“I’ll go first. You can follow me there.”
Makes me cringe just thinking about it. No, seriously! Have you ever needed to get from where you are to someplace else and I are unfamiliar with the route? Then someone turns to you and, because they are headed to that someplace else as well, suggests that you can follow them. Sounds great. But I do not like it at all. Not.one.bit.
They’re gonna get in the car in front of me. I don’t know where I’m going. I have no map. I have no directions. I’m just supposed to follow them. I don’t know how fast they are going to go. I don’t know when turns are going to come. So I feel like I am in a constant state of nervousness when I follow someone. Usually I default to making Josh drive in those situations 😉 because I’d rather a map, written directions or gps turn-by-turn navigation.
There are times when the journey of life feels a lot like this. We have God leading us but we can’t see all the particulars and following isn’t as comfortable as we want or as clear cut as we desire.
“I want a road map and I want to know where I’m at. That’s where I’m struggling because I feel like I’m lost.”
“How am I supposed to know what God wants me to do in this situation?”
God led the Israelites through the wilderness with a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day. He called Samuel with an audible voice from his sleep. The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to confront King David when he had gone off course. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to explain Mary’s pregnancy. But how does God lead us when we don’t know the way?
John Piper discusses four of the ways God leads His people. (You can read more here.)
1) Decree: God sovereignly decrees and designs circumstances so that we end up where he wants us to be even if we don’t have any conscious part in getting there.
2) Direction: This is simply what God does for us by giving us the commands and teachings of the Bible. They direct us specifically what to do and what not to do.
3) Discernment: Most of the decisions we make are not spelled out specifically in the Bible. Discernment is how we follow God’s leading through the process of spiritually sensitive application of biblical truth to the particularities of our situation.
4) Declaration: This is the least common means of God’s leading. He simply declares to us what we should do.
What encourages, guides, and strengthens you as you follow God?