Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where are you headed?

" If you wander off the road to the right or the left,
you will hear God's voice behind you saying,
"Here is the road. Follow it."
Isaiah 30:21

Traveling to new places can be fun—and a bit of a challenge sometimes. I recall several occasions when my husband missed a turn, or we disagreed on the best route, or we thoughtwe knew the way, and found we did not end up where we intended. Then one Christmas our son bought us a GPS.

Now all we do is input the desired address and press the bright green “GO” button. A pleasant, though somewhat mechanical, female voice tells us step by step how to get to our destination. We call her Jill. By doing exactly what she says, we can avoid driving for miles in the wrong direction, steer clear of toll roads and circumvent big cities.

Occasionally, however, we are convinced that we know a better course than the one Jill plans for us. Perhaps we’ve traveled that road before and it worked well for us. At any rate, it appears to be the wiser choice, so, despite what the GPS recommends, we go our own way. Inevitably, our route is longer or less direct than the one Jill recommended.

Similarly, God carefully maps our lives to bring about what is best for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) Often, however, we insist on our own approach to life’s situations and then expect God to bless the mess we made. Like not bothering to turn on the GPS or ignoring what it tells us, we don’t read God’s Word; we don't ask Him for direction; we don't follow where he is leading.

Predictably, then, we pout because things don’t work out. We anguish over why God didn’t help us. We blame Him for not just taking over. But God will only work where He is allowed to work. (Isaiah 48:17) He will not force Himself (Revelation 3:20) or His plan on anyone. Much of the time what results is what we have set in motion by our own attitudes and actions.

If we are not where we want to be, if the road we are traveling does not lead us where we need to go, we can ask ourselves a few simple questions:
  • Are my plans within the shoulders of scripture?
  • Have God and I discussed which avenues are best for me?
  • Are God and I in agreement as to my destination?
  • Am I willing to yield my plans to God’s?

“. . . follow faithfully the road God chooses, and never wander to either side.
Job 23:11

©2012 Pamela D. Williams