… point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
Psalm 25:4-5 NLT
Listening to God sounds both logical and self-explanatory. As God’s followers, why wouldn’t we listen to God? Yet, the very art of listening raises so many questions. How might I hear God’s voice? Does it equate to my feelings? Isn’t there a danger I just make everything up and deceive myself?
These are all good questions. The fact that we ask them is a good sign. We acknowledge we are disposed to confusing our own preferences with God’s leading. However, there’s no other way to move forward. We always run the risk of getting things wrong. Like the first disciples, we can only learn from our mistakes.
God is often presented as a father. Any parent knows that children will make mistakes. Sometimes these are honest errors of judgement, while at other times they’re wilful decisions taken for apparent advantage. The parental issue is never really about the decision already taken, but in the learning that follows. As a parent, I don’t immediately assume my child is so wilful that they’re rejecting me. I see them taking a short cut to their desired outcome. I have great patience, despite my initial annoyance, in sitting down and talking this through with them.
This is true of our relationship with God. We have a conscience that is sensitised to God’s Spirit. It seeks to act as a compass within us which instinctively points towards God’s preference.
Finding God’s path always demands a measure of risk. It is good for me to reflect that choosing God today will never mean that I will be found on God’s way tomorrow. As my understanding of myself and of God matures, I continually have to make decisions that impact on the very day-to-day lifestyle decisions I adopt and all the actions I take.
How much do you want to walk in God’s way? Your answer will determine the degree to which you sit down and wrestle with God over both the direction of your life and the decisions you take daily.
Heavenly Father, I commit this day to walk in your ways.
Photo – River Bush at Bushmills