Asking God for Directions

Have you ever started off on a journey only to realize along the way that you didn’t really know how to get to your destination? Admitting your confusion to yourself is embarrassing and admitting it to others can be downright humiliating, but it’s better than wasting your time going the wrong way.

The Christian life is a long series of interwoven journeys so complex that we can’t hope to perfectly map everything out ahead of time (or after the fact for that matter). But God knows exactly where we are going and how we should get there. So as the Christian navigates life, he ought to continually ask God for directions. Through prayer and the word, God keeps us on the right path (Psalm 119:105).

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to appear to be on God’s path without really asking Him for directions. Instead of prayerfully following God’s course, Christians often just do what other Christians expect of them. This leaves a believer following his subculture’s general will rather then actually following God’s will. Do what’s expected and be accepted. But just doing what’s expected, while common, is not necessarily the most direct or even correct way.

This extended metaphor can be applied to many situations worth your personal reflection. I bring it up to ask you to pray for us. Even before we settled upon Romania, we have been seeking the Lord’s mind on how to live the life He has designed for us. But there are so many human expectations placed upon a missionary that just doing what is expected is a real danger. From time to time, we must examine ourselves. Who are we following? Are our methods Gods or just man’s? Are we still in America because we took a wrong turn when listening to someone giving bad directions? Or are we just where God wants us to be? Please pray for God to lead clearly and for us to follow Him faithfully.

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8 thoughts on “Asking God for Directions

  1. Dear Joshua and Laurel,

    I do believe you are just where God wants you to be, even though I understand your being so anxious to be in Romania and serving God and the people there. I also ache for the Howertons for not having a furlough in so long and not being able to be with family, although I know that they feel that the Romanian people are also their family. I also ache for the family back home who, I’m sure, have missed them tremendously and anxiously await the day when they will be able to be with them again. I also ache for your families who, I’m sure, will miss you all tremendously, too. I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, so I can identify with those situations. I do hope and pray that it is God’s will for you to very soon reach your 100% support so you can be about the Father’s business in Romania. And, yes, I will pray for God to lead clearly and for you to follow Him faithfully — and me, too. I will also continue to pray for the Howertons and for the Romanian people, especially the orphans and their workers, and all of your families, too.

    In Christian love,
    Martha Horne

    • Thank you so much for your prayers, Martha. Without prayer we would most certainly be in utter frustration. Your going before God on our behalf is a great comfort to us.

  2. Dear Josh and Laurel,

    This is one question that I have been mulling over since you posted. I think we have to be careful to assume that if something is going “well” then we are doing right and if something is going “poorly” we are doing wrong. We have lots of cases in the Bible where the children of God were doing the right thing and they were suffering.

    Quite often in the Bible, we have been given principles to live by but we are left to work them out in our culture and time period (which is one reason why the Bible is so timeless). The one example I can think of in the Bible that addresses the use of “methods” is David trying to bring the Arc of God home on a cart. The Philistine method was clearly against the laws laid out in God’s Word and God judged Uzza for violating a specific command.

    So in answer to the question, I believe…
    1. If you have searched the Scriptures and not are not aware that you are violating any of God’s commands in relations to missions
    2. If you have received counsel from godly men in your time period and culture about what you should be doing
    3. If you have prayed for direction and looked for open doors….
    Then you can assume that God has answered your prayers and given you wisdom to deal with the situations He has placed you in right now. (James 1:2-7) Often we skip to verse 5, but verse 3-4 says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

    So you can rest assured that God is working in you even though it seems that nothing is happening on the Romanian front. God is more concerned about what is happening in us than in what we are accomplishing….so do your best and sit back and enjoy watching the Sovereign God of Heaven work everything out….Okay….easier said than done. 🙂

    • Amy, you are quite right about our quickness to assume we are under judgment when things are rough. It’s an assumption that is often wrong. We are seeking God’s face. Thanks for your thoughtful and biblical comments.

  3. Greetings from PA,
    God has brought you to mind so often, and I am praying for God’s direction in your lives. When you were in PA at my home church, Bethel Baptist, of Sellersville. I was so drawn to your passion for the ministry and the overwhelming need for missionaries to reach out to the children. I too have an intense desire to see the youth of this generation reached with the saving power of the gospel, but it is a challenge to know God’s heart and direction. God does not try to hide His will from us, and He will give you peace and direction as you continue to seek for His best in your lives. Please keep us posted on what God is doing in your lives, and I will continue to pray each time He brings you to my heart and mind.
    A praying friend — Dana

    • Thanks for your comment and your prayers, Dana. We are honored to know that God used our time with you in PA in your life. I think you are dead on to say that God does not hide His will. My concern is that I keep looking. It’s too easy for me to become so comfortable doing what is expected by man that I seldom question if I’m doing my daily activities God’s way.

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