I’ve heard it said that our Christian life is “a journey.” Often times, it is said in the context of walking on the path that God is leading us down. However, I think we sometimes trivialize this concept too much. Yes, we should walk on God’s path. But, how do we know what the path looks, feels, smells, like? Is the journey supposed to be meandering and slow, or is it a straight shot, like the fast lane on the highway? The answer to these questions must be, “I don’t know.” I know, a man who has committed his life to training and equipping people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ should have the answers – but I don’t. Why? Because I’m not God.
The Bible makes it very clear who is the creator, guide, and leader of each individual life. And, guess what, it’s not you or me. I am very thankful it’s not me. Can you imagine the pressure of trying to lead billions of people down the correct path for their life? I would royally screw it up. But, God, who is faultless, never does. Even better? All of his plans are for us to have the best possible life while here on this planet, followed by an amazing eternity with him. Check out how God stated this exact concept to the OT prophet, Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Since before the day you were born, God already was plotting the course of your life. No, he wasn’t doing it to be controlling. He was doing it because he loves you. Notice the last sentence in the scripture above. All of his plans for you are good, and full of hope. Who wouldn’t want that?
“OK, great! So, God has plans for me. How do I know what they are?” you might ask. Great question! Again, I don’t know. So, we must turn to the scriptures for God’s answer. Check out Psalm 32:8:
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.”
There it is. It is God who will lead you. Not me. Not your parents. Not even your pastor. Only God knows the best pathway for you. (Yes, all of these other people are extremely important in helping you come to understand God’s nature, and plugging you in to his greatness. But, they can never take the place of a real relationship with God Almighty.) Why? Because each pathway is custom made for each person. My path is unlike anyone elses’ path, and your path is unlike any other.
So, how do we know which path is ours? You must plug in to God’s communication conduit. No, it’s not a cell phone, tablet, or any other communication device. Instead, this conduit is the most powerful communication system in the universe. It’s called the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is alive, and is God’s mouthpiece on this earth. He is the one who will lead you down the path God created just for you. Here’s how Paul put it in Galatians 5:16:
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
This is the scariest thing, I believe, for us Christians to comprehend. Why? Because it means that we are putting our lives in the hands of an entity that we can’t see and, often times, can not hear. But, none-the-less, he is our guide to the best possible life. So, how do we receive the Holy Spirit? It’s quite simple, really. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and be baptized into the life of the Spirit. In fact, the Jews of Jesus’ day asked Peter this very same question in Acts 2:37-41:
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior, you have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside you. Tap into it. Listen to it. Follow it. Accept that the Spirit will ALWAYS know what is best in your life. As God said in Psalm 32:9:
“Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
If you haven’t taken that step, perhaps today is your day. Jesus Christ came to this earth to reestablish our friendship, our direct relationship with God. Through his death and resurrection, he earned salvation from this world, this life, for all who trust in him. Even better, he promises an eternity stripped of all pain, sorrow, and grief. He did it all because he loves you, unconditionally. John 3:16-17 says:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
I pray that the Spirit will lead you through an amazing journey. Yes, there will be twists and turns. Yes, there will be some bumps along the way. But God, in his infinite wisdom, will be your guide every step of the way.