Just Follow the Directions
Today, I took my mother somewhere that involved driving up Route 2 (Massachusetts natives may know where this is). Originally, my mother asked my cousin, because I was supposed to go into work today. However, my cousin had a hard time picturing the area because she had never been there before. From where I live there are a couple ways to get to Route 2. One way is longer, but the directions are simpler. It is mainly two straight shots. The other way is shorter, but involves bridges, stoplights, and rotaries which are easy ways to confuse the most skilled navigator.
I asked my cousin questions that would clarify the directions such as: “Have you been up Route 16? Do you know where Alewife station is?” All of my questions pointed to the general area, but all of them drew a blank. I then tried to give her the easiest directions I could give. “Go I-93 north to exit 31. That will be the beginning of Route 16. Take that all the way and it will turn into Route 2. Simple.” My cousin, certain she would get lost, responded, “I just can’t picture it.” Added to that was, “I’ve never been there before so I can’t see it.”
Now, this had to be the Spirit talking to me in this situation, because I then heard, “How can you picture somewhere you’ve never been? Of course you can’t see it; no one’s taken you there yet. Just follow the directions.” This revelation hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I feel like this is what God says to us every day in our Christian walk. Some of us get it and some of us don’t. Those who are advanced in their faith walk have simply mastered the art of following directions. Others (like me) rationalize, “Lord why do you want me to go there? I’ve never been there before” and “Lord I can’t see myself in that position.” All God is saying is, “I know you can’t picture it; I haven’t taken you there yet. Just follow the directions.”
Look at some of our fathers in the faith. In Exodus chapters 3 and 4, the Lord told Moses to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Moses couldn’t envision it. He went in to a series of “what ifs”: “Lord what if people ask who sent me, what should I tell them your name is?” “What if they don’t believe me or listen to me…?” Then he went into excuses: “Lord I’ve never been eloquent, how can I speak to the people?” Moses even tried to have God give someone else the job and said “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Exodus 4:14 says, “The Lord’s anger burned against Moses.” Here God is giving Moses the clearest and easiest direction He could give and Moses responds with “I’ve never been there before; I just can’t see it.”
Let’s even look at Jeremiah. God called him as a kid to be a prophet to the nations. His response to God was “Ah, Sovereign Lord I do not know how to speak I am just a child” (Jeremiah 1:6). Again, the Lord gives clear direction. The Lord tells him in Jeremiah 1:7, “You must go to everyone I send you and say whatever I command you”. The chapter says God reached out and touched Jeremiah’s lips saying, “I have put my words in your mouth”. Like Moses, Jeremiah was reluctant to accept God mission for him simply because he couldn’t see it.
Now, we know that both of these men did end up taking on the task God laid out for them. Doing so, they became great men of the faith. They are also who we talk about when we talk about great godly leaders. Moses eventually rescues the Israelites from slavery and Jeremiah is one of the most notable examples of a prophet we can reference. Their impact on history cannot be denied; all because they followed directions.
Let’s bring it back to us. What is it that God is telling us to do or strive for that seems out of our reach? What vision has God given that makes us hesitate because we haven’t been there before? Our faith walk is directly proportional to our ability to follow God’s directions. He wants to elevate us to places we’ve never been before. However, our excuse cannot be “I can’t go because I’ve never been there before”. Think about it…
In conclusion, I ended up taking the day off from work to bring my mother where she had to go. That meant a day of lost wages. However, I think if I hadn’t taken the day off this revelation of God’s desire for obedience wouldn’t have hit me as hard. The drive and the wait gave me time to formulate and process the word I had been given. This whole day has given me a new view on obedience. I hope this blog does the same for you.