The path meandered between my aunt and grandmother’s houses. I walked it often because I had a direction in mind, and because it was the shortest distance between those two points. Had it not led where I intended to go, I would have ignored it.
Andy Stanley says, “Direction—not intention, determines destination.” As a young boy, I intended to be a preacher and Bible teacher. But as a teenager, I lost focus. Though I eventually reached my intended destination, I took a few detours before arriving at a destination I could have arrived at earlier. I forfeited years of fruitful service for God by traveling the wrong path.
As God’s Old Testament people prepared to lose the leader who led them into the Promised Land, they listened to his challenge to choose the right path. Choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15 NLT).
There are any number of paths I may travel in life—some good, some bad, and some mediocre. And just because I take a path that leads to fulfillment, helps me better society, or aids in helping those who can’t help themselves doesn’t mean I’ve taken God’s path for me.
I can accomplish any number of good things during my short years on earth, but the important thing is discovering what God has in mind. Only when I uncover his specific purpose will I enjoy the abundant life Jesus spoke of.
Are you simply traveling a path, or are you on God’s path? Talk with him in prayer and find out.
Prayer: God of all grace and mercy, guide us to the specific path in life You want us to travel.
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