Setting the Right Course
Recently Pat and I decided to go on a road trip to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We chose Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,as our final destination; so off we went with a good audiobook and a whole week away from work to enjoy the journey. Once we got on our way, we realized our phone GPS offered us several options on how to get to Myrtle Beach. We quickly discovered that setting the destination was a good start but choosing the course as to how we were going to get there was a completely different challenge. Sometimes the faster way is not the most direct way. Sometimes the backroads offer lots of red lights and crowded city streets. And if you are not careful, speeding traps will catch you unaware with a surprise speed limit shift along the way. I was very proud of Pat, who was humble and contrite when the police officer pulled him over. And it helped too, because the police officer was kind enough to lower the fine.
When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, He promises to help us enjoy life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). We have an opportunity to live our life with purpose and to accomplish some amazing things in our lifetime. With the help of His Holy Spirit (our spiritual GPS) and His Word (our road map), we can set the right course for our life. Look at the insight Psalms 119:1-8 provides each of us:
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do.—Psalms 119:1-8 MSG
Too many people come to the end of their lives with misgivings. The end of the road, so to speak, came much quicker than they anticipated and the realization hit them that they neglected to look ahead and identify where they hoped to go, let alone design a map to get there. Regret sets in and disappointment because there is this nagging feeling that they either stopped in their journey too soon, or never reached the destination God revealed to them because a detour took them completely off track.
When we deliberately ask God to lead the way, and spend quality time seeking His plan and purpose for our life, He will not only reveal the right course for our life, but He will also help us keep on track by showing us which path to take. He will give us the grace to not give up and the peaceful assurance He will not let us down. Proverbs 3:5-8 says it best:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.—Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
Cindy Trimm in her book “Hello, Tomorrow!” writes “Life is like a ship on an ocean of opportunities. You don’t have to be swept away by the currents of change if you know how to use your vision and engage your values to set your course toward tomorrow. You can then guide your vessel, allowing the winds of your passion to fill your sails of faith, moving you ever closer to the shore of your destiny. When you are confident in the type of prophetic ship you are based on your own inherent strengths, you can pull up the anchor of fear and leave the docks of doubt behind. You can then locate your north star, establish your desired direction, and head toward the shores of your longed-for destiny.”
So just before you go to bed tonight, ask God to guide you through the decisions and circumstances of your life (see James 1:5). Then observe the answers and ideas that begin filling your mind and heart in the coming days ahead as you allow Him to set the course of your life.