A few months ago, my youngest son asked me to meet him early one morning to help him with a project. He told me exactly where he wanted me to meet him. Well, that morning I drove to the place where I thought we were supposed to meet, but he was not there. Within a short while, my son called and asked, “Dad, where are you?” I told him I was sitting in the parking lot of the place he wanted to meet. He said, “No Dad, you’re in the wrong place.” He told me how to use my phone to share my location with him, then he told me to stay exactly where I was. He arrived shortly, and I followed him to where he had instructed me to be. I knew where I was, but I was still lost in relation to where I was supposed to be.
Many of us are like I was that day. We get lost knowing exactly where we are. Scripture tells us this in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.” Your life follows your thinking. Look at how God constructs His Word here. First, He deals with our thinking. He says His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is saying we think one thing, but He thinks another. Then He says our ways are not His ways. That is because our thinking is not His thinking so our ways cannot be His ways. If we follow our thinking, we will have to follow our ways because ways must follow thinking.
Listen to what is being said here, and do not do as I did with my son. I heard his instructions, but I did not understand all of what he was saying. I thought I could figure out what I did not understand, but I did not even know what I did not understand. I was lost before I even started out that morning, and I did not even realize that because I knew where I was all the time.
Sometimes knowing right where you are is the reason you are lost, and you do not know it. I should have called my son, told him where I was, and asked if was where he wanted me to be. But I did not do that. So how can we guard against following our own thinking and our own ways so that we do not become lost in plain sight of knowing where we are?
First, we should always be thinking that we are here to seek the Lord. While we have life, seeking to find Him should be at the top of our minds. Now I can hear you ask, “Always? How is it possible to always be seeking the Lord?” God wants to be found by us so we can be certain that our thoughts of His whereabouts are the thoughts He has towards us. He wants those of us who seek Him to find Him. This is His promise to us. If you seek Him, you will find Him when you seek Him with your whole heart, meaning your whole life. Even if you are going to your six-year old’s soccer game, go seeking to find the Lord there. He loves kids’ soccer.
Learn to turn away from thoughts that are clearly and purely your own. Learn to listen to the Lord instead of what you say to yourself. Listen carefully to Him, and you will find ways of living that will refresh your life when things are difficult. Indulge in what the Lord gives you instead of what you can achieve for yourself. You may not always know where you are, but you will always know that you are where He is.
Often, we think of wanting happiness and freedom when we should be thinking of having joy. When we think of our happiness and freedom, we do things that may remove us from unhappy situations and with the hopes of finding happiness in some other ways. This too is our thinking. God wants us to focus on the pursuit of joy instead. He promises joy! Happiness is an emotional response to an earthly situation. Happiness is carnal, but joy is a state of spiritual fulfilment. Joy can be fully realized regardless of the state of your earthly life simply because God is there with you. Joy is found when you can give to others while happiness is mostly about what you can get for yourself.
Learn to seek joy before happiness, and you will be led by the Spirit to live in ways that will be in plain sight of the Lord. Check to see if you are lost knowing right where you are. If you are, perhaps it is because you are listening more to yourself than you are listening to the Lord. Perhaps also it is because you are seeking to have something for yourself rather than seeking to give more of yourself to others. And perhaps it is because you are consumed with the idea that happiness is the measure of how great your life is rather than with finding joy in the life you have just as it is. Do not be lost in plain sight of knowing where you are. In all your ways acknowledge Him, seek Him while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near. Then He will establish His thoughts and His ways to be your very own.Live a Delivered Life. Love you.