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Seeds of the Kingdom

Following the Path

by Denise Cross

Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go.
Nehemiah 9:19, NKJV

In the past I’ve often found myself talking with people about how they can be sure of the next direction God’s leading them in. During the discussion we’ve invariably agreed that a pillar of fire, or even a large neon sign, would be the most helpful, but that, in reality, neither were likely to be forthcoming.

But God does want to ‘show us the way we should go’ through the wilderness of modern life. So how do we know the next step in our uniquely personal walk of destiny? We need to move on, but the way ahead may seem unclear.

God rarely gives us an unmistakable ‘pillar of fire’, or even a continuous rope to grasp hand-over-hand. Instead He leaves clear signs to all who are seeking His direction, to urge them on along His chosen path. The problem is we don’t always recognise these signs in the midst of everything else that surrounds us, daily declaring “Come this way”. It reminds me of how we used to try to follow a track of stick-arrows in the forest, a favourite game of mine when I was a child.

The amazing thing was that it was very easy to find the stick arrows when I was confidently on the trail. The next arrow seemed easily identified as my eyes followed the clear direction given by the past one. However, if I didn’t stop and look carefully, and I rushed ahead and lost the trail, it was extremely difficult to find it again. It seemed there were sticks everywhere, all higgledy-piggledy, and the arrows disappeared in the general chaos of the forest floor.

I wonder if you sometimes feel you’ve lost God’s path for your life. It used to be clear, but now you seem to have lost a sense of certainty and you can’t find any reassuring signs of being on the right track. If ever you do feel like that, you may have to do what we learned to do when we lost the stick-arrow trail. We learned that going round and round searching randomly for another arrow was usually unfruitful, but if we went back to the last certain arrow on the path, and took a much more careful look at the exact direction that was being indicated, we could get back on track without too much problem.

Certainly in my life there have been times when I’ve seemed to lose the God-planned way ahead and I’ve felt uncertain of how to get back on track. But when I returned to the last clear indicator of being on God’s planned path and started to seek His direction more specifically from that point, somehow the path ahead became clear again. If you feel a bit off-track today, I pray this will be so for you as well.

Strong>Prayer: Father I want to follow Your unique path for my life and fulfil my destiny. However, along the way, I sometimes lose the clear direction of Your guidance. When this happens, help me to return to the last place of certainty on the path, and seek Your direction again from that position. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Denise Cross is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.


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