July 20, 2014
Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Letter #340: Where He Leads, I’ll Follow
It turns out that I have lots of “free time” in the construction class. I take all my class assignments, lessons, and homework seriously, so that I stay ahead of the rest of the class. This way, my teacher continues to let me take time off of school to work with the choirs. Meanwhile, in class, I get free time while the other guys are finishing tests or homework to write letters or read my Bible.
During one such time this week, I began memorizing a new Scripture verse from Psalm 25. Verse four says, “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.” This verse and some around it had jumped out at me when I’d recently read them, and I’d determined to internalize the words, hopefully deriving greater benefit by committing them to memory.
Later, as I returned to the cell, Joe asked If I was ready to spend time in the Word and prayer together, as we try to do most days. I agreed and sat on a storage bin next to his lower bunk as he pulled out his Bible and flipped it open. He announced, “Psalm 25,” and began reading the chapter.
When he finished, we both commented on the verses found within, still relevant today, though written thousands of years ago. Again, verse four stood out. The first part of the verse is my prayer to God; “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me … ” This petition assumes my God hears my prayers, is able to answer those prayers, and will answer them. This assumption, otherwise known as faith, comes because of who God is and what He has already done.
I am confident that when I ask Him to show me and to point out for me the way I should go, He absolutely WILL do just that. He will make abundantly clear, to any seeking heart, what is His will. How often, my sweet Lord knows, that I don’t even bother to ask Him where He wants me to go, or which path I should take to stay in the center of His will. Yet He patiently waits for me to pray, “Show me … ”
Though easy enough to simply ask God to reveal His will to me, it is the last part of the verse that contains the more difficult phrase to accomplish. Four little words: “ … for me to follow.” These words convey my intention, an implied promise, back to God. In essence, when I pray this prayer, I’m letting God know that I need His direction, that I welcome His direction, and that I intend to follow His direction once given. I’m saying I will follow.
And therein lies the difficulty. How much easier is it to ask God for directions than to follow any such directions He gives. How much easier it is to claim, as the unwise steward did in Jesus’ story, that we don’t know what to do with what we’ve been given, than to simply get busy doing what we already know to do. We would rather act as if God hasn’t input a new way point into our GPS than to have to admit we hear Him calmly saying “Re-routing” with every blunder we make down paths He never intended us to travel.
Oh, certainly, God is able to get me to my final destination—His Word assures me of that. But I believe God has particular paths He needs me to travel; paths that keep me in the center of His perfect will for my life. They may be well-worn paths, new paths, well-traveled, or lonely. But all the same, they are paths that God, in His sovereignty, knows are best for me. He leads me down these righteous paths, the psalmist proclaims just two chapters earlier, for His Name’s sake. He is most glorified when I choose to follow His lead down the revealed paths He has shown me through His Word, through the counsel of others, and through prayer.
Today, Joe and I are grateful for the obvious unity of God’s revealed will for us. Keep us faithful, Lord, as we choose to follow wherever You choose to lead!