by Leanne Purvis
Like most people, I don’t like being told what to do. I like to have the freedom to do things my own way, in my own time. However, there are times when I love to take directions, in fact I crave direction from others. I love to take directions that help me get to where I am going, by a trusted source. Today was one of those times when I needed directions.
As part of my New Year’s resolution to become more confident riding a motorbike around Phnom Penh Cambodia, I braved riding solo the furthest distance I’ve ridden yet, on unfamiliar roads. I strapped my phone to my arm, stuck a wireless earpiece in my ears, prayed, and set off excitedly, embracing the challenge. It was hard for me to hear the Google maps’ prompts over the traffic, and difficult to see the map whilst riding. My sense of direction and distance did not help. After a few “detours” and choices between following my instincts or trying to follow the voice in my ears, I realised that I had put a lot of faith in Google maps directions. Sometimes the Google maps directions were very helpful, however sometimes they were not. At times I was directed down a road, only to be asked to make a ‘U-turn’. At other times I was directed along a winding route, rather than a more direct route. Eventually though, I arrived safely.
This experience made me consider how I take directions from God. It made me consider my communication with God, and my ability to hear and see Him. How can I expect to hear God clearly when I am distracted, time poor, or treating my prayer life like a child’s wish list for Santa. Regardless of whether I’ve been naughty or nice, I want to receive good gifts and blessings. Yet I need to take directions from my Creator, if I want to be the best person I can be, and I may not get what I expect. It can be tempting for me to blame God for “bad” directions, when in fact it is my fault for not listening properly. I need to acknowledge that I need to repent for times when I have sinned and wronged God or others, and show myself grace, so that I learn from my mistakes and move forward.
God is the master gardener, and whether we are being pruned or cut off as described in John 15:1,2, it hurts and can be confusing as to which is occurring. God does promise to guide us, and that we will find Him when we really seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13) and remain in Him (John 15:4-8). So, despite things looking like detours and a waste of time, they’re actually the right direction (Romans 8:28-30; Prov 16:9).
Therefore, my New Year’s resolution is to take directions from God, spending time in His Word, in prayer, with His people, and trusting Him with the direction my life takes. It is my prayer for you too.
Leanne and her husband Alan recently moved to Cambodia. Their goal is to encourage the local churches and pastors, assisting with discipleship and church planting. Along with other WEC members, they aim to work particularly in areas that have not had an opportunity to hear the freeing good news of Jesus’ sacrifice, restoring relationships to have life with the Father. For more details and to subscribe to their newsletters, prayer letters or to follow them on facebook please check out their website https://www.reachingcambodia.info
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