"Here is the Way"

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By: Lynn Cowell
Proverbs 31 Speaker

Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (NIV)

Should I say yes? It is seems like such a great opportunity. Besides, I deserve it, don’t I? Once again, my mind is swirling with the pros and cons of the decision I have at hand. I hear the things my mind is telling me … or is that my heart? Whether it is my mind or my heart, the real question is, should I listen to it? I mean – can I trust it?

Like most of you, I have been at this place before. A crossroad where choices are clear, but direction is not. The columns of “good” and “bad” on the paper don’t seem to be giving me the answer I need. That is how logical people make decisions, right? But it isn’t working; so which way do I go?

My dear friend was recently running very early in the morning, before dawn. She was alone as her partner had run on ahead. Soon, she came across a patch of sidewalk where there were no street lights and she began to feel very afraid. “Lord, You are going to have to help me.” As she prayed, she saw lights behind her. A car was approaching from behind; casting light onto her path. The closer it got, the clearer she could see. The Lord wanted her to know that just as He was with her when she was running, so in life He was behind her as well, shining light on her path.

This verse in Isaiah causes me to reflect on decision making. “… Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Why the voice behind me? Don’t we always hear, “Follow your heart; it will never steer you wrong”? But that voice is the voice within, not the voice from behind.

Maybe some of you grew up memorizing verses like I did. One in particular was Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV) What a depressing verse! I am finally beginning to unpack the wisdom in it. Andy Stanley reinforced this truth for me in his book “The Principle of the Path.” You see, we can’t in fact follow our heart. Our heart can’t be trusted. Our heart will lie to us, tell us things we want to hear instead of the truth that we need to hear. It will convince us that what we want is the right way; even if that way is not God’s way. I know; I’ve listened to it before.

When we find ourselves at this crossroads, the first place to turn to is God’s Word. Many of the questions we ask can be answered if we are willing to hear the wisdom the Bible provides. Open our ears, Lord, so we can hear Your voice behind us!

Dear Lord, I’ve grown so used to trusting my heart; in fact, that is all I’ve known to do most times. Please help me to discern Your voice behind me and give me the discipline to read and understand the wisdom You have already provided in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Lynn’s blog.

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

My Life Unscripted: Who’s Writing Your Life? by Tricia Goyer

Think About It:
Have you made decisions in the past that you regret? Try to identify the emotion or motivation behind that decision.

What types of questions could you ask yourself in the future to help prevent you from making the wrong decision? Some might be: Does this pathway glorify God? Would I be comfortable sharing this decision with others such as my parents, my children or my spouse? Will this decision take me in the direction that I want to go?

Live It:
Are there decisions in your life that you are in the process of making and haven’t yet consulted the Lord about them? Take some time to talk with Him about them and then using a concordance or BibleGateway.com, do a study and see if the Bible has anything specific to say about your decision. Ask another who is further along in their faith if they are aware of any verses that have to do with the decision you need to make.

Power Verses:
1 Kings 22:5, “But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ’First seek the counsel of the LORD.’” (NIV)

Psalm 119:24, “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.


Tell Us About It:

What sources help guide you when making a decision?

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