Cipriano Martinez | @Ciprianom79
As Christian believers, many times we put trust in ourselves and try and choose our own direction or what the Bible calls "our own path". Some of these times we might get lucky and choose the right direction or path but many of these selfish decisions lead us into a destination we did not mean to go to. We may even ask ourselves, “How did I get here?" or "Where am I?” Where ever you may be and you find yourself lost or confused the question is where did you go to get your directions?
My wife and I take many trips throughout the year - some business, some pleasure. No matter what kind of trip it may be we are never too familiar with the area we are in and more times than not, we have to revert to the handy dandy GPS. The GPS is designed to get us wherever we need to go at the command of our finger tips. But as the head of the household and spiritual leader, I often seem to know better than the GPS. Even though I asked my wife to put in the coordinates of the location, knowing I have no earthly idea how to get there, I still argue with this machine and its uploaded technology. When I decide to ignore Miss GPS and go my own direction I find myself making many unneeded U-turns and maybe even end in a ditch or dark alley somewhere. The GPS knows best because it is programmed to know the easiest routes to take.
I hope many of you can relate. Surely I’m not the only one in the world who argues with smart hi-tech gadgets.
The people of Israel in Moses' day also wanted to go their own way even after all that God had done for them. They still thought they knew more than their Spiritual GPS. They had seen God's signs first hand and still thought they knew better.
Today we are no different than the Israelites in the dessert so many years ago. Why is that? Why is it we want to choose our own path when we have access to the quickest route?
I might be able to answer these questions based on my own life experiences. I can think of a couple of reasons:
First, all decisions were made by me without going to God, the Creator of the Universe, in prayer. There have be times that I forget that God is the Boss of my life and that I need to ask Him to guide me in the right direction. Without His direction I decide to move forward on my own path.
Second, even after I have prayed and asked God for direction I just don’t have the time to sit and wait for an answer. Reason being everything in life now-a-days comes at a command. If I want to watch something, I type in the name of the show. If I want to know the answer to a something, I type in the question. If I want to eat something, I type it in - whatever it may be, we ask and we receive promptly. Same goes when we ask God what direction He wants us to go. We ask and we are hard wired to want an immediate answer. Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind:“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”
God has nothing but good intentions for our lives, “…plans to prosper you and not to harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11). He gives us many scriptures that encourage us to trust Him and His direction for our lives. I will leave you seven to study on your own time.
Psalm 23:2-3 “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Psalm 25:10 “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
Isaiah 26:7 “The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous.”
Psalm 17:16 “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.”
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”
Let’s not get stuck in our own ways which could lead us astray but rather let’s follow God’s lead and wait patiently for His guidance. We have to remember that God is the boss of our lives and that He knows what is best. He guides us and directs us on the right path. Even though we may have our doubts, He will never steer us wrong.
Cipriano Martinez is the ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery at Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, NM, as well as the CR State Representative of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. He is blessed to be clean and sober for 9 years and counting. He is happily married and has 5 kids ranging from high school to diapers. He enjoys sharing his life with others, golf, and spending time with his family, and also feels a strong calling to vocational ministry. You can contact him via twitter @ciprianom79.