Are You Still On The Right Path? – Part 2

Recap From Last Post

In my last post (you really need to read it!), I explained how Pastor Julio, a man I had just met, had listened to my story about following God’s lead in my family business. He listened to me tell him how I knew I was on the right path and committed to it regardless of the cost. He paid attention while I described the hardship I was enduring. Then he asked if he could give me some advice.

right path

He proceeded to tell me that he truly believed God had called me to make the changes I made. He agreed with my determination to persevere despite the tough conditions. But then he told me that he thought I was missing a key ingredient. He told me that it appeared I had stopped listening to God.

Stopped Listening?

At first, I stiffened. There was no way I had stopped listening! I was so sure he was wrong about this that I almost stopped listening to him!

Yet he pointed out examples of my refusal to listen to other godly people. He showed me how I was clearly taking God’s initial instructions and executing them, but at the same time I was not listening for further instructions. I was assuming God would never change my path.

Examples From Scripture

To make it easier for me to understand, he reminded me of a couple of examples from Scripture. First, he reminded me of the time Mary and Joseph had taken Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem. This was clearly God’s will for them to do this. They had started on the right path. However, on the return trip, it took them several days before they realized He was not with them. Instead, He was still at the temple talking with the teachers (Luke 2:41-50).

The next example Julio gave was the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. After waiting for many years to have their own son, Abraham and Sarah were blessed with Isaac. When Isaac was a young boy, God told Abraham to take him to the top of the mountain and offer him as a burnt offering! Abraham proceeded to do as God told him. He took the right path.

However, at the very moment he was about to slaughter Isaac, the Angel of the Lord stopped him. Though God had told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, it turned out it was only a test of Abraham’s commitment to God (Genesis 22:1-19).

My Situation

Julio took these two examples and applied them to my situation. He explained again that he agreed that I was originally on the right path – that God had called me to do what I was doing. At the same time, he felt I was proceeding almost blindly in that original direction. It was possible, he said, that Jesus was no longer “with me on the trip” or that God had been trying to get my attention for a direction change. Either way, Julio showed me that I was not listening carefully enough to know it if either case were true.

I sat there absorbing his words. I wanted to argue, but I knew he was right. I was so set on carrying out my orders that I was not prepared for a change in direction. My journey had become more about my determination to be obedient than actually being in God’s will. I had turned it into an effort to prove my strength of resolve.

My Reaction

The first thing I did was to go to my Dad and apologize. I explained that I was not yet changing direction, but that I had recognized my stubbornness. I committed to him that I would be open to listening for God to speak, either directly to me or through the counsel of other wise and godly men.

Then I committed to a renewed attitude in prayer. I began praying that God would show me the right path. If I was still on the right path, I asked for strength to continue. If I had left the right path, I asked for guidance to get back to it. My posture in prayer effectively went from an aggressive three-point stance to prostrate and face-down. I was determined to listen to that still, small voice.

The Right Path!

The cool thing? I was still on the right path! I am more certain of that now, because I started listening. The more I listened, the more God confirmed that I was headed in the right direction. Although I knew it was God that started me on that path, I had clearly lost connection with Him and had taken over the wheel.

Thanks to Pastor Julio, I was back in the passenger seat and loving it! The struggle on the path did not go away immediately, but much of the stress did.

Has this ever happened to you?

Did you get back on the right path or are you still driving?

What are you going to do about it?

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  • In my study of John’s gospel I learned very clearly that even when we believe we are on the right path of leadership we can develop spiritual blindness which leads quickly to spiritual deafness. The only cure is humility. I have found myself on that scary path, but remembered Psalm 119:105…Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.

    Chris, clearly you have found the right path and are committed to true servant-leadership under His daily direction and power. 

    • Thanks Coach. At the same time, due to my “maleness” I continue to have to look for it over and over.

      •  I understand and can relate, men do not need maps or instructions! However trusting in GPS is not a bad thing: God’s Powerful Spirit… It has been around a lot longer than anything man has come up with.

  • Kstephenson

    Thanks for this post, Chris!  Truly a challenge to me as a business owner.  I find myself each day asking the Lord to help me be flexible and dependent on Him for all aspects of my business day, including which clients He brings to me and which caregivers I assign to those clients.  I have found that as long as I approach my business as His employee, I can be what He wants me to be and minister to others with my business.  It’s when I start thinking of myself as the boss that I run off into a ditch.  I named my corporation H I S Unlimited to try to remind me and others each day who this business actually belongs to!

  • As I read this post, I realized how many times I have received direction from God and then moved full steam ahead without Him only to find myself derailed somewhere down the line. The past two years have been a process of me getting back on the right path instead of continually moving forward on my own. But even in the past two years, I have failed to keep focused on God after I received clear direction. Sure, I had stints of going back to Him and getting direction again, but I continually have felt stalled or stuck, and I think it’s because I keep leaving Him alongside the path all the time. Thankfully, He’s always there waiting for me again… and always very close by. I need to continually seek guidance from Him, not just when I feel stuck or stalled. Maybe I won’t get stuck or stalled as much.

    • Kari, you are not alone! We all struggle with this to some degree. Consider getting an accountability partner that can remind you when you forget!

  • You are welcome! You are on the right track. Keep it up!