We have Pendle hill in our sights and there is a marker telling us which way to go. Will we choose to follow it, or just take a run at the scree slope?
So I am back from my tiring weekend helping children to navigate and to discover the country. Their initial questions tend to be “Why are we doing this?”, or “This is the worst place ever, I’d rather be at home in bed”. And I can’t deny being in bed is very tempting, especially at the moment. They went through pain, arguments, tension, mistakes and many other obstacles before they finally arrived at their destination, but that raises the question, “Why do we choose to go through such trials and challenges?”
This is true for life I think. I don’t think we would chose some trials, but other challenges I am always jumping at the chance to do them. Perhaps to add extra work onto my day, or to devote time for free to a project. But we also have trials in our life that we are put through and God is testing us. I have been through trials trying to get a permanent job and I have faced obstacles at every school, or knickknacks at others, but I believe that each of these schools or knickknacks happened for a reason and can be used by God to lead me to the destination he wants me to go to.
Nature is full of obstacles. Life is in a constant balance and the slightest thing can throw the balance out. Bees depend on flowers or nectar, plants, trees and vegetation depend on the weather and many other elements hang in the balance. Whilst certain trials defy an explanation from our human point of view, we can only truly say that God does know and He will reveal the grand plan someday.
These challenges shape us. Like the sculptor chipping bits off the stone block until what is left is a perfect work of art.
Many years ago I had an easy job and I would have stayed in this simple factory job for many years if I hadn’t of had an accident, that forced me to move on without which I wouldn’t be here and be married with children talking about God. I made a timeline a couple of years back detailing my life and any changes that occurred and other events and it just seemed amazing how things just looked like someone had planned this all out to arrive here at this point.
Of course God has planned our lives but we still have a choice. We can go the route that God wants us to follow or we can wander off into the moors and get lost, but by choosing Jesus, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us we can never be lost and as Jesus seeks out his lost sheep. We have a constant guidance within us.
One team was lost at one point, so I ran around the base of the hill to find this team and then I stayed with them just making sure they were correctly reading the map. At a couple of other points, because I knew they were having problems finding the way, I guided them across the hillside by standing at the point they had to aim for. They could see my bright red top. At other times I knew where they were and could see them from a view point and I just sat and watched urging them to take the right path.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
God has His eye on us. He watches at all times just urging with His Holy Spirit that we should go the right direction. He teaches through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit in the way we should go. Jesus instructs us, both through the Bible and His life on earth as a man, and as a King, Priest and Prophet in Heaven.
One helpful app I use just to double check where I am is called “viewranger”, and this can never replace the paper maps and learning to read maps it does help when trying to check were we are so as to be sure and to help guidance across very difficult parts of the country. The Holy Spirit is our guidance, he is there within all the time leading us to Jesus. We are guided across the moorland and up the mountain, through the obstacles of the styes to climb over and to the summit and to the campsite to safety again to be with God.
Perhaps you could say the Holy Spirit is like a GPS mapping system but better. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just guide us, He prays for us and tells us all that Jesus, that God wants us to know.
Perhaps God puts markers through each day, like the path markers across the hills.
God the Father has everything in his sights, he is the controller making slight changes here and there to guide us onwards to the ultimate goal.
As I finished that walk, I came to a village which was having an open air “Songs of praise”, it was a wonderful feeling and just at that moment they were singing the enthusiastic song “One more step along the world I go”. I am each day making one more step, and whilst the journey may at times seem endlessly slow, and I may feel I can not get there – God is with me guiding, encouraging, giving me a stick to help me walk and at other times just holding my hand. He allows me to rest at some times, and at others moves me on with some wind and rain. But at all times He is guidance with love, as a parent has love for the only newborn child. I feel He feels that way about every single one of us.
Dear Lord, help us all to follow your directions.
Help us to remember your advice, your visions, your dreams, the things we observe,
and your words spoken softly.
Dear Lord, help us to always encourage others,
and to seek out the lost and to lead them to Jesus your Son,
who we must never forget sacrificed himself willingly,
through choice so as to rise from the dead and bear our sins so we don’t have to.