We could literally be going in circles. He definitely did not see the same landmark that we had just passed for the umpteenth time. It was all in our imagination! There was no need to look at the map in the car, let alone seek the help of a passerby, as we certainly were not lost. My dad was a typical male – one who will simply not ask for directions. After all, directions are needed only when you didn’t know something right? (Ummm…. if you meet a guy who would admit to not knowing something or admit to being wrong, please do introduce him to me!!)
All truth be told, we are all – whether male or female – like this when it comes to direction in LIFE. We don’t want to refer to the “map” or the author of the “map”! God has blessed us with His Word – in various versions and languages to enable understanding. However, the more we grow in the Lord and the more we seek God, the Holy Spirit inspires us and gives us revelations! More often than not, we don’t seek God for His direction, for the perfect plan He has for our lives. Sadly we opt for silver instead of gold.
When I was a new Christian, a lady advised me to ask God even for what I should wear each day. I thought that was being absolutely silly! Come on, why should we ‘trouble’ God with what we can do using our own wisdom and capability. However, her explanation provided food for thought. If we train ourselves to seek Him in decisions which we consider ‘mundane’ or insignificant, then seeking Him and hearing Him in the bigger decisions becomes easier. We would have learnt how to distinguish His voice. Think about this ‘mundane’ decision on what to wear each day. Each one has his / her preferences in each situation. For example, most of us would opt to go casual when we go grocery shopping.
Let’s say you choose to go totally uncoordinated, or perhaps with blemished clothes. After all it’s just to the market right? What if you are in the process of applying for jobs and you meet your prospective employer there? First impressions count, don’t they? God knows who you are going to meet each moment of the day. Different people perceive things differently. Yes I agree, it’s only our unbelief or disobedience that can thwart God’s plan for our lives. However, our choices can impact the nature of how things happen. For example, you may still get the job but the employer would have already formed an opinion based on his first impression. It may take a lot of time to get this person to realise it is an assumption. That time period may be an unnecessary challenge.
I’m not discounting the fact that the challenge can also be allowed by God, to refine us and mould us. However, we also need to be mindful of the other component to life – the enemy trying to steer us away from the path that God has ordained for us.
The Psalmist recounts of the Israelites in the wilderness, “They believed His promises and sang His praise. But they soon forgot what He had done, and did not wait for His counsel… Therefore the LORD was angry with His people and abhorred His inheritance” (Psalm 106:12-40). What were the decisions they made without waiting for His direction? Were they not what we consider the daily ‘mundane’ things of life – food to eat, water to drink, place to live etc? Things may have not been happening in the way they thought was ‘normal’ but God did sustain them regardless.
We tend to not seek His direction in certain things that we perceive as ‘normal’. Instead, we go with the flow of the world, without remembering who the prince of the earth is! Or we seek advice from the ‘wicked’. In regards to going to war against Ramoth Gilead, Jehoshaphat told Ahab to “First seek the counsel of the Lord”. Ahab gathered 400 prophets and all told him to go ahead. Interestingly Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” Ahab reluctantly brought in Micaiah. As expected, he gave a negative prophecy mentioning that the LORD had put a lying spirit in the mouths of Ahab’s 400 prophets. Ahab listened to his prophets and rejected the prophecy of this one man. His decision resulted in death (2 Chronicles 18:1-27). Jehoshaphat insisted on seeking God’s counsel FIRST. Yet He disregarded it to “help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD.” Jehu, the seer told him that the wrath of the LORD was on him because of this (2 Chronicles 19:1-3).
The Psalmist writes, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…. but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1).
We will be blessed if we do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, and if we delight in God’s Word. Every advice sought from others needs to be taken to God. Ultimately His counsel is what prevails. He promises us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).
- Whose direction are you walking in? Do you FIRST seek God’s counsel before any step you take? If you do, like Jehoshaphat do you then disregard it and be subject to God’s wrath?
- Where is your delight? Do you meditate on God’s Word day and night?
“The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil” (Proverbs 10:29).
Is the way of the LORD your refuge or your ruin???