Here is the Way
Lynn Cowell

"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.'" Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Should we say yes? It is seems like such a great opportunity. Besides, we deserve it, don't we? I mean, we never do anything for ourselves …

Once again, my mind is swirling with the pros and cons of the decision my husband and I face. 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? Can I trust it?

Like most of you, I have been at this place before. The places of crossroads where choices are clear, but direction is not. The columns of "good" and "bad" on the paper don't seem to give us the answer we need. That is how logical people make decisions, isn't it? But it isn't working; so which way do we go?

My friend was recently running before sun-up. She was alone as her partner had run on ahead. She came across a patch of sidewalk where there were no street lights. It was dark and hard to see where to go ahead, and she began to feel afraid. "Lord, You are going to have to help me." she prayed. Then a car approached from behind, casting light onto her path. The closer it got, the clearer she could see. She sensed the Lord wanted her to know that just as He was with her when she was running, so in life He is behind her, shining light on her path and protecting her back.

Our key verse in Isaiah causes me to reflect on the whole decision-making process when trying to discern the right path. "…Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" But what about the voice we frequently hear, saying, "Follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong!" That voice is the voice from within, not the voice from behind.

Maybe some of you grew up memorizing verses like I did. Back then, so many of the verses didn't make sense to me. One in particular was Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (NIV). That seemed like a depressing verse! Yet now as an adult I am finally beginning to unpack the wisdom.

You see, we can't in fact follow our heart. Our heart can't be trusted. Our heart will lie to us and tell us things we want to hear instead of the truth 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 the crossroads, the first place to turn is God's Word. So many of the questions we ask can be answered there 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, it is all I've known to do most times. Please help me discern Your voice behind me and give me the discipline to read the wisdom You have already provided in Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Visit Lynn’s blog

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

Check out our radio program, Listening to God, for more encouragement

Application Steps:
Are there decisions in your life you are in the process of making and haven't yet consulted the Lord? Take some time to talk with Him and use a concordance or BibleGateway to study and see what the Bible has to say about your dilemma.

Ask another person 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.

Have you made some decisions in the past 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 you prevent 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 I want to go?

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.

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Blogger KARUNIA said...

Hearing and knowing His lead or His way need much practice/exercise more and more times.... when the confusion come a head the simple way to do is asking Him at that time. "God, what is it?" and I always silent a minute got peace,to process the prob. before doing or do any reaction. Even can't to compare if my way is from God or just as my emotional I use to ask His peace to face that way. Well, down on pray at the time is more useful where ever we are with whatever the prob.

Need much practice and willingness to do...

Thank you, Just by HIM :-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of how God was in front of Israel and behind them when they were wandering in the wilderness. Praising the Lord for His guidance to Israel and to us. Thanks.

Blogger Unknown said...

I have strayed from reading daily and a friend just brought me back. I LOVE the butterflies you guys give me when God is talking to me.
I hope that makes sense, I am a little kookie :)

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

Thank you for this devotional. I am at the crossroads waiting for God's direction. I am hoping and praying for a full time job for my husband and a job closer to home for me. I feel called to serve in the youth ministry in our church, but unless my husband gets another job I would not be able to take that on. I need paitence to wait on God's timing and direction but also peace that He has something great in store. Thanks again for this reminder.

Blogger Julie Cagwin said...

Behind me... giving me just enough light for the road ahead. Not more then my mind can handle.

If He showed me too much it could so easily cause me to depend on my flesh...bring fear where it is unwarranted. He brings hope, guideance and peace.

"wait and know that I am God."

Thank you Lynn.. good stuff.

Blogger Nancy M. said...

Just this morning I received the advice "follow your heart" regarding some decisions I am hoping to need to make (job pre-interview today!!). Thank you for your oh-so timely reminder (how do you DO that?) that my heart is sinful & that following it got me into some pretty big messes in my life.

I love the visual of the headlights illuminating the runner's path from behind (honestly tho, that would have scared the daylights out of me. :-) )

Thanks for good stuff today.

Blogger Nancy said...

Thank you, Lynn. This is so timely. God revealed this truth to me over a year ago. I have personally witnessed so much destruction in the wake of those who are more concerned about being happy and following their heart rather than being obedient to the person of Jesus. I am so grateful for His revelation to me about this and your timely reminder. God bless.

Blogger Joan Davis (Jo) said...

What is the right path? That is always so confusing... especially when it is a big decision! I think sometimes the difficulty comes because we fail to trust God. I need to remember that His way is ALWAYS the best way. Our hearts are tricky things, but God's Word is always sure and trustworthy. The answers are in there.

Anonymous Kelli said...

WOW! Such a powerful word! I have already Tweeted it and e-mailed it to people I know.
I love this part:

Our key verse in Isaiah causes me to reflect on the whole decision-making process when trying to discern the right path. "...Your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" But what about the voice we frequently hear, saying, "Follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong!" That voice is the voice from within, not the voice from behind.

I never thought of it that way before. How absolutely true it is!
Thank you, LORD for once again opening up YOUR Word to me and revealing it in a whole new light.

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