Not many of us like to be led. We prefer to rely on ourselves, thank you very much, using our brains, battered guide book, rusty compass and trusty map, or maybe our i-pad. It can’t be that hard to find the way, can it? Well… sometimes it is. Before long, we realise we are lost and cannot make out the way ahead.
I have a terrible sense of direction. As a child, I clumsily daydreamed as I walked, lost in my own world, much to my parents’ annoyance. It was especially hard for them if I didn’t pay attention when crossing busy roads. Because it led to several close shaves and a collision with a car when I was six years old.
Thankfully, I’m accompanied these days whenever I navigate outside the house. Just to be on the safe side, of course. So I don’t get lost or hurt! 😏 Because using walking sticks or wheelchairs can make you feel more vulnerable than striding along with confidence on your own two legs, which I haven’t been able to manage for years.
Why we need guidance
It’s not advisable to do life alone. We all need others to offer guidance, companionship and support. I’ve found that especially true on the chronic illness journey. Life is far less daunting with loved ones, family and friends.
When we feel lost, we might wonder who to turn to and ask for help. How do we know who to trust if we’ve always relied on ourselves? Maybe that’s the whole problem. Too much reliance on self-sufficiency could be the downfall of you and me.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” — Proverbs 3:5-6
Sometimes arrogance fuels our desire to go it alone. Perhaps we have an adventurous or maverick streak. Or we’re reacting to confinement forced on us by painful circumstances. When life gets rocky we often cling to whatever gives us confidence.
Even now, after decades of walking with God, I still struggle to relinquish my hold on things. It manifests as insecurity, a need for control, including micro-managing my husband, my space, my home. Maybe you can relate?
Tackling the insecurity of being led
Scripture reveals we can believe in ourselves because we are so very precious to God and His wonder fills and floods our hearts. He also provides the power to rise above our self-preoccupation. Which means we can occupy ourselves as He directs by His grace.
“He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me.” — Psalm 18:19 TLB
Our place in the scheme of things might look miniscule to our eyes. But that’s because we have failed to appreciate that not everybody’s calling will be the exact same size. What matters most to God is our surrendered faithfulness to perform. And our willingness to be a witness with our lives, works and words.
All the while, God gently urges and encourages us forwards, and provides soul food for the journey. We’re emboldened to take the first step and then the next, as we walk where God has already planted His feet.
Our equipping on the path of faith
Holy Spirit is our instigator and guide as we walk through life. If we examine our own resources they might look too meagre to count. Or we could become prideful and reliant on ourselves. Therefore God ensures we are well equipped for the task at hand, as He provides for all we might face. And He ensures we are protectively led.
The equipping may not come all at once. Faith requires us to walk a lot in the dark. We’re asked to grasp uncertainty before the way ahead is revealed. And to trust where we cannot see. Although we are not alone. God’s presence never leaves us. Not for a second. Even if we fail to sense Him close, God will never abandon or leave us to our own devices.
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” — 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV
How are you tracing God’s hand at work in your life? How hard is it for you to walk by faith? I would love you to share in the comments below. 🙂
These words are so beautiful today, and hit me square on again. Even from my own small space, acknowledging there is so little I can do, I yet will try to overextend myself, or feel shame about those things that I cannot do any longer! But what precious relief and help He brings to me when I listen for HIM, just as you spoke in these words: “Holy Spirit is our instigator and guide as we walk through life. If we examine our own resources they might look too meagre to count. Or we could become prideful and reliant on ourselves. Therefore God ensures we are well equipped for the task at hand, as He provides for all we might face. And He ensures we are protectively led.” I am so thankful for His protection over my every step! Thank you for speaking His heart today. Love and hugs to you Dear Friend! xoxo
Dear Bettie, I am similarly tempted to “overextend myself, or feel shame about those things I cannot do any longer” in my own small space. Perhaps we always will be subject to such activities and feelings. But it makes a great difference and gives us such “precious relief”, just as you say, to listen to God and seek to obey Him above our natural inclinations. I join you in being grateful for God’s overseeing, as I marvel at how patiently He waits for us to depend on His unlimited resources, instead of our finite ones! I’m glad you were inspired and encouraged here today. Love and hugs returned to you, dear friend! xoxo 💜
“What matters most to God is our surrendered faithfulness to perform. And our willingness to be a witness with our lives, works and words.” Yes, this is so true. We don’t need to compare ourselves with others. God has given each of us our own life and it won’t look like someone else’s. Nothing really is too small if God has called us to do it. Maybe we can’t do what others do, but God doesn’t expect us to. May we not put expectations on ourselves that God has not put before us. May we trust that He knows best and then be faithful in our little corners. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear Joy! xoxo Thank you for this post.
You’re right, Gayl, we don’t need to compare ourselves with others. But oh, the temptation to do it is so strong and hard to resist at times! Even though it either inflates our sense of self-importance with pride or leaves us feeling inadequate and insecure. Neither of which are healthy responses. I love how you’ve balanced this danger with these words: “Nothing really is too small if God has called us to do it.” And with this wisdom: “May we not put expectations on ourselves that God has not put before us.” Indeed, my friend! Let’s aim to stay faithful with the calling God has placed on us, and seek to remain content in our small corners. If God desires bigger things to be given to us, then may we also have the courage and trust to say yes to Him. Blessings, love and grateful hugs to you, dear friend! I love the insights you have shared. Thank you so much for contributing to the conversation here. xoxo 💜
Your words really spoke to me today. I also struggle to relinquish my hold on things. I have this distorted view that I can handle everything by myself. This usually doesn’t work out so well. Thank you for all of these words, but these especially —-> What matters most to God is our surrendered faithfulness to perform. And our willingness to be a witness with our lives, works and words. Amen.
Thank you for writing such beautiful words of truth. You are a blessing.
Mary, I think it’s a lifelong struggle and a gradual process to surrender our lives to God. Our natural desires to hoard things to ourselves, and to try to live as independently as possible, vie with the way of release that faith requires of us. I agree with you in noting how our stubborn clinging to things tends not to work out so well. As God gently helps us to prise our fingers off those areas He would like authority over, it does get a little easier to let go. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your insights on this topic. You are a blessing and encouragement to me! 💜
Beautiful encouragement, Joy. So much wisdom. This speaks to me the most: “We’re emboldened to take the first step and then the next, as we walk where God has already planted His feet.” Knowing He’s walked before us is such precious reassurance.
Yes, it is “such precious reassurance”, Anna. And the wonder of it is that God also walks beside us as we take our steps of faith. In every way we are circled by His loving protection and grace. So we never step out as blindly as we might think, or unaccompanied and alone. May you rest in the encouragement of that truth. Blessings, love and hugs. xo 💜