How are you doing?
I mean….really doing?
What are you struggling with? Our lives are seasonal; sometimes things are going great, and we feel carefree, but…other times…..
…sometimes we’re at a crossroads in life that deeply affects us down to our cells, and we just aren’t sure which way God is wanting us to go. How can we know????
If this is you…if this is where you currently are….believe me, I get it. You aren’t alone. Maybe this can help? Cuz…I really want to help. I learn concepts easiest with illustrations…
My family and I went to the Rodeo in San Antonio. One of the shows is “Steer Wrestling”, where a cowboy on horseback is released simultaneously with a young steer (cow), and has to wrestle it to the ground (activities that real cattlemen have done for generations as part of the job).
God seemed to tell my heart and head (through an “idea”) to, “Observe the steer. Watch where they go when they’re done.” I knew that it wasn’t my idea to do this…I was highly entertained by the Cowboys and looking for their scores. So, I watched the steers instead.
Time and time again…one steer after another picked themselves up, shook off the fall, and ran around “aimlessly” looking for where to go next. (Much like us?)
There were cowboys on horseback remaining near each steer’s rear end, gently corralling it into the general direction it needed to go, giving it no opportunity to turn back from where they came (move forward…not backward; “And the Lord said to Moses, “…Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:15).
The other end of the stadium had a wide open gate; the only exit. Every steer came to a point in its aimlessness where you could see the lightbulb go on above their head. They suddenly seemed to “know” where to go and headed fast to that open gate.
Once past it, there were cleverly placed obstacles in the back that prevented the steer from entering into areas no one wanted it to be, and more opened gates in certain places.
The path for each steer was made so clear. Any idiot could’ve figured it out. It was oddly reassuring to watch!
I’ve been that steer… confused, bewildered, looking for the way out of major problems. I’ve been that steer searching for direction. There were various ways He has guided me in the past. Sometimes it was through many people’s similar words of advice or suggestions to me. Sometimes it was receiving timely scriptures through cards, emails, texts, calls, conversations, or just in reading. Often, a repeated “message” or idea would continually pop into my head. Certain Scriptures and sermons just hit my heart like a rock, etc.
No matter the way it was communicated, I never ever acted upon that route or decision until I shared it with many different “wise counselors”. I don’t mean the psychiatric or psychological community, or therapists…though they are wise. I mean people who love their Bible, read it and are extremely familiar with it, pray a LOT, and can’t imagine living their life away from Jesus. The Bible defines “wise” as someone who seeks God’s wisdom (Proverbs 1-4). King Solomon said, “Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.” Proverbs 20:18. “Without wise leadership a nation falls; there is safety in having many counselors.” Proverbs 11:14
If many wise counselors (family/friends/pastoral staff…all of the above), who follow every word of the Bible tell you the same thing, without knowing what each said to you, I gotta tell you…it’s incredible.
There have also been many, many times when I was heading into a direction that I thought was from God, or “felt right” at the time, but it wasn’t the way He was sending me. In those times, God knew my heart…knew why I was going in that direction…knew that I was thinking I was obeying Him…and He put up obstacles of prevention, literally blocking me from going further (Acts 16:6-7)…. just exactly like the cowboys did with the steer.
I watched this kind of blockage occur with the steers in the back area of the arena….and they all got to where they needed to be going. If they attempted to turn back, they’d be met with persistent cowboys prodding them into the right direction.
If man would guide cows so easily, to get them to the right destination…wouldn’t the Creator who loves us do even better for us?
Psalm 32:8 “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise and watch over you. Do not be like the senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and a bridle to keep it under control.”
Sometimes, when your “path” is one to stay on for a looong time, you won’t hear a single thing. Nothing. (It’s so annoying.) I read a devotional about this a couple years ago…in the midst of one of those long rides. It said that if I’m not hearing or detecting any change in direction, and nothing is “wrong”…no one is getting hurt by it….then just to keep heading in the same direction until I detected a change. It made so much sense!
It’s like driving. There will be street signs telling us when our turn is approaching. But, they don’t show up until we’re almost at the turnoff.
He conveys messages using all of these. Don’t forget the wise counsel. That’s a KEY step, according to King Solomon. Plus, then you’ll have a support system who fully backs you up for the next phase.
Psalm 31:3 “For the good of Your Name, lead me and guide me.”
Psalm 77:20 “You led your people like sheep, using Moses and Aaron to guide them.”
Psalm 119:29 “Guide me with Your teachings.”
Proverbs 20:24 “The Lord guides our steps, and we never know where he will lead us.”
Have peace. If anyone knows how to get a message through to your mind and heart, it’s the One who wired your brain in the first place. He’s able. He’ll get you there…better than your GPS can.