During my work week, I spend lunch times reading, praying, listening to my favorite music, or to the radio. Today as I flipped through the stations, I heard a minister say, “You know those old lanterns didn’t cast much light.” I remained on that particular station and listened to a few more minutes of his story. He said when he was very young, he would follow his dad down a road in the countryside that didn’t yet have electricity in that area. His father held an old lantern in front of them to see where to walk, and as long as he followed his dad, he was safe, and didn’t get lost. The lantern only shined light at their feet, and did not show them the road beyond. They had no idea what lay ahead. Was there a ditch, a bend in the road, a washout, an animal or snake? They could only see far enough to walk the path right in front of them.
I changed stations to catch some music, but couldn’t put the minister’s lantern comment out of my mind. The Holy Spirit nudged my heart and said, “That’s how the Father leads you most of the time. His light to guide your life path, but always wanting you to stay close to Him for safety and direction, and when you do, you make it to the destination He’s leading you to.”
Wow, how many times in my life has that been the case? Almost every day! God lights our path with his word, during prayer as we ask for guidance or help, the Holy Spirit speaks to us if we keep our heart towards the Father. Sometimes, He lights our path through people and circumstances, through pain and joy. These are just a few of the things that come to mind. He may use nature-His creation, or a song, artwork, a book, but something illuminates right in front of us. I love that about God, when my light bulb comes on and I say,” O.K., I see what you’re doing, now.”
I believe God gives us dreams and prophetic words to help guide us, but usually, it’s the constant truth of His word, prayer and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I wish He’d say, “In six months, this particular thing is going to happen, so get ready, or, next year you’ll be at a different job and there will be a new child in your life.” We think that would be good, if God just audibly told us our future; but we would worry, try to manipulate details and avoid doing other things He wants us to do. Being human, we’d probably mess it up. He knows our frailties, and He wants us to get to know Him. We can only do that by spending time with Him, talking, worshiping and LISTENING. So, for our good, Father God knows to shine light on the path just at our feet, and trust Him enough to follow along behind to the destiny His great love has provided for us.
Besides, how many people would hear God if He wanted to give you His long-term plans for your life? I’m sorry to say, not very many. Being able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit takes a personal decision to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Even after that, it takes time to recognize His voice, which is usually “still and small”. You need a repentant heart, and the genuine desire to seek God’s face and get to know Him. It’s something I seek in my life. I ebb and flow. I feel close and far away, but I know His Spirit lives inside me, guiding me, loving me, and like a good parent, chastising me when necessary. Unconditional love.
So, when something happens in your life you don’t understand, or when you make choices you wish you could reverse, or choices you shouldn’t have made, He’s there, moving the lantern, saying,”It’s alright. I’m here. Follow My light. I love you, and if you’ll ask, I’ll forgive and cleanse you. Don’t be afraid. I have a plan. I KNOW THE ROAD AND I’LL LEAD YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.”