God is like Priceline, Part II

If you’re like me, you read last month’s article and felt there was a little something missing.  What about those times when you don’t know what God is telling you to do?  When you’re faced with a decision and you have no idea which way to go?  How can you tell God, “Yes, I”ll book this trip with you” when you don’t know which trip he’s telling you to book?

I don’t have the answer.  After all, I had the question.  But I’ve come to ponder: sometimes traveling with God is not about having faith to follow where He leads.  Sometimes it’s about having faith to strike out even when it doesn’t seem as though God is leading you anywhere.

The Bible tells us to: Trust the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6).   I find it interesting that it doesn’t say he will direct us.  He is not putting us in a motorcar and taking us straight to heaven.  He is directing our path.  The motor power, apparently, must come from us.

I heard a sermon once that suggested we should “go until you get a no.”  This phrase has stuck with me.  I have found that as long as you are trying, as long as you are going, God can keep opening and closing doors.  Consider a river running its course and how it can be diverted this way and that to reach your chosen destination.  As long as it keeps moving, it will get there.  It may go this way or it may go that way, but ultimately it will end at the exact right place.

We are like that river.  There are times the direction is clear and we must trust God and go.  There are times it branches into different directions and despite our pleading for guidance, God is completely silent.  We must still trust God and go.  God controls the flow of our lives; He will lead us where we need to go.  It’s a little flippant to say there are no bad decisions.  Sometimes we do make bad decisions, but if we are truly trying to do right, God will correct our mistakes as we go.  The bigger mistake is to settle into a pool of indecision.  If we are not moving forward, God cannot divert our path.  We must keep looking, keep seeking, keep listening… in all our ways acknowledge Him…and go.

One of the popular verses in the Bible tells us that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28).  We often use this phrase to provide hope amongst doubt or to marvel at the way God brings joy out of great sorrow.  We think of Joseph, sold into slavery and rising to great power, telling his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good (Genesis 50:20).”  Certainly this is applicable here.  God will use everything in our life, regardless of what path we choose, for good.  But there’s another side to this saying.  Our moments of doubt and indecision are not necessarily something bad that God will somehow use for good.  Sometimes we are placed in these moments of complete and utter indecision simply because it is good for us.  When we can’t lean on our own understanding, when we can’t list the pros and cons and find an answer, when we can’t seek wise counsel or follow a gut instinct or even receive a clear response to prayer, then we have nothing left to trust but God.  It is in these moments that He moves near us, perhaps imperceptibly, opening and closing doors.  While we anguish and decide, he is watching.  And He knows if we go this way what He will do and if we go that way what He will do and all the while we are sweating bullets wondering why he won’t just SAY something.  Just TELL me what to DO!  But He is letting us grow.  He is showing us how to lean less on our own understanding and more on Him. 

Sometimes God gives us even less than a Priceline.com itinerary.  Sometimes we have to not only put in our credit card number but actually take the trip before we figure out what the itinerary was.  His question is still the same: Will you book this trip with me? 

Sometimes faith is moving forward when we don’t even know which way forward is.  THAT is traveling with the God of priceline.com

Trust the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)  

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