The RLT Principle

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).

I call this verse the RLT Principle.  This is not to be confused with the BLT, which is a delightful deli sandwich comprised of bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Instead, the RLT Principle stands for the Right-Left Turn Principle, and it goes something like this:  God is guiding you no matter which way you turn. 

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).

Sometimes it’s hard to hear that voice.  In fact, there are times it does not feel like we are being guided at all.  There are moments we cry out for guidance and seem to receive only silence.  But even in those moments, God is watching.  God is guiding. 

It is like a story I heard recently about a business man from China who was launching a new venture.  Someone asked him to describe the company’s strategy for this new and unknown territory.  “Strategy?”  The man replied.  “We are crossing this great river by feeling the rocks with our feet.”

Isn’t that exactly what our guiding moments feel like?    It is like we are standing on a stepping stone in the midst of a raging current praying for God to tell us which way to move.  And sometimes we receive only silence.  “Why, God, have you left me stranded here all alone?!” 

Only God hasn’t really left us stranded.  He is simply waiting for us to reach out with our foot and feel for the rock that He has placed there.

We notice God’s guidance most when we are struggling for a foothold amidst life’s raging current.  But the RLT Principle doesn’t apply only to those “Big Decision” times.  The RLT Principle applies to all the little moments, too.  The ones we don’t even think about.  The waking up, and the going to work, and the caring for family, and the Monday morning meetings, and the Friday nights off.  God’s guidance is as real in the quiet moments of everyday living as it is during the precarious river crossings.  Even when we don’t consciously choose a direction, God knows where we are headed.  “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:11).  And wherever we are going, all along the path, there is a voice telling us, “This is the way; walk in it.”

It may not be a physical voice.  In fact, it’s probably not.  But as Christians, we have the Spirit of God guiding our lives.  Even when we do not see it or hear it or even feel it, it is there.  We are being buoyed along like a wiffle ball caught in an updraft of wind.  And we are guided, like that wind-blown little ball, to wherever the Spirit of God takes us.  The wind blows wherever it pleases, Jesus told us. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:8). 

Sometimes God’s guidance is floating and effortless.  Sometimes it’s a terrifying process of stepping into the unknown.  But whether we feel the gentle push of the wind or face the raging currents, we can go in confidence knowing that God is indeed guiding our lives.  Whether we turn to the right or to the left, we are being guided both by the Spirit who takes us where it pleases… and by the solid Rock Who forms our stepping stones.

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).

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