Living in God’s story is like a journey, so how do we know if we are on the right path?
Well, for starters, the journey of following Jesus isn’t an easy one. It’s the most exciting adventure we will ever take, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.
I’m finding that adventure rarely comes without challenge and danger. The path that Jesus calls us to take is not a well-worn trail that many have traveled, but rather a narrow road through the woods that is sometimes dark and scary and filled with brush and wild animals.
For me, choosing to live in God’s story and follow Him is more like tracking in the wilderness than following GPS directions. We have to be alert and paying close attention, searching for those little markers that indicate we are working in the right direction. We have to know and understand the person we are following; we have to have a good understanding of the way they work and the clues they leave for us to follow.
In the Bible, God tells us to seek Him, but He also promises that He will be found. He’s not hiding so we will never find Him but rather calling us to adventure with Him, to follow Him into the places where few have gone. Following Jesus is awesome. (Terrifying, sometimes, but always awesome!) One of the things I’m learning is that the promises God makes often only come as a result of choosing to step out of our comfort zone and into the great unknown.
Our God is a crazy God, and His story is a crazy story. The Bible is not a nice, neat little collection of bedtime tales; it is a radical, dangerous, passionate, out-of-this-world epic saga! If we follow Him, we should be expectant of nothing less.
Following Jesus (like really following Him) is not for the faint of heart. There is only one reason to follow Jesus: to be like Him and to be with Him.
We can know with certainty that God has a plan and purpose for our lives; the Bible tells us so. But more than being concerned with a very specific role that we are to fulfill, God has one main desire for our lives: He wants us to be with Him. God’s will for our lives is that we would abide with Him, which just means to remain in His presence. It means to actively pursue Him, chase after Him, to never cease to seek Him out.
If we want to know God’s will for our lives, here it is: to be like Him and to be with Him.
Now does God have a specific desire for the way in which that will play out in our lives? Sure, I think so. But I also think that plan can change. God’s plan for us to look like Him and be with Him can play out in different ways at various points in our lives. But that’s the fun part! That’s what makes it an adventure!
The God of the universe is asking us to join Him in writing the most amazing story! How cool is that?
But perhaps the even cooler part is this: when we are living in God’s story and following in His footsteps, He confirms it for us all along the way. Like little sign posts along a trail, God has this way of showing up at just the right moment. At the exact second when we need it most, when we are weary and in need of direction, we will find a broken twig or a muddy footprint, some sort of sign that is His way of saying, “Yes, you are on the right path.”