– Pastor Brandon’s article from the November 2017 Newsletter
With our third little one on the way, Hannah and I have begun the search for a new vehicle that will hold our growing family. We’ve been looking locally and online for about a month now, and a few days ago, we made a trip to Richmond to look at and test drive a couple of minivans. Upon our arrival, both sellers were eager to give me the keys and let me take the vehicles out for a spin. I was a little hesitant because I was unfamiliar with the area, and I wasn’t about to drive their vans while trying to use the GPS on my phone. So, I had each of the sellers come along for the ride.
On the first trip, we drove through commercial and residential areas and traveled a few miles on the interstate. Along the way, we struck up casual conversation about this or that, but I had to interrupt at every intersection to ask, “Straight, left, or right?” The salesman hadn’t told me the route in advance, and because I didn’t know the area, I had to ask him about each step along the way. I was completely dependent on him for directions on where he wanted to go, and I also found myself driving more slowly than I normally drive so that I would be prepared to respond to instructions. The same thing happened on the second trip, except it was a little more difficult because it was dark and we drove through a neighborhood with no street lights. Without someone giving directions, I would have been guessing the whole time.
Our spiritual lives are a lot like this. God has a plan and purpose for us and we are often led into places that are unfamiliar. I usually want God to tell me how everything is going to work out in advance. I want him to show me everything up front including all the turns along the way. But, I think I understand myself well enough to know that if the Lord did lay everything out for me in that way, I would quickly run ahead of him or try to come up with a “better” route. I may even drive out on my own, praying that God would bless whatever it is that I choose to do. “I got this Lord, just give me your rubber stamp of approval” is too often the form of our decision-making.
Yet, God has more for us than we can imagine for ourselves, and he often leads us there through places we would rather not go. He may lead us through wide-open highways or dark neighborhoods where we can’t see what’s up ahead. But the point is that we need him to lead. We need to go where he wants us to go, and do what he wants us to do. Our desire should not be for our own way, but his will above all else. He knows that it is in our best interest to stick close to him, and so he leads us on step by step, turn by turn, so that we learn to listen for his voice and rely on him. We need to be completely dependent upon him because he is the one who knows how to get us to our eternal destination. We must learn to slow down and listen, to yield to him, and trust him with our lives instead of insisting that we know a “better” way. So, wherever the Lord is taking you, I pray that you would have the courage to take the time necessary to hear his voice and learn his will.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:8-10 NIV)
– Pastor Brandon