and trust the words in Isaiah 30:21: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (ESV)