Most of us, at one time or another, have experienced a guided tour. The assumption from the very beginning is that the guide knows the way. Why? Because he’s been this way before. He isn’t going to take you somewhere he hasn’t already been. Most people don’t head out on a guided tour in a state of fear and anxiety about whether they will return safely. Most of us have no trouble trusting our guide to lead us through a safe, enjoyable experience. The truth is, though, depending on what kind of tour you take, there may be many potentially dangerous situations that could occur. They don’t occur because the guide knows what they are and he avoids them.
In those situations we actually put a sort of blind trust in a perfect stranger. How do we know for sure that this smiling, cheerful guide is qualified to lead us anywhere at all? Actually, the “blind” aspect is the key. If we were aware of all the potential dangers, would we be as trusting?
I don’t do well with heights. I have an inner ear disorder that causes me to become dizzy on a two-step ladder. Imagine that I am being led across a narrow walkway. If my eyes are closed it wouldn’t matter if it were a walkway through a beautiful garden or a narrow path with thousand feet cliffs on both sides. If I trusted my guide enough to close my eyes, he could lead me anywhere safely.
There are many times in life where it would be foolish to “blindly follow” someone else’s guidance. But with God it’s different. At times He asks us to follow Him without letting us know where we are going. Without telling us anything about any of the dangers we might encounter. He just says, “Follow me.”
At that point we have two options. We can balk and ask a million questions to try and decide if we should go OR we can take a deep breath, put our hand in His and take the first step knowing that the Creator of the Universe knows the way.
John 8:12 “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
Have you ever purchased the perfect gift for someone and been so excited to give it to them that you could hardly wait? Maybe a new bike for your child or that new tool your husband has been wanting.
In the early years of our marriage I bought my husband a new circular saw for Christmas. I was so excited for I knew it was just what he wanted and he would not expect it. It would be the perfect surprise.
A few days before Christmas he started playing the guessing game. “What did you get me for Christmas?” Of course I wouldn’t think of telling him. He proceeded to guess and blurted out “a circular saw!” I had been so sure he’d never guess that I wasn’t prepared and my face gave me away. I was so mad at him it’s a wonder he got that saw at all!
Scripture says God has some surprises for us that we will never guess.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ ”
Our Heavenly Father is so excited to show us what he has for us. But there’s more!
Think back to a time when you have had some wonderful news to share with your spouse or a friend. Maybe you said “listen, I can’t wait to tell you!” or “I have the most wonderful news!”
Take a look at Jeremiah 33:3 which says “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
The Lord has incredible things to tell us if we will only stop to listen. He is patiently waiting to show us what He has created for us and He has such wonderful things to tell us that He waits in great anticipation. He waits for us to come near and say “Show me, Father! Tell me, Lord! I want to see and hear all that You have to share.”
Take some time today to ask Him. You will be blessed and you will also bring joy to your Father’s heart because He longs to share what He has prepared for you.
God is full of perfect surprises!
Ships at sea have sophisticated electronic equipment that tells them exactly where they are. The most high-tech GPS monitors available are used to pinpoint their location anywhere in the world. Before all that was invented, sailors had to navigate with a chart and a compass.
It seems a little old-fashioned now to think about charts and compasses but I think those things help to make a good point about how God expects us to navigate life.
God has given us our own set of charts and a very reliable compass. The charts are found in His Word. He tells us everything we need to know in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him. He gives us instructions but more importantly He gives us His promises. He shows us how to live our lives in accordance with a plan that He guarantees is perfect. The promises He makes to us are watertight. A fitting word since we are talking about ships. Watertight means “unable to be disputed or questioned.” God’s promises are totally reliable. But what if we get off course somehow? What if we get distracted and stop looking at the chart? What if we have stubbornly decided that the chart isn’t taking us where we want to go? It can be pretty terrifying to be out in a large body of water and have no idea which way it is to shore.
The Lord knew that we would have times where we felt completely lost so He gave us a second way to navigate. He gave us a compass. He sent us a helper, the Holy Spirit, who will guide us back to a safe course. The Holy Spirit is never lost and in His company, we aren’t either. And when the storms come and the waves look threatening, we can be assured that He will keep us on course, keeping us safe so that one day we will step off this ship and stand on the shore, face to face with the Lord and we will be home.
Romans 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
When God called Moses to go to Pharaoh, Moses began making excuses. One thing he said was that he was “slow of speech.” Moses knew he wasn’t eloquent. God should definitely find someone else.
God’s response? “Who made your mouth?” Have you ever thought about who made your mouth? Who gave you the ability to speak in the first place? Moses obviously hadn’t thought about these questions.
Sometimes God gives us something to say and we allow the same fears Moses faced to bog us down, to keep us quiet. We ask ourselves “who am I to be telling that person anything at all?” We may be tempted to sound like Moses. To tell God that we are slow of speech… we’ll botch the whole thing. He’d better send someone more equipped for the job.
Paul understood this temptation. That’s why he asked for prayer in Ephesians 6:19-20. Paul knew he needed God’s supernatural empowering to do the job right.
But wait. Doesn’t James 1:19 say that we are supposed to be slow to speak? Doesn’t that get us off the hook? Not so fast. It doesn’t give us permission to be hesitant, it simply tells us to wait on God for wisdom and inspiration. Then we pray for boldness like Paul…and then we open our mouths with confidence and watch God use us for His glory.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
Ephesians 6:19-20 “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
James 1:19 “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”