After Monday’s post on embracing God’s design for my life, a reader asked me: “what if there are multiple pathways that seem to lead to God’s design for my life?” (By the way, readers, I love to hear your thoughts on social media. Most of my posts are inspired by some interaction I have with someone.) I know why he asked the question. I have asked it too.
Truth is, there are always more than one road leading to your best life. And God doesn’t usually give us step by step instructions on the way there. I say usually, because sometimes there are specific steps we need to take, and when He reveals those, we need to be obedient and take them. If we don’t, we will certainly miss out on some awesome things God is trying to do through our lives.
But sooner or later, we get to a fork in the road and we get to choose which road to take from there. And God won’t give us a directive to go right or left. Either road has the opportunity to take us to God’s design for our life, and we just get to choose and move forward. There are a few considerations that make these choices wiser.
If we know that one road is an obvious detour, don’t take it. If you would only choose that route because it seems like it would be a more fun way to get there than the other one, even if the other route seems to be a better fit, take the better fit.
Choosing more fun for the sake of fun, normally ends up in disillusionment. The most fun you will get out of life is by living an adventure in relationship with our heavenly Father. So take the most obvious fit. A Quaker friend says it like this: “sometimes we want to be so spiritual, that we feel we must choose on some deep spiritual insight, when in reality the right choice is as easy as asking: “is there an easier, quicker, way to get there?” ”
But more logical isn’t always better. Sometimes there is a sense in our inner being that we should take a certain road, but critics disagree, and honestly, we don’t see the possibility. If there is that sense in our spirit, we need to ask: “Am I choosing this road simply because it looks more possible to me?” Take the road less travelled. The adventure that requires faith. That is an adventure few people believe possible, even though all of us are invited on it.
A great big part of your best life involves the ability to walk in faith. In fact, I believe that if the only lesson in living your best life you learned was the ability to trust God intimately, your life would have been a greater adventure than achieving all your dreams without that. And so we will often be given the opportunity to choose faith.
The need for step by step instructions is normally rooted in fear. In other words, it is more a lack of faith than it is a desire to live out God’s design for our best life. Learning from failure will most definitely be a part of our journey. I am much more afraid of failure than God is of my failure. To me, it is the fear of rejection from God and others. To God, it is an opportunity to prove Himself the loving patient Father He is.
I honestly don’t think it is possible to achieve your best life without this aspect of building a relationship of trust, love, and grace with our heavenly Father. Redemption will always be a part of our best life as long as we live in this broken world. I believe that this redeemed relationship with our heavenly Father is the essence of the best life. And it is very often by failure that we learn the depth of God’s love for us.
Like I said, we often learn the depths of God’s love by failing. We also learn just how much the heavenly Father values us by His willingness to forgive our sins. Truth is though, sin will send you on a guaranteed detour. A detour that will cause your dream to die. Sin will poison your best life by clouding your mind and heart with doubts and unbelief.
Yes, God is quick to forgive. Yes, Jesus came and died so that you could receive the Father’s love again. And yes, even if you spend the next twenty years on a detour in sin, God will continue to pursue you in His never ending love. And the minute you turn back to Him again, He will shamelessly run to meet you and embrace you and forgive you. Turn back before sin has poisoned your very ability to choose God. Sin has the ability to harden our hearts and darken our minds beyond the ability to respond. So respond now while you are able.
Sin will dull the very sense of who you are. It will corrupt you at your core, distract you from hearing God as He speaks His design to you, and it will stop your heart from responding to the dream He placed in your heart. So protect your heart from sin. We can walk in righteousness by faith. Yes, God still walks with you as a Christian struggling with sin. Jesus Christ died so we could be saved, based on His righteousness, not ours. But you can also walk in the righteousness of Christ by faith. And if your spirit has been reborn of the Spirit of God, you will deeply desire that. And it is available to us in far greater measure than we realize.
That is why I think it is more important to protect God’s design or the dream He has placed in our hearts than it is to know which step to take. Providing we protect our heart, we can walk in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, regardless of which road we take. And if it ends up being a detour, it ends up being a lesson in wisdom. Or a lesson in how much the Father loves us. Enjoy the journey even if it weaves.
Sweat the important stuff: righteousness, faith, God’s love, redemption, grace. And the little stuff will take care of itself. God is so much bigger than our failures, that He doesn’t get too bent out of shape about them. He knows He can handle the bumps they place in our road. That is why I believe that the need for step by step directions from God is just as often a lack of faith as a desire for the life God has for us.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your ways. (Proverbs 3:6) Even if it is by allowing you to make the wisest decision you are capable of making on your own. If you desire to walk in His way, He is never far away. So walk confidently. And when the season comes to wait on Him before you move, you’ll know to wait.