Wednesdays with Jillene: when you don’t know the way

“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.

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.

God gives us His word to show us the path and guide our steps, the Holy Spirit guides us in truth, and a community of believers to bear each others burdens, encourage and strength us along the way.

What encourages, guides, and strengthens you as you follow God?




2 thoughts on “Wednesdays with Jillene: when you don’t know the way

  1. Oh man. This is exactly what I am struggling with this morning. Or I guess every day. But it’s what I’m crying about this morning, ha. It’s much easier to follow Him if I just go day by day. Or hour by hour. That was very easy in Africa because I had a very flexible schedule and no real responsibility. I was completely taken care of financially and I had very limited possibilities. I knew what my future was there so it was easy to live in the moment for four months, with God’s big truck blocking my view (because that’s the worst thing to get stuck behind on the road. You can’t see a darn thing).

    But now I find myself looking at the vast future ahead of me and it just seems empty, like a desert. I’m desperate to fill it. In college it felt more like a city, where you’re surrounded by buildings and people but still can’t see where the heck you’re going because it’s so congested. Then my goal was simply to listen to God’s direction to know where to turn, where to stop, which opportunities to take.

    But in the desert, there are no turns or opportunities. I’m just walking for miles with no destination. Sucks.

    What encourages me is God’s promise of the future and the knowledge that my fears and emotions are usually irrational, ha. I’ve been reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Each day is a paragraph or two about living in God’s presence and taking your life one step at a time, just resting and waiting in His peace. Each day comes with several verses as well. It’s wonderful to read comforting words from God that directly address what I am struggling with.


  2. Pingback: Wednesdays with Jillene: guidance along the way | campvick

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