In case you haven’t noticed, road signs are rather helpful bits of metal and paint. They’re practically everywhere. You will find them in private alleys, on most street corners in residential neighborhoods, hanging on the walls in teenage boys bedrooms, in bumper-to-bumper highway traffic, and also along old country roads where’s there not a soul in sight for hundreds of miles. Essentially, road signs are designed to accomplish three main things: direct driving behavior, provide information, and keep people safe.
There are road signs that tell you which cities are up ahead and how far, that there’s a zigzag in the road up ahead, how fast the legal speed limit is you can drive, the height-clearance of bridges and overpasses, an even where the nearest hotels and restaurants can be found. In fact, if it weren’t for street signs, we’d all get lost a lot more, have more accidents, not know whether to stop or go, and we’d have a terrible time finding the nearest Chinese restaurant, which would certainly be the worst of all.
“It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended for you to do (or, possibly, that you’re watching too much television.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
Wouldn’t it be amazing if knowing God’s will for your life was as simple as obeying traffic signs? Wouldn’t it be helpful to be traveling down one of life’s roads and a sign from God suddenly appeared right before you, saying, “The college you should attend is at the next exit. Turn right ahead.” Or maybe, “The job you have been praying for is coming up on your left fast. Merge now and follow the arrows.” Or even, “The man you’ve been praying about marrying is dark, handsome, and not the guy you’re having dinner with right now. Keep moving.”
Yes, I suppose most people would simply love a few signs like that from God, at least I would. But the funny thing is that God has actually been giving you those signs ever since you were born. No, seriously, it’s the truth. God told you many times what His will for your life is. In fact, you’ve probably read and been told what God’s will is countless times before, but simply didn’t recognize it for what it was.
What do I mean by that? What I mean is that God has already written down His will for your life and given it to you free of charge. You see, the phrases “God’s will” and “will of God” appear in the Bible numerous times. These phrases are the specifics regarding God’s plan for you. God provided you with signs. He has told each of us what to do and what not to do, over and over again. The problem with many people, however, is that rather than obeying what God has already revealed, they opt for rebellion, deciding instead to wait for another sign more to their liking, pointing towards a more preferable destination.
Have You Been Ignoring Any Of God’s Signs?
For example, rather than remaining sexually pure until marriage, some people choose to indulge in unrestrained fornication and/or internet pornography, and then wonder why God won’t give them another sign, even when they pray for one as often as they do. They reject God’s revealed opportunities for obedience left and right, yet have the gall to actually accuse God of withholding good things from them.
You’ve never done that, have you?
Rather than being obedient to God by ministering to the needs of others around them, some people remain defiant to the mandate of counting others as more important than themselves and, instead, live a life of wanton lust, pleasure seeking, and a boastful pride of life. When the twists, turns, and valleys of life don’t lead them to the destination they were hoping for, they wonder where in the world God is and why He isn’t doing more for them.
Yes, I do believe this is a blunder that even Christians sometimes commit.
What Do God’s Signs Look Like?
God has provided signs for your life. He has fully disclosed what you should and shouldn’t do. The issue is whether or not you’ll obey the omniscient One, or just keep right on driving down the highway of life, saying, “Yeah, I know that was the exit God wants me to take, but I’m hoping for another one a bit more to my liking, thank you very much!” Or, “Yes, I know that sign said no sexual fornication up ahead, but I’m just going to keep traveling in that direction anyway, cross my fingers and hope I don’t drive off the cliff.”
Again, have you ever done that? Are you doing that right now? If you are, then stop it! There is absolutely no reason to assume that God would ever disclose His unrevealed will for your life until you’re first obedient in what He has already revealed.
This do-what-feels-right-in-the-moment mentality reminds me of a guy in the Old Testament named Jonah. Jonah happened to be one of God’s specially selected prophets. God told him to go to Nineveh and preach the gospel. Jonah said, “Nope!” and boarded a ship sailing in the opposite direction. God was not amused. A vicious storm appeared out of nowhere and the ship’s crew soon tossed Jonah into the sea. Before drowning, God caused a big fish to swallow Jonah whole. He nestled in the belly of that fish for three long days and three long nights. Apparently, Jonah had a bitter aftertaste because the fish vomited him onto the beach. Jonah then got up, combed the bile out of his hair, brushed the sand off his tunic, and marched all the way to Nineveh to preach.
It’s amazing how God always gets His way in the end. The Lord’s plan always comes to fruition. No man or woman ever frustrates our omnipotent King. Remember that!
QUESTION: What signs has God given to you for the direction of your life? Please comment below.
* Image credit: Jacob...K (Creative Commons)