Direction: 1. The line or course along which someone or something lies, faces or moves with reference to the point toward which it is directed.
“Direct my footsteps according to your word…” (Psalm 119:133)
I was thinking today about signposts and how I believe God places them along my path at various points to steer me in the direction He wants me to go. But for some reason something made me stop for a minute and ask a few important questions:
1. How do I know if I’m reading the signs correctly?
2. How do I know if I’m travelling in the right direction or the wrong direction?
3. Is there in fact, just One Direction I can travel or are there alternative routes God will allow me to take?
Let’s say I decide to go out for a run (which I did yesterday for the first time in a very long time). I get to the end of my street and I have a choice to make. Left or right. Turn right and it’s a fifty metre uphill climb. Chances are very high that I’ll be walking within twenty metres and puffing like a steam train by the time I reach the top. OR, I turn left and it’s a gentle incline for around two kilometres before it levels off and I can enjoy a lovely run on flat ground. God has given me freedom to choose. Left or right. But my question is then this: Does God really care which path I choose if eventually both paths will lead me back home?
And that led me to some more questions. What about making bigger decisions? Like where to live? Where to work? Who to marry? How many children to have? Whether or not to have children? How will I know if I’m meant to turn to the left or the right when it comes to the big ticket items?
My favourite (and oft quoted) verse is “whether I turn to the left or to the right I will hear a voice behind me saying ‘this is the way, walk in it’.” In the past I have read this scripture and assumed it meant that whichever path I chose it was okay with God – He’d bless whichever one and keep me safe. But today I had one of those mini revelation things that happen from time to time out of the blue. Yes I can choose whichever path to walk in, but only one of them is the perfect path for me. The key is in listening to that voice before I take the first step. That voice behind me is actually God whispering “take the left path today Nic” or “choose the right path this time”.
But what if I didn’t listen? What if I heard the voice and ignored God? What if I said “that path looks too hard” or “too expensive” or “not exciting enough”? What if I just looked back over my shoulder at God, shook my head like a petulant child and said “no! I’ll go where I want to go.” Then I’d be a stubborn idiot and could expect that somewhere up ahead my feet will stumble!
And then there are those paths that look like they are leading straight up a mountain, or straight into the desert. Or when all you can see up ahead are massive rocks the size of Uluru. Unclimbable. Insurmountable. What if I still refuse to take that path because I’m worried about the potential for financial ruin or I fear the failure that I might encounter if I walk in that direction? It’s then that I have to trust God. I have to wait for His peace. The peace that passes understanding. It’s then that I have to remember that He has a plan and a purpose for my life. A plan to prosper me and not to harm me. A plan to give me peace.
The other thing about walking in God’s direction is that it might not make me the most popular person and there will be many who will question what I’m doing and why. But heck, sometimes even I don’t understand why I do what I do! I just have to block out those distractions, follow the signs and take one small faith filled step after another until I get to where God wants me to be. Ultimately the decisions and choices I make should be based on prayer and on me asking God to put signs on every street corner, to light my path and to constantly lead me in a forwards direction. And then I simply have to trust that He will.
So, today, as I reflected on what God has shown me I have to remember that even when the going gets tough, I have to choose to believe that God’s direction is the One Direction. And it’s a good direction.
“My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.” (Psalm 17:5)
Do you know someone who would be encouraged by this post? Then I would love you to share it! If you like it, please “like” it or leave me a comment here or on Facebook. I cherish your words. Also, if you like what I have to say, you can sign up via email so that you never miss a post. Thanks for reading and “following” me as I journey day to day trusting God. It truly blesses me.