When you’re baking a cake, you have an idea of what it’s supposed to look like when you finish, right? Somewhere you have a visual, whether it’s a memory or a picture you’ve seen attached to a recipe. We go forward with confidence because we have all the ingredients and we have a roadmap (or recipe) that is supposed to get us to the vision we have in mind.
In the Book of Acts, we see the importance of obedience. The difference is that the outcome is not always what we have envisioned when we obediently follow Christ. We have to let go of the urge to know each step in His plan for us but to take every single step with confidence, believing that each subsequent step will be revealed to us in just the right time AND is building toward the outcome that God wants. We just have to trust that in the end, it’ll all be worth the effort.
In our flesh, the minute that something goes left, we wonder what went wrong. Did we miss a step? Should we stop, throw it out, and start over? Did we mishear God in the first place? All of these thoughts should cause us to pause and re-center by asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thinking and re-focus us on God.
This trusting without knowing is hard, but it does get easier the more we build our relationship with God. With each encounter, He’s building our little faith bank. We don’t know the path that God intends to take to get us where He wants us to be. We aren’t the first to experience pathway deviations!
- God took Peter on a different path to become the cornerstone of His church.
- God took Saul on a different path to become the most prolific and passionate teacher Paul of all time.
- And believe it or not, God is taking Kanye West on a different path to evangelize to a whole different generation of believers.
And he has taken me on a very different path to where I thought I was heading. What about you? When you look back over your life, do you see the recipe deviations that God has taken to get you where you are today?
Sometimes we get to see the full outcome of what God is doing through us, and sometimes we don’t. Peter was a witness to God’s taking a different path when He sent angels to rescue him from prison. It’s amazing to me to notice the change in the Peter who freaked out in the boat during the storm when Jesus slept. Yet, Peter slept in Acts 12:6 when he was in the storm of prison confinement. His faith had grown to the point that he could rest in knowing that God would take care of him.
I can bear witness to God taking a different path when he moved me from a comfortable and familiar place to a different place. But as we become more obedient, trust in God grows. You can’t have one without the other. Sitting on the fence is not an option. To fully rest in God as Peter did requires that we make a stand just as Joshua did in Joshua 24:15, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I’m getting comfortable with knowing that I’m probably not always going to know what the outcome will be, but I do know the One who is charge of the planning and my trust is in Him.