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Is this the Right Direction?

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Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Matthew 16:24

As Christians, we seek to follow Christ. However, there are times when this can be difficult because we are not sure whether or not we’re going in the right direction. In our desire to please the Lord it is not always clear in which direction we should go. That choice might be a career change, a job situation, or a move to a new location. Still yet, other choices might include ministry opportunities; should I start this ministry for the Lord? Is it my idea, or is God’s idea?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9) This verse can give us great comfort. If our hearts reveal a course we believe the Lord is calling us to take we can pray and seek wise counsel. If, after several days, the plan in our hearts becomes stronger, then we can   out in faith seeking the Lord’s guidance.

But what happens when we pray, seek counsel, step out in faith, and then discover we still may be moving in the wrong direction? After all, we aren’t perfect. I had exactly this experience about seven years ago. I was teaching two classes per week at the local prison when an opportunity came up to join a ministry team. This prison ministry team periodically hosted a three day ministry event in the prison. We met one Saturday morning per month for about six months to prepare for one of these three day weekend ministry events. Every time we met I was missing a men’s prayer breakfast that I had been attending for years. The weekend of the event I had reserved a hotel room because the prison was thirty miles away. However, when the weekend came I found myself sick in bed with food poisoning. I never made it to the prison and ultimately decided to back out of this prison ministry. I felt sure of this decision and was glad to get back to the men’s prayer breakfast.

We do our best to follow the Lord. Through prayer and Godly advice, I thought I was doing the Lord’s will. What I learned was that when I lead my life it gets overly busy with tight schedules. When I am able to slow down and pray, the Lord leads my life and it becomes relaxing and restful for my soul. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10) Whenever you are questioning your direction, ask yourself two questions. Am I giving up something the Lord has already called me to do? Is it weighing too heavily on my schedule?

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 9:1) The more we understand the Word and know the Lord, the more sensitive is our conscience in revealing the Spirit. If we pray, seek Godly counsel from the Word and from Godly people, we will be better able to hear the Spirit’s direction.

Today, seek to make your decisions through the Spirit. The more we depend on the Spirit, the more likely we are to hear from the Spirit during times of difficult decisions. Daily scripture reading enables us to distinguish God’s voice and to be attentive to the Spirit’s leading.

Let’s Pray: Lord, keep me headed in the right direction because Satan will always lead me in the wrong way. Help me to be still inside and sensitive to my conscience; constantly aware of anything that is displeasing to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.