J. F. Odesola
Pastor Johnson F. Odesola is a Continental Overseer, Continent 3 as well as the Assistant General Overseer in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

It is tragic to look around today and see so many disordered lives. When I was thinking about this, I remembered Bishop Handley Moule’s hymn, two verses of which read as follows.

Alas, ill-ordered shows the dreary room;

The house hold stuff lies heaped amidst the gloom;

The table empty stands, the couch undresses;

Ah, what a welcome for the eternal Guest!

Yet welcome, and tonight; this doleful scene

Is e’en itself my cause to hail Thee in;

This dark confusion e’en at once demands

Thine own bright presence, Lord, and Lord’ ring hands.

What a vivid and dreadful picture is brought before us! How true it is that our lives are often ill-ordered, dreary and untidy, and often there is dark confusion too! It is into this bleak scene that the Lord offers to come with His ordering hands.

The purpose of God is to transform our lives and to bring order, beauty and symmetry where has previously been disorder, unloveliness and chaos.

Another verse which came to my mind, as I thought about these many disordered lives, was by J.G. Whittier, which reads;

 Drop thy still dews of quietness

Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of thy peace.

The Lord has a plan for the life of all His children. He wants to order the ways of his children according to His plan, and He will do it as they hand their lives to Him. But how does He do it? How does He lead us and guide us and order our lives.

  1. The Procedure God adopts

Does He hand us the plan of our lives when we first become Christians, and they say to us, “Here is the plan of your life from now on. You are going to live on the earth for so many years, and here is a pattern of things to do. No, He does not do that. What does He do? He leads us a step at a time: “The step of a good man is ordered by the Lord.” He did not hand the blueprint to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road, and say to him, “Take this, Saul! It’s the plan of your life from now until you die.” On the contrary, He told him the next thing that He wanted him to do, the next step that He wanted him to take; for when Saul, “trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will Thou have me to do?… the Lord said unto him, arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). God leads us one step at a time; and we take one step in obedience to Him, He shows as the next, and the next, and the next. This God’s procedure, his method, for guiding His people.

I am reminded of some of the occasions when I have gone on a preaching tour. I have usually arrived at my destination with very little knowledge as to what was expected of me in that place during my stay there. I have really been a help to me, because it has released me from tension which might build up if I knew all the details of the work which lay before me. It is much better to live a day at a time. This is what the Lord says to us here. The procedure which He adopts for us is that we should travel under sealed orders; as J.H. Newman used to say… I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me. “Like Enoch, we must learn to go step by step. It will prove to be of great benefits to us if we can learn not to take too many backward futures. Our philosophy as believers must be that of trusting the Lord to lead us a step at a time. Living in this way implies fellowship with God, communion with Him and trust in Him as our leader and our guide. To know the Lord in this way, and to wait upon Him for next step, release us from tension and stress. It helps us to understand the meaning of the word, “He that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa 28:16). God is never in a hurry. There is no need for anyone who loves Him to experience constant strain and tension. He would have us relax and rejoice in Him, who is our guide and our guard. But notice something very wonderful which now breaks out of our next.

  1. The Pleasure God experiences

This is really marvelous! “The steps of good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighted in his ways. “There was a time when God took no delight in man: and today, where there is disorder caused by sin and rebellion, and a refusal to go the way of the Lord, He looks down and sees the wickedness of man and He is grieved. It was so in the antediluvian period:

How different, however, is the emphasis in our verse, where we are told that experiences a tremendous pleasure when He looks upon His own children and actually delights in them!

When we submit to the Lord so that He can order our lives, then this brings great pleasure to him. Often however, we try to run own lives, and this always spells disaster. We are rather like the horse or the mule, spoken of in. Psalm 32:8-9.

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