Life is an interesting journey. Too often, I’ve looked at it as isolated events. Sometimes these events are short, easy, and great. Sometimes they are long, drawn out, and not so fun. I’ve come to realize that I’m not going from event to event, with lulls in between. We’re each on a journey, we just may not be on the same leg of it at the same time.
For me, my journey has taken me through multiple moves (I stopped telling people the number, because it seems so high!), situations that have caused joy, pain, and ultimately growth, and allowed me to encounter numerous people. Pain, hurt, joy, excitement—they are a part of everyone’s journey. Along the way through this journey, I’ve often pondered why certain things happen or how I’m supposed to make it through an extremely difficult part.
Each leg of my journey included prayer. Sometimes prayer came before it began, often it came in the middle as I’m crying out to God to figure the mess out for me! It’s through some of those trials that I came to know and remember that when Jesus left this earth, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide us. There are multiple accounts throughout the Bible where we see guidance through the Holy Spirit. They make for great stories, until you realize, they aren’t just stories! They are truths and reminders, clues if you will, that this is for us, NOW.
As I’ve studied the book of Acts and the accounts of Paul’s journeys, I’ve seen how WILD a journey can be. Paul was a busy man! He traveled multiple places, he preached, he debated, he nearly escaped beatings and those pursuing him for death, he was beaten, he was jailed, yet he continued on. Some time after his conversion, he said,
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” I Corinthians 2:1-5.
Paul didn’t follow his journey on his own, he was led by the Holy Spirit. If you sit and read through his journeys, you will see times where the Holy Spirit forbid him to go places. Sometimes he was led to go other places through a dream. There were times where he was to quietly sneak out of the city to avoid capture, yet other times where he was jailed and used to bring others to Christ. There are multiple times where you see that the power of the Holy Spirit spoke through him BOLDLY, and lives were changed. This life he led, the journey he walked, was led by the Spirit. He was fully aware that he it was not his speech, but the power of the Spirit speaking through him.
It’s so easy to think of Pauls’ journey as just a story. It’s so easy to forget this power and its availability to us. It doesn’t mean that our journey will be like Paul’s or that we will be called to preach boldly to masses of people. It does mean that we will be guided, comforted, given wisdom, and walk each of our personal journeys being led by the Holy Spirit. I’m not perfect, near perfect, or even really good and being a follower. I mess up constantly! However, when I quiet myself, let go of my control, and ask for and allow the Holy Spirit to lead, my tongue is tamer, my attitude is calmer, my decisions are easier, and I don’t feel so alone as I travel through life.
Right now, I’m at a questioning phase. There are so many “things” going on, I can’t even categorize them. There are decisions to be made, tasks to be done, children’s habits to refine, so much that is causing me to ask questions from “How do I do it?” to “How would Jesus have handled this situation? What should I do?” I’m so quick to look around and see who are my friends that I could share this with. Who will listen? Who will have advice? Then I remember that the story of Paul and his journeys are not just a story. They are a reminder, a clue to me that I’m not meant to walk this journey alone. Yes, I have my husband and maybe a few friends that I could trust to talk with about certain parts. More than that, I have the Holy Spirit to ask all my questions of, to lead me, guide me, and give me wisdom about what to do.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on your own journey. Where are you at right now? Is your journey at a happy, life is going great point? I hope so! If it is, rejoice in that and use this calm time, to ask the Spirit to guide you. Is it at a questioning point? A difficult point? A “I don’t know how much longer I can take this” point? If so, use this calm time, to ask the Spirit to guide you. Wherever you are at on your journey, it’s the perfect time to invite the Holy Spirit to be a part, to guide you, and to teach you to listen. No one wants to journey alone!
Deuteronomy 31:6 (in the Old Testament) and Hebrews 13:5-6 (in the New Testament) remind us that God will never leave us nor forsake us. Hold on to those reminders and promises, allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and you may find that your journey is a little easier to handle.
Deuteronomy 31: 6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13: 5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Dear God, thank you for your promises. Thank you for your Spirit. Thank you that you desire a relationship with us and that you’ve given us your Holy Spirit to guide us. Help us learn to hear you as you guide us. Help us to allow you to guide us. Thank you for loving us! Amen.