Last week we looked at our walk with God. How is it going for you? This week I want to continue on the same topic, with a bit of a twist. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an internal GPS system for following God’s direction in our lives?
I was out-of-state a few weeks ago; navigating around an area I was not too familiar with. I am notorious for my lack of navigational skills. I also lack the internal compass that knows which way to go if I was instructed, for example, to “head south.”
God’s Path for Me
I didn’t have problems navigating my small-town streets while growing up, but I did long to know what navigating my adult life was going to look like. One of my high school teachers actually had us write our own obituary! Maybe that’s what started it
. I thought that if I knew ahead of time what my job would be, where I would live, who or if I might settle down with, and if I ever had any children, it would make my life so much easier. There would be no wrong turns leading me to a destination I didn’t want to end up in.
I wanted the map book, the GPS version of my life.
I wanted to know the route of my life with the starting points, destinations, and the “attractions” on my route. What I wanted was a clear, well-defined path.
Thank goodness that’s not an option.
Can you imagine having that capability? While it might sound tempting, it would short-circuit so much of what God had planned for us and leave us living a miserable life.
The great things that have happened in my life and the beautiful places that I have been able to experience would have all been a big letdown. I’d have already known they were coming.
The low points, the deep valleys, and the struggles would have crushed my spirit if I had known they were waiting up ahead.
Seeking God’s Direction
God, I am lost…
We learn a lot through our struggles, pain, and setbacks.
We can become stronger, braver, and smarter. Opportunities to learn and grow don’t come from consistently traveling on smoothly paved roads. Rough roads change us and shape us to become more Christ-like.
What rough roads have you traveled that made you stronger, braver, smarter? How did God change you? Your way of thinking?
God, Lead Me in the Right Direction!
The one Person who does know our GPS life route is God. He knows our beginning, the roads we will take, detours we will endure, bumps in the road that might make us “break down”, attractions along the way that divert our attention and give us great joy, and our final destination. He knows the exact time of each of these parts of our journey.
“Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16.
I’m so glad that I learned that I can live my life trusting in the One who directs my path and holds me in His hands.
That’s all I really need. I don’t need an “easy” life. I don’t need to know the twists and turns my life’s journey is going to take. What I do need is to be following God’s direction.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Pin me for later!
Staying on the Right Path
What I do need is to turn to Him who is in control and follow His leading.
When he sends me on what I feel is the wrong exit ramp, I need to trust and follow the exit anyway. If I come to a detour, I need to follow the signs to the new route. When I come to a stop, I need to look around and be thankful for where he has placed me. If I see a road closed sign, I do not try to drive between the barriers and test the road that is under construction and not fit for traffic.
Have you ever taken an exit ramp you shouldn’t have? What was the outcome?
Have you blown through any stop signs and forged your own path?
How has God redirected your paths?
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
Follow the Holy Spirit
God gave us our free will so that our love for Him was a choice. That free will allows us to detour off our life’s route as God intended. But he also gave us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. That makes it possible for us to understand where God’s direction is leading and take the appropriate road- or get back on it- in response.
What better internal compass to follow than the Holy Spirit?
I have asked God many times why I had to travel the rough road. Surely this could not be for good? It may well have been painful, but yes, there was always something good that came out of the situation or taught me a valuable lesson. I know I can trust the One who is for me, not against me.
One thing I know for sure, whether the road is rough or smooth, whether it is following God’s direction or from my own choices, he never stops riding with me.
“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Prayer for Direction
How comforting that you know me full well! You lovingly made paths for me that are perfect. They are all for my good; to give me hope and a purpose. You laid them out before I was formed! Forgive me when I veer off without you; without listening for your direction. Guide me back on the road to you.
Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit as my inner compass. Quiet me to listen to your perfect direction and leading. Give me your eyes to see the road signs on my path.