March 30, 2010
Here is the Way
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
Should we say yes? It is seems like such a great opportunity. Besides, we deserve it, don't we? I mean, we never do anything for ourselves …
Once again, my mind is swirling with the pros and cons of the decision my husband and I face. I hear the things my mind is telling me…or is that my heart? Whether it is my mind or my heart, the real question is should I listen to it? Can I trust it?
Like most of you, I have been at this place before. The places of crossroads where choices are clear, but direction is not. The columns of "good" and "bad" on the paper don't seem to give us the answer we need. That is how logical people make decisions, isn't it? But it isn't working; so which way do we go?
My friend was recently running before sun-up. She was alone as her partner had run on ahead. She came across a patch of sidewalk where there were no street lights. It was dark and hard to see where to go ahead, and she began to feel afraid. "Lord, You are going to have to help me." she prayed. Then a car approached from behind, casting light onto her path. The closer it got, the clearer she could see. She sensed the Lord wanted her to know that just as He was with her when she was running, so in life He is behind her, shining light on her path and protecting her back.
Our key verse in Isaiah causes me to reflect on the whole decision-making process when trying to discern the right path. "…Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" But what about the voice we frequently hear, saying, "Follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong!" That voice is the voice from within, not the voice from behind.
Maybe some of you grew up memorizing verses like I did. Back then, so many of the verses didn't make sense to me. One in particular was Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (NIV). That seemed like a depressing verse! Yet now as an adult I am finally beginning to unpack the wisdom.
You see, we can't in fact follow our heart. Our heart can't be trusted. Our heart will lie to us and tell us things we want to hear instead of the truth we need to hear. It will convince us that what we want is the right way, even if that way is not God's way. I know; I've listened to it before.
When we find ourselves at the crossroads, the first place to turn is God's Word. So many of the questions we ask can be answered there if we are willing to hear the wisdom the Bible provides.
Open our ears, Lord, so we can hear Your voice behind us!
Dear Lord, I've grown so used to trusting my heart. In fact, it is all I've known to do most times. Please help me discern Your voice behind me and give me the discipline to read the wisdom You have already provided in Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
Visit Lynn's blog
Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
Check out our radio program, Listening to God, for more encouragement
Are there decisions in your life you are in the process of making and haven't yet consulted the Lord? Take some time to talk with Him and use a concordance or BibleGateway to study and see what the Bible has to say about your delimma.
Ask another person who is further along in their faith if they are aware of any verses that have to do with the decision you need to make.
Have you made some decisions in the past you regret? Try to identify the emotion or motivation behind that decision.
What types of questions could you ask yourself in the future to help you prevent making the wrong decision? Some might be: Does this pathway glorify God? Would I be comfortable sharing this decision with others such as my parents, my children or my spouse? Will this decision take me in the direction I want to go?
1 Kings 22:5, "But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, 'First seek the counsel of the LORD.'" (NIV)
Psalm 119:24, "Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors."(NIV)
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 30 March 2010.