Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Way Forward Is Backwards

"A man's steps are of the Lord: how then can a man understand his own way?"
Proverbs 20:24 (NKJV)

From regional trains, that stop at every town, to the high-speed Intercity Express trains, there are different kinds of trains that operate within Germany.  I have passed through the city of Stuttgart several times as I have traveled to cities in the southern part of Germany.  The first time I took this trip I was a little surprised, because once you get to Stuttgart to pick up and drop off passengers you then leave the station traveling in the direction that you just came from.  The first time this happened I was a bit shocked, but I soon realized that the train was just making its way out of the station and not really going the wrong direction.

When we are traveling somewhere we usually have an idea of where we are going and we would normally check the travel options to find the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get to our destination.  But, our path in life is not like a trip to some natural location.  As we follow God and the plan He has for our life there will be times that we are not really able to figure out exactly how the direction we are going now will take us to where we want to go.  Sometimes to get to where we need to be it seems like God will first take us backwards before we go forwards.

It is really not possible for us to understand everything about the direction God has for our life.  If we could understand everything on our own we would not need God and we would not have to walk by faith, as the Bible shows us (2 Corinthians 5:7).  Since God is the One who leads and directs us, it should not be too surprising that we can't always figure out for ourselves exactly how the steps we take today will lead us into the bright future that God has planned for us.  To be able to get to where we need to go in our life and to do the things we need to do we must learn to trust God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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