‘I don’t know if I’m walking in God’s will…’ ‘What is His plan for my life?’ ‘This path doesn’t look like it’s leading anywhere fruitful or where I wanna be!’
Maybe you relate to the above, maybe you don’t. The reality is that the directions to your destination - or destiny - exist, kinda like a destination in Google Maps. Kinda.
Except unlike Google Maps, we are only shown a fraction of the route at any one time. Everything else beyond a few steps ahead seems shrouded in mystery. How then are we supposed to know where we’re going? Or whether we’re heading in the right direction? Or whether we are even going anywhere at all?
Proverbs 25:2 tells us that ‘it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.’
God has already provided for us everything we need for this crazy road trip. We just need to search it out - it’s a sub-quest that will hopefully help us figure out what the main quest is (it’s possible and even likely we only find out at the end of the road).
And each of us has a unique quest - a mission, mandate, calling, purpose, destiny - designed specifically for us. Your quest isn’t your BFF’s, your parents’, or your spouse’s; at least not in its entirety. You will find overlapping missions along the way, and oftentimes accomplishing them requires the full participation of a team (after which you may split to resume your respective quests), but never has God designed two identical life trajectories.
He has, however, given us all a framework - the same framework - within which each of our unique quests and sub-quests intertwine. For His glory, He ‘conceals’ it; not because He wants to see us panic like Gollum when he lost the One Ring. He means for us to search out and eventually find what He conceals. You see, He doesn’t hide things from us - He hides them for us.
Where do we search though? What is our reference point to begin with? The only one worth your time - His Word.
Understanding God’s Positioning System: 3 Principles
Here are three principles from Scripture that, when put together like pieces of a puzzle, reveal how God’s Positioning System (GPS) works. We’d do well to heed them, because operating under any other system without God in the picture - such as horoscopes, tradition, philosophy, or even logic - would be incomplete at best, and lead you to utter ruin at worst.
One: Seek first His kingdom
‘But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.’
This principle is first and foremost, because it is so explicitly clear about where our eyes need to focus on - His kingdom and His righteousness. If you want to take the next left because you’re motivated by your pride or greed, don’t do it! If a particular detour would compromise your living of a righteous life, then rule that path out!
It’s not complicated. We need to consciously be aware of the posture of our hearts, and take the routes that do not seek the Self, but His kingdom. Continue this way and, as the verse promises, everything we need to complete the journey - all the fuel, snacks, and people for carpool karaoke - will be provided.
Two: His word gives us direction
‘Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.’
We may think ‘the Word’ refers to the Bible, and it does, but it’s deeper than that.
‘Word’ in the above Scripture is the Hebrew word ‘dâbâr’, which conveys the idea of spoken word. The Lord has spoken and is speaking through the Bible, yes. But this verse tells us He also speaks in the present. As much we heed the written word, we need also to heed what He is speaking to you in the here and now, because that spoken word will bring light to our feet (shows us where we’re at) and our path ahead (shows us where we’re going). If you know your GPS works well (and in God’s case, it really does), then listen to what it says!
Of course, ‘How to hear God’ would probably be a topic for a whole other article (or essay), but I’ll summarise it broadly with this: relationship and practice.
Would you share your deepest secrets and insights to someone who doesn’t prioritise you, to whom you’re not close? No. If you want access to His secrets, build that relationship with Him, the way you would with a best friend or even a lover.
And as with any skill, hearing God requires practice to hone and sharpen. And the only way to do that is not just the listening; it’s obeying what He tells you. How else will you be able to verify that the word He just said was true, unless you see the fruit of your obedience to it? Keep it up for long enough and you’ll eventually begin to recognise and discern His voice from amongst the multitude of other voices.
Three: His thoughts and ways are higher
‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”’
We usually think we know better than most people, sometimes than even God. That’s pride talking. This passage is about casting down that pride, what we think we know, our right to ourselves, our achievements, our intellect - our crowns - before God’s throne and choosing to surrender to His infinite wisdom.
This means that if the GPS tells you to make a turn that you think you ‘know’ to be wrong, do it anyway. It’s about submitting to His voice, regardless if it makes sense. You can’t expect a stick-man to understand the three dimensional realm, a foetus to understand office politics, nor a toddler to understand Quantum Mechanics; likewise, don’t expect yourself to understand the ways and thoughts of God.
All things work for good
‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’
As believers, we have already been called. And if we choose to love Him too, then, well, we live within one of the greatest promises in the Bible - the truth that all things will work together for our good.
All things. Yes, even the mistakes and wrong turns, no matter how far off-track we’ve traveled. All that will work together for our benefit. It’s a brilliant, fool-proof system! Because of this, our greatest ‘failures’ are not actually failures at all, but stepping stones toward the great good that God has already plotted in our trajectory!
Nothing is irredeemable. Nothing is wasted. We may make mistakes, but God never does.
We have decisions to make
We may drive on this route with a heart that seeks God first, we may listen to His voice, surrender to His wisdom, and love Him. But ultimately, we are the ones making the decisions about the trajectory we’re on, the turns to take, whether to stop or go, when to start signalling, the rate of acceleration, etc. He may speak and we may hear, but it’s us who decides whether to obey.
And if you think you’re not positioned to make the right decisions, well, that’s untrue.
‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’
2 Timothy 1:7
He has already equipped us to make decisions in life. And even if we occasionally make the wrong ones, it’s working for our good anyway!
So take heart, have faith, and don’t quit driving. Know that there is no road or place too far where His hand and heart cannot reach you, to re-route you back into alignment with Him.