Feeling Lost In The Way?

Feeling Lost In The Way?

By Curt Wildy

The journey of a Christian is often a bewildering one.  So often we walk through life like we are blindfolded, feeling our way around, not quite sure what turn will come up in the way or what obstacle may be in our path. This is called walking by faith and not by sight; yet we often become anxious, fearful, confused, and confounded as we labour to do so. It becomes difficult to know whether we should head to the left or to the right. We often wonder, do we stand still or do we  move? Do we take action or do we wait on the Lord? If you are like me, you wonder “How are we to know God’s will at any given time in our lives?” The easy answer is “wait a minute and at the end of it, you will have learned what God’s will was for you at that time.” Although such statements are true (knowing that what comes to pass is always God’s ordained will and purpose for us), these answers often do little to put to rest the uneasiness that we feel.

So what do we do when we come to such situations? I often find myself asking the same question, experientially lacking an answer that can eliminate such concerns. Yet I know that the primary step is to always look to God’s word and rest in the promises therein as He enables. In His time He will deliver us. The Lord always works all things together for the good of those who love Him by His grace; even when we cannot possibly understand how such things can be for our good.   

God declares “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:6-9).

When God says “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near;” do you think that He is saying this to the unregenerate elect only? I believe that God is commanding all of His saints to seek Him. We should be seeking Him daily, hourly, minute by minute, but we often fail to do so. We walk ahead of ourselves and get so caught up in our actions that we do not seek the Lord before we begin to venture. Many times we seek Him, but we do not find Him as quickly as we would like. When this happens, we take matters into our own hands; we lean unto our own understanding and run after our own strength. When we begin to realise that this is our foolish case, it is often too late; the damage has been done. It is around this time that God begins to work repentance in us. He opens our eyes to our folly, we begin to seek Him with earnest. But do we find Him as quickly as we would like? Almost never, at least in my experience. So we fret, wonder, become anxious… and yet we wait on Him nonetheless, until He can be experimentally found. We do eventually find Him, but only because He first finds us, comes nigh unto us, draws us nigh unto Him, and causes us to see that He was here with us all the time.  

It is God who enables us to turn again to Him. He declares “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” Though we are clean and utterly perfect in Christ, we know that in and of ourselves, we are wicked. We are the wicked ones after the outer man; sinful self is the enemy of both us and God. When we follow after pleasures, self-comfort, and “I WANT” we are the wicked in need of forsaking our way. When the outer man has dominion and we walk after the things of this world, and think with the petty mind of this world, we are the unrighteous ones in need of forsaking our carnal, fleshly thoughts. But which of us has the strength to overcome the outer man in our own strength? None of us; if we could, we would abstain from sin altogether. Our strong (outer) man must be bound by the power of God before we can do what God calls us to do. Our will must be subdued that His will may abound. God reigns supreme in all of our lives; he not only binds the will but He makes us willing after the inner man.

But do you ever wonder why we travel down the wicked way as saints or why we have unrighteous thoughts in the first place? If we are new creatures in Christ, why are we not free of such things? It is because we are fallen creatures; we are in this body of death and we all have unclean hearts and lips by nature. Our God has purposed the manifestation of our sin (all of our follies and faults) to show us what we are. He then ordains our deliverances to show us who He is. He decrees our blindness so that He can make us to see. He purposes our maimed state so that we can have the strength to walk in Him, even as He carries us about. God has declared our end from the beginning; every aspect of our walk is ordered by Him. He knows we are worms and but dust; therefore He will abundantly pardon us. He is a God who delights to show mercy. He loves His Son with an eternal love and He loves all of us who were chosen in His Son from before the foundation of the world. He loves to nurture and protect all of His elect children. He is ever willing to pardon us, even when He is scourging us and putting us through the refining fire.

We think, how can we be pardoned and yet burdened? How can God be merciful to us while ordaining that we suffer under sin in self, sin in others, persecution for speaking the Truth, the materialism and degeneration of this world, and so on? For an answer, God provides these comforting words: “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:7-8). God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways. He says that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than ours and His thoughts higher than ours. We equate love with ease; we expect comfort and He sends us hardship. We want deliverance from that which we rightfully deserve and He wants us to take our licks and grow thereby. What faithful husbandman fails to prune His vineyard? He prunes us and it often hurts. We cannot understand why He leads us one way when our comfort-seeking flesh wants us to go another. We expect our prayers to be answered as we expect them to be answered, but He (in keeping with His eternal decree) operates sovereignly as He sees fit. God is God. He is Sovereign. He is King. God is our Father (if we be in Christ) and we are His foolish children. Do we presume to dictate to God how He should do things; shouldn’t we rather rest in His judgments, knowing that He does all things perfectly and righteously? Never try to anticipate God’s next move (His next decree for our lives); we will most likely get it all wrong. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).  Can we honestly say like Jeremiah “O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23)? If so, we speak in accordance with Wisdom and not after our own thoughts — which is a very important step in finding peace and rest during hard times.

Sadly, I find that such right thinking is not always easy to engage in; I am sure that others find themselves in the same boat. During such times, the best way to deal with a lack of clarity, the best way to deal with the bewilderment that strikes us all to one degree or another, is to ponder the promises of God. The LORD assures us that He will never leaves us nor forsake us. He is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above that which He makes us able to endure. Though many times in the life of a Christian, it feels as those He has indeed left us and forsaken us, we know that objectively this can never be. Our sins may separate us from communion with God for a season (subjectively, in our experience), but we are  never truly separated from our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 makes this clear). When we cannot see the road ahead as clearly as we would like, we become like little children lost in a crowd, temporarily separated from our parents, not knowing that their protective eyes are fully over us and their arms in reach. God’s eyes are upon us; He watches over His own; He will see us through.

His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. We should be thankful for this and strive to walk accordingly. May He give us all grace to place our trust, even every aspect of our lives, in His hand. He is our refuge and safe haven.

To Christ alone be the glory.

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