I was driving in an unfamiliar part of town the other day and was about to reach for my GPS when I saw a sign that pointed me to where I wanted to go. I ditched the idea of my step by step directions and followed the sign having faith that it would lead me.
I realized this is a picture of how I see my communication with God. I expect a full color road map with a talking voice that commands me just before each step of my life so I don't miss any turns....and if I don't get it, you can be assured that I'm going to throw a tantrum. But what if God, master of signs, prefers to lead us differently?
I have to admit, in making my plans I often don't reveal everything to my children. Given that we parents have more wisdom than our kids (unless it's my knowledge of video games), we reveal truths in life to them at the times they need it or can receive it the best right? In other words, teaching Algebra to a 4-year old is futile. Perhaps God, maker of ALL things, could be given some credit that he would work the same way with us?
In the old testament, God put on some pretty big shows to speak to his people. Jonah and the whale, fire from heaven, plagues upon the earth and even the sun standing still. Who could miss that?! When Jesus arrived on the scene he didn't ride in the way some would have imagined but he did arrive just the way God told us he would...to those who were listening that is!
The bible tells us many things and is a basic road map, but what about the map specific to YOUR life? How do you read that? What signs do we look for? The incredible part of this answer is that your answer is not mine and we each get to have a personal relationship with the one who has all the answers. Here is the number one thing I have learned:
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV
So you've got a great idea and move forward. I promise you, if God is saying "no", it will come through loud and clear. If doors close and life gets hard, you may want to consider that it's not the path for you. Along the same lines, if God says "yes", incredible things can happen and things you thought impossible will become easy.
When I was in college, I was at the top of my class. I would take my work (that my peers thought was incredible) to one of my professors to see what he thought. To my surprise, he found fault and would ask me to do it better. While my pride was a bit dented, I look back and realize that he knew my capability to do more and that not pushing me would have been a poor reflection on his ability to teach me more. He choose me to be better than the rest because he knew he could mold me to do it! What if God is choosing you to be more in your circumstances right now? What if he likes to throw a stake in the ground and post one simple answer or "sign" and tell you as much as you need to know, but not too much. The rest is faith and faith definitely takes practice and following the best teacher.
Hindsight is 20/20. Don't forget to reflect on lessons you have learned in the past and remember how those hard times shaped you. If God's signs don't make sense now, I'm positive it will all come into focus when you look back. Simplify, follow Jesus and you will be going the one way we know works! Knowing that, you can rest assured that our Father is taking care of everything else!