Muddled

Muddled

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. – Isaiah 30:21

Joshua 1:6-9

 6 “Be strong and courageous . . .

 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

 8 Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

 9 This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Alice came to a fork in the road. “Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat.

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then, it doesn’t matter.” said the Cheshire Cat (Lewis Carroll, Thru the Looking Glass).

For the children of the King, forks in the road are all about our pivotal life decisions. It begins with recognizing critical opportunities, and not shrinking back in fear or doubt. Rather, we are to seek wisdom from the Father.

Life is all about choices. Growing in wisdom includes learning to make wise choices for the right reasons. Wise choices are a matter of the heart and your developing relationship with the Father. Sagacious choices necessitate having a clear understanding of where it is that you want to go. Wise choices ultimately involve knowing where the Father wants you to go.

Right motivation is crucial. Two people can aim for the same goal, but for entirely different reasons. The 1981 film, Chariots of Fire, provides an excellent real life illustration. The movie tells the story of two men, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell preparing and competing for the 1924 Olympics. They are both great athletes. They are on the same team, but there is a huge difference between them. Abrahams is driven to compete because he has something to prove. He is deeply insecure. Winning is all important. It’s all about him.

Liddell also competes to win. When he runs, he feels the Father’s pleasure. The Father’s strength and presence energize him and elevate him to victory. He is not in bondage to himself. He runs for the honor of the Father. Two men, two motives, two inner lives. Eric Liddell competes energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Harold Abrahams runs on personal ambition and sheer adrenaline. It is the difference between supernatural strength that comes from mature spirituality, and extreme, earthly power derived from training, sheer willpower, and self-absorption (Ortlund and Hughes).

The world is a dark place. Jesus is the light of the world.

John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.”

John 12:35 So Jesus said to them, for a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going.

REFLECT & PRAY

When you come to a fork in the road, take it (Yogi Berra). That is, when it is time to make important decisions, make them!

Father give me the good sense to recognize the importance of the decisions that I make and encourage me to depend upon You for wisdom to make the best ones.

INSIGHT

The Father does not play “hide and seek,” trying to make it difficult for us to find Him and know His will. The Father promises to lead and to guide His people. If we really want to do His will, He promises to make it clear. However, there is one gotcha. While the Father may be transmitting loud and clear, we may have our receiver turned off.

Yet, one of the realities of the Christian walk is that there are times of seeming divine concealment. The Father in heaven seems to separate Himself from us and erect a thick, impenetrable barrier. But these times DO NOT LAST. Once the obstruction is breached, the delightful experience of the Father’s intimacy and self-revelation awaits.

There are many ways in which the Father can communicate with us. Here is one of the ironies of life. When the eyes of His children fail to see, the Father remarkably opens their ears. What cannot be seen, can be heard. His voice becomes perceptible and He tells them which way to go.

A whisper heard, trusted, and followed changes the course of our lives.

The Father offers us a rich, hidden life with Him both in this life and eternity to come. What could be more wonderful and delightful than the experience of His presence and immediacy. Spiritual maturity involves flexibility and openness to whatever the Father has to say to us. We grow and increase our faith when we make our hearts vulnerable to hard truths that challenge us to the core. The Father challenges all of His children to greater growth. Mediocrity and remaining inactive without growth are not part of His game plan.

The Father intended our walk of faith to be a thrilling adventure, motivated by our love for Him. Obedience is about discovery, not about avoiding unpleasant consequences.

The Father’s children often approach obedience as a way of avoiding the negative consequences of disobedience. They see obedience as a burden, not as a wide and inviting road to maturity and fulfillment. Asking the right questions is key. Father, what would you have me do? Father, what would you have me learn from these circumstances? Father, which path is best for me now?

Proverbs 3:5-7

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.

Comments, Suggestions, Requests are sought and welcome.

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