The Path of Least Assurance

We have all probably been there. We are faced with a decision and one path seems like the “rational” choice, and yet after prayerful consideration, we believe that God is leading us in the other direction. It may not make sense to us, let alone to our friends or family, and yet we feel compelled to pursue this path of uncertainty. We may not see beyond the next step, and we definitely do not know what the end result will be, but we sense that this is the way the Holy Spirit desires us to go.

In these situations, I often find myself wondering why God doesn’t reveal more. Of course, He has been gracious to reveal as much as He has through His Word, but at times, it appears that following Him would be easier if we had a clearer sense of where He was leading. Perhaps if we could see what He was orchestrating, we would more confidently pursue it. Perhaps if we knew what the plan was, our hearts would be more inclined towards it. If we understood more, wouldn’t we follow better?

While all of this sounds good, I’ve come to believe that one of the reasons God may choose not to reveal all He has planned is because we would be tempted to follow the plan, rather than Him. If we had a greater sense of the work He was doing in and through us, we might become so focused on what He will accomplish, that we would neglect to bring glory to the One whose accomplishment it is. If we understood how the pieces fit together, we might think we could complete the puzzle without Him. In other words, sometimes God may call us to the path of least assurance because if we do not have confidence in the circumstance, it may cause us to increase our dependency on Him.

Of course, just because something is uncertain is by no means a clear indication that this is the path a Christian should pursue. We should dedicate our decisions to prayer, seek wise counsel and dive deep into His Word. At the same time, we mustn’t be afraid if the path that we are to walk is not completely revealed. It is enough to know the One who leads us, and to place our assurance not on the road that we see, but on the One who leads the way.

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The Perils of the Shortcut

The other day I was driving and watched a truck make an illegal left turn. No sooner had I said to myself – “hey – you can’t do that” then I watched a police officer pull out, go around me, and turn on the patrol lights. Although I didn’t see the rest of the interaction I have to imagine that the few seconds the truck saved by turning 10 feet too early, were quickly superseded by the time the driver spent explaining his actions to the government official. I very much doubt that in the end, the driver thought it was worth it.

Interestingly, the place where this infraction took place is a spot I drive by frequently. Many times people are tempted to take what seems like an expeditious, yet illegal turn. Perhaps the driver of the truck had seen others do it and figured no harm or consequence came their way. Perhaps the driver was simply in a rush and figured this turn was expedient. What I do know is that the driver is not alone in thinking the shortcut can be beneficial, only to find that in the end it is not.

Of course, far too often we do the same thing in our lives. We justify what seem like “small” infractions of God’s laws because we think our way is better. We follow the path of least resistance, even when we know God calls us to resist. We watch other people sin and seemingly experience no consequences and we are tempted to do the same.

However, it doesn’t take much understanding of Scripture to realize that this thinking is in error. The Bible makes it clear that what we do has consequences – whether good or bad (Gal. 6:7-8). If we are disobedient to God in one small area, we are more likely to be disobedient to Him in another. Sin begets sin. Just as obedience leads to greater obedience.

So the next time we are tempted to take the shortcut, may we remember the peril that shortcuts so often hold. May we instead be committed to do things according to God’s standards, trusting that in the end, even if it is not the easiest or the quickest, we will be right where God wants us to be.

 

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