What if you went on a road trip with no map or GPS and every time you came to a choice of which way to turn or which road to take, you just went with your gut? Which feels right? Which looks better to me?
What if this method of navigation went great? You arrived where you wanted to go and saw some amazing scenery along the way? Your random pattern worked.
What if it didn’t go well? You ended up lost, far off course, and didn’t care for the countryside either.
After several trips like this, wouldn’t your future decisions be based on the success of your choices? But would this guarantee the next trip to be a success or failure? Of course not—because you’re the only pattern or constant here.
As Christian men, we often stand at a major crossroads in life and ask a lot of questions—all based on a lack of knowledge of what lies ahead. We see the path. We imagine the consequences of a failed try. We also imagine the great blessings if we succeed. One of those mindsets is going to win. We might walk away from concern, fear, apathy, ignorance, and a myriad of possibilities spinning in our heads. We might press on, believing that success is worth the risk, hoping that blessing lies ahead.
Here’s the truth about this scenario—we often make the decision based on our track record from the past. How did my last trip go? Am I 50/50? 75/25? 25/75? We may think, “Well, I haven’t been too good at making these decisions, so I better just play it safe.” But—the decision to go right or left, forward or stop, to express faith, to walk on to where the Lord is leading, should never be based on the past, or even the hope or curse potentially found in the future, but on what God is saying—today.
Operating on past patterns can be done outside of a relationship with God. Talking, listening, and responding to Him requires a current relationship.
Our evaluation at a crossroads is not about our track record, our past, or our future, but our present state with God. What is the Father saying? If He says go, standing still is the most unsafe move to make, even though it may feel illogical to leap. If He says stay, moving might look like faith to everyone, but it’s really just foolishness.
Are you at a crossroads now? Know you are about to walk up to one? Let’s abandon our past methods of evaluation. Let’s talk with our Father Who actually knows what to do and sees all angles from every side—past, present, and future.
You lead humble people to do what is right and to stay on your path. —Psalm 25:9 CEV
Frankie Rainey February 12, 2013
Robert, I don't often respond, but I am always blessed by your words! Frankie
Robert Noland February 12, 2013
Its hard to express how much that means coming from you. Thanks so much! -Robert