Which Road To Travel?

Remember what it’s like to have an idea, a thought, a desire to do a particular something?  A part of you feels excited.  Another part is scared.  You don’t really know if it’s the best route to take.  In your heart you know you only want God’s best.  You want to follow His will for your life.  The only problem — you can’t figure out if you should attempt to climb the summit of Mount Unknown or not.  You might be successful or you might very well come crashing down in full view of everyone watching.  What in the world should you do?

Uncertainty is such a part of life’s journey.  We may wonder why God doesn’t just drop a sign from heaven to instruct us clearly in the way ahead.  Why does making decisions have to be so difficult?  I’ve had those same thoughts myself along my own journey through life.

First of all, there is actually beauty in not knowing because the right road could still have some dangerous pot holes ahead.  If we knew the right way and all it held, we might just slink away in fear anyway.  Not knowing but trusting anyway builds our faith and our stamina in God.  Even so, how can we know upon which road we should proceed?

God’s Word tells us in Proverbs 11:14 that there is safety in having many advisors.  In other words, when unsure of a way to go, consult with those whom you see as walking closely with God.  Look for advice from others, just be careful that the advisors you choose are those whose own desire is to seek God in all they do.  I have often, over the years, sought counsel and advice from those more experienced than me who walk an obvious path of keeping God first in their lives.  They have been a huge blessing to me along my own life’s paths.

Last, but by no means least; in fact, the best comfort of all, is Jesus Himself.  We read in Romans 8:34 that Jesus “is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”  How about that!  He is “pleading for us.”  When we don’t know the way to go, Jesus is coming to Father on our behalf, asking His Father to show us the way.  When we are troubled, Jesus is coming to Father on our behalf, asking His Father to send His own comfort and peace into our troubled hearts.  He literally, because we are His own, holds us as His own, before His Father in heaven; who by the way, is our Father in heaven, too. Father loves us so much that He gave His Son’s blood to purchase our freedom.

So, are you wondering today which way to go?  Seek God’s people to stand with you, and take comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is bringing your needs to His Father.  With godly advice and the truth of Jesus leading you — walk on.  He will close the doors you should not enter and open wide the ones in which to proceed.

Every road taken with God is not always a safe one, but it’s always the best one, and it’s the one that brings ultimate joy when the journey is complete.  Never fear the unknown for when we get to our tomorrows, we discover that Jesus has been there all along, planning our route.

Recognizing The Voice Of God

Every now and again someone will ask me, “How can I know when God is speaking to me?  How can I know that something I’m thinking is God’s will and not just my own idea?”   These are questions that come to every Christian.  We all want to hear God speak into our lives.  We want to be certain of His guidance. We don’t want to make a mistake in discerning what we are hearing.

When answering this question, I think of two verses of Scripture.  The first verse is found in I John 2:27, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true.  For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know…”  Now, this verse doesn’t mean that we have no need to study God’s Word; it means that as we study and seek God, the Holy Spirit will speak His truth into our hearts.  He will be the best teacher, showing us what is correct.  He will give us an assurance that what we are hearing is of God and not of ourselves.

We know we need to study because of the second verse I want to share —  II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourselves approved before God; a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  It is clear that it is of utmost importance that we read God’s Word and meditate upon it.  As a valid part of our study, it is extremely helpful to examine the culture and Bible customs of the time.  This will help us to keep God’s Word in proper context.  Then we will learn how to adequately apply God’s truth to our lives.  In other words, as we study God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, as our teacher, will speak the truth of those words and guide us into its life application.

The things we study are used by God’s Spirit to lead us.  Often when I have prayed, seeking guidance in some particular matter, a verse of Scripture has come to my mind.  As I meditated upon the verse, the path of God’s choosing became clear to me.  If I had never studied, then God’s Word would not have been in my heart for the Holy Spirit to bring to my remembrance.

It stands to reason that, the more familiar we are with the Holy Words of God, the more familiar we become with His voice.  We learn to recognize when God is speaking, or when it’s someone else, or when it’s our own desires getting in the way.  It is only by studying God’s Word that the Holy Spirit is best able to teach us, mold us, and sharpen our spiritual ears to discern the voice of God.

Practicing to recognize His voice is an exciting endeavor, and developing the ability to perceive His truth is a journey that keeps us on a path of continued peace, joy, and amazing adventure in walking with Him!