Best guide is one who knows the wayHave you ever took a wrong turn or headed the wrong direction on a trip? I have!
One time I was on a familiar road and missed my exit. It took me at least 20 minutes or so before I realized I was headed in the wrong direction.
I realized I was traveling on the wrong road because the scenery became very unfamiliar to me. Once I discovered I had missed my exit and now was on the wrong road, I began to quickly look for another exit so I could turn around as quickly as possible.
There are many who head in the wrong direction for long periods of time with regard to spiritual matters. In the New Testament book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul reminds this group he is writing to that they too were once headed in the wrong direction.
In the first three verses of Ephesians chapter 2, he speaks to their previous condition. He says they were just following their own desires and wishes. They were basically following whichever way the wind blew.
At some point something changed in their hearts and lives. This change was nothing they did; it was what God did for them. The writer of Ephesians says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”
This verse explains how they changed course. God loved them and made them alive with Christ. The resurrection is what makes the difference.
The resurrection allows us to change direction. The Holy Spirit also is there to help us recognize when we are in unfamiliar territory. When we have an encounter with the risen Savior we are transformed. We no longer want to continue down the same path. We look forward to getting back on the right path, heading in the right direction.
This change of direction only becomes possible as we turn our lives over to God. We have to allow Him to take control. God will lead if we allow Him. I know from personal experience that it can be scary to let someone else lead.
I was reminded of how uneasy it can be to let someone else drive. This past summer I went on a trip to South Dakota by myself. I drove to Pierre and met up with a friend from college. After driving to his house I then loaded up my luggage into his truck and rode with him on out to the Black Hills area.
My friend and I took the scenic route. He drove the two of us on some crazy, windy roads. It was a bit scary at times, since I was not driving and was not in control. At the end of the day I was reminded that he was better suited to be the driver because he knew the area much better than I did. I was simply the passenger. I had to trust him to lead us.
The same holds true in our spiritual life. We have to allow God to take control and lead us and even help take us in a different direction because he knows the way ahead much better than we do. May you let God be the one who directs you on this road called life.
Josh Robertson is pastor of New Hope Church of the Nazarene and The Stirring. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.