“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.”
-1 Peter 2:21
A lot of crazy stuff happens in life. That should be its’ definition, a bunch of crazy stuff that comes up and you have to face. It can be difficult, like really difficult. We have heartache, pain, loss, and countless other factors that can change our lives. The first step in all of it is to trust God, but often we are left with one question. Now what? What happens when we make that choice to follow God, what am I supposed to do? This is a question that I think we all must come to terms with at some point in our walks. Whether you have just made a decision to follow God or have been following him for what seems like ages, we all must come face to face with this question. Because here’s the truth, when you make the decision to follow Christ, he wants all of you. He doesn’t just want you on Sunday mornings or in some Instagram post of your quiet time, he wants you. Last week I wrote a piece about the love note that God has written to each of us, and this week I want to share the guide map that he has laid out for us to follow.
Have you ever gone on a hike before? One of my favorite places on earth is Stone Mountain National Park, it’s the place where God spoke to me to become a writer. If you search the archives of this blog you can find one of my first real posts after I experienced this (I believe it is called, “Recharge”), so back on topic. When I visited this park, I had to first look at the map of the mountain itself. I had to do this so I could learn the path of where I was going and know the color of the marks that I would need to keep an eye out for to know that I was on the right track. The map showed the topography of what I was about to walk, and knowing it was a four mile journey to the top and back, I needed to know what I was walking into. I didn’t have clear pictures of exactly what it looked like, but I had a guide that I needed to follow to make the journey. I think the same is true with God, he has laid out a map to guide us. I don’t know what your path looks like just like I don’t know what my own looks like, but what I do know is that God wants everything. He wants you. Maybe you feel like you don’t like where you’re headed on your own and maybe you are wanting to change the direction of your life, so today, this is for you. No matter how young or old you are, God has given us a guide for the journey we must all face.
The best part about this crazy journey called life, is that God has in fact given us a physical guide. We have his word, and this is our first step. We need to study his word because in it we see the lives of people who have gone before us and what they want to teach us. We have the account of Jesus’ life, and that is what we need to pursue. None of us are perfect people, but we have a perfect person that was an example for each and every one of us. Jesus should be our first love, the one we trust in, the one who we put our devotion towards. His life was filled with wisdom and love. He saw people for who they are, people that have been made by God with a purpose. We need to follow God with everything, he should be the number one in our life, and everything else comes after. We need to follow.
This is the second aspect of our guide, and it’s one that many forget to do. We are called to serve those around us, because when we serve, our life becomes an example of Christ’s love. We need to be active in pursuing the lives of others, we need to no longer be okay with just being passive. Faith is an active pursuit, so be active. God doesn’t call us to be content with where we are, he calls us to pursue him and serve others. We have been called to make disciples of all nations. This means every single person, good or bad, has been called by God. It’s up to us to share with them, so don’t hold back. Share your story, let God take you places you’ve never been before, and act on what he calls you to.
This is vital to the guide, we need to be in contact with the one who we are pursuing. When we choose Christ, we are entering into a relationship. Relationships require communication, that’s how it works and grows. The same is true with God, we need to be continually in conversation with him. This is the only way we can truly know him and follow what he wants us to do. You may have noticed that I’m not giving specific details of what you should do next, and that’s simply because it isn’t my job. That job is designed for God, this is simply the basic guide, and he will fill in the details. The only way to receive the details is to spend time in prayer with him all the time. Spend time in prayer and he will reveal the specifics for your life.
I don’t know what’s next for your life. I don’t know what might be next for mine. What I do know, and can promise, is that when we ask God to have his way in our life, nothing will be the same. Maybe he’s calling you to another part of the world, or maybe he’d calling you to move into another career. Maybe he is calling you to move away from the people that only pull you down, or maybe he’s calling you to step out of that relationship. No matter what it is, God is calling you to something greater. He has set out the guide for us, and now it’s our turn. We can either look at the guide and follow it into the unknown all while knowing God is leading us, or we can choose to go our own way. God wants you to choose him, because he chose you first. God wants you. God wants all of you. So answer the call, follow, act, and pray.
God has given you the guide, now enter the journey.