One poem that I studied in Year 12 really struck me as a profound look into the struggles we have when we are in a position where we must choose between safety and adventure; deciding between what we know or a path into the unknown. Is the path most people take the best one for me? Does God have something better?
The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken
When considering my life, it is easy to think about my choices and the "What If" questions. What if I make the wrong decision and what if things do not turn out well? By thinking like this, I get caught in the trap of believing my life and destiny are in my hands. But is it really?
In Ephesians 2:10 in the Passion Translation, we read "We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfil the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfil it!" To know that God has planned the good works we are to do takes pressure off us. Instead of frantically working to do what we think God wants us to do, we instead join ourselves to Jesus and He will lead us into the things He has planned us to do.
To understand what these things are, God is teaching us not find or search for these good works but search inward as we intentionally build a relationship with God and grow up in maturity in Him. As we grow from infants to sons and daughters of God, we start to hear God as He speaks to us through His Spirit. When we mature and are able to clearly hear God, He directs our paths and leads us into the things He has created us for. In Romans 8:14 Paul says that "The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit."
When we read Psalm 139 we discover the incredible intimacy that God has not only thinking of our creation, being present as He forms us in our mother's womb. What amazes me is that His plans for our lives are actually written in a book that He has written which contains all He has planned for us! This is an amazing revelation on how amazing God is!
"You saw who you created me to be before I became me!
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book." Psalm 139:14 TPT
It is beyond my comprehension that the God who made the universe not only planned my existence before time, He was actively involved in forming me in my mother's womb! He did not want to live in eternity without me so he sent his only son, Jesus, to come to earth to live as a human, to be rejected by man and be nailed on a cross to pay the price for my sins. That is something I am eternally grateful for, but will never fully understand the incredible sacrifice that was made for me this side of eternity.
In the Word of God, there are so many examples of people who have led an extraordinary life. God has taken them from the ordinary and often thrust them into an amazing adventure:-
Ruth - "Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Ruth 1:6 NKJB. Naomi returned after losing all... except her two daughters. Ruth stayed with her and through this God blessed Naomi and Ruth. Sometimes through disasters, we are directed into His path for our lives.
Job - He was successful, blessed and life was good. This was until Satan had an exchange with God and asked to sift or test Job to see if he would love God if things were not going well for him. " Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Job 1:8. Through the testing and sifting Job came to intimacy with God and then an incredible time of blessing.
Abraham - In Genesis 12:1 NKJV we read 12 Now the Lord had said to Abram:“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you." God called him away from the known to a place of uncertainty. Sometimes just trusting God and being directed by Him lacks earthly security, but it comes with an exciting promise of blessing, security in God and intimacy with Him as you have to listen and hear HIs voice as He directs you.
Jonah - God spoke to Jonah and told him to go to Ninevah and preach to the city so they had an opportunity to repent. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord" Jonah 1:2-3. God still had him do what He commanded him to do, and the city repented and was saved. God sometimes turns us around to do what He has called us to do even when we intentionally try to go the other way.
Esther - Her life was not easy. We read in Esther 1:5-7 that she did not have a father, mother and was part of the people that were held captive and taken from their homeland. " 5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. 6 Kishhad been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter." Sometimes in the midst of hardship, unfairness and pain, God takes us on an adventure that changes the destiny of us, our people, our nation and even the world.
Saul / Paul - If you were looking for a candidate to be the person who had the biggest impact aside from Jesus in the New Testament you would not have picked Saul. He was zealous for God but did not know who God was. Saul persecuted Christians and even had them killed. We find that his destiny changed in one instant as he encountered Jesus. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [a]It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:2-4 NKJV. We can have an encounter with Jesus that can totally change our direction and ultimately our destiny!
Your Name - Place your name here... What is God going to do in your life to put you in the amazing destiny He has made you for... Looking forward to hearing about your journey either in this life or when I get to Heaven!
Life is not scary, but an adventure, when you come to a place of intimacy with God. Be committed to grow up maturity so you can hear His voice and be guided to walk in the desity He has made your for. God is calling us to reject the compulsive behaviour that we believe is doing God's work. Hilary of Tours calls this "a blasphemous anxiety to do God's work for HIm". We are called to stop trying to work out our life, our destiny and our success. Instead, as we journey inward into an awesome intimacy with God, we grow to hear His voice through His Spirit. As we listen, trust and follow His leading life becomes unpredictable, exciting and the adventure that He has made us for!