Monday, February 8, 2016

Finding the Right Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

I was on the way to visit an acquaintance who was interested in being involved in ministry. He gave me the address where I was to meet him, but when I arrived, I could not find the house number. There were houses with numbers higher and lower, but that house number was missing. After driving up and down the road a couple of times, I called him on his cell. We realized I had gone to Stevens Street, when I was actually looking for Stephens Street. The streets are pronounced the same way, but have a slightly different spelling. They are on opposite sides of town. I would have never found the address on the first street, because that address does not exist. We had a good laugh about it when I finally got to the right place. What a difference those letters made!

That experience made me think about how important it is to make sure we get our facts right before striking off on some task, journey, or course of action. If we have a faulty premise, it will lead us in the wrong direction, and we may never find what we are looking for. Even if the underlying mistake is minor, our faulty premise will take us the wrong direction, causing great frustration as we come so close to what we were trying to do, and yet cannot quite accomplish it.

For example, when considering marriage, if we start out thinking that if it does not work out, we can just get a divorce, that will impact how we handle conflict in our relationship. Such thinking leads us to a much different conclusion than we would come to if we went into it thinking we were going to stick with the marriage no matter what, and trust God to make the relationship what it should be.
In thinking about what college to go to, if we start out thinking which school has the best recreational activities, we will end up in a much different place than if we ask ourselves which school will best help us gain the training we need to achieve our career goals.

Examples are numerous, but the point is clear. We need to start off with right information and correct reasoning so we can head in the right direction in life. How do we find the right information? Do some research. Discuss the issue with people who have already been there. Ask lots of questions. Most importantly, read the Bible and pray for guidance. The Bible is still relevant for today and God’s advice is always right. As we learn to trust in the Lord’s advice, we will head in the right direction in life.

Lord, help us listen to Your advice and follow Your directions. Amen.

This post is an excerpt from the book, The Heavenly Mundane: Daily Devotions from Ordinary Experiences. Filled with stories of how God spoke in big ways through small events, the book will encourage people to look for God in the mundane things of life. Great for both personal use and to give as a gift to friend, either the print version or the e-book version may be purchased at this link:


  1. As I read this, My mind went immediately to church revitalization and planting. I was thinking how so many of our churches, communities and pastor are mismatched. Often times churches don't know who they are, what they want, where they are, or even the communities they are planted in. Pastors will have similar problems, not understanding their personalities, they don't understand the intensity it takes to serve in an urban or metro community or the relational skills and patience for serving in a rural community or small village. Even denominations fail to understand the need for flexibility as the become myopic on whatever program or outreach they are currently focusing on. Several decades ago when I was learning how to write incident reports it was always stressed to include the, who, what, when, where, why, and how, and to make sure that everything was clear, concise, and correct. These are simple principles that we can apply to ourselves, churches and denominations. Each report I would write over the next fifteen years would be evaluated through the lens of these questions; and I have tried to adapt them to every calling and every congregation the Lord has called me to.

  2. Thanks for posting this. The Lord knows I had needed that. What bible translation is that one?

  3. Getting the facts right is very important. Asking the right questions to find the right answers that circumscribe and help us interpret the facts is maybe even more important... ;) Thanks for the post Terry.