How Do We Know Which Way To Go?


This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff

One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” she asked.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” was his response.

“I don't much care where,” said Alice.

“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”


ENCOUNTER:  Read Jeremiah 6:16

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

Most of us can relate to the idea of standing at the crossroads and wondering which way to go next.  It is an apt description of the challenge that is inherent in being God’s person.  We desire to live faithfully; we want to know what God’s will is for us; we long to experience the abundant life that Jesus promises to give.  But through all the varied seasons of life, the ups and downs, the easy paths and the boulder fields spread out ahead of us, it can be daunting to know how to live it out.  This has always been the challenge for God’s people.  Always.  Six hundred years ago, even, the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah addressing this very thing. His exhortation was to find the ancient, tried and true, ways that God’s people have always followed.  This, he says, is where you find the rest and peace that your soul longs for.


“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cheshire Cat in response to Alice’s query of which direction she should take to continue on this adventure in which she had found herself.  Do you know where you want to get to? In other words, have you settled the big directional question:  Do you desire to follow Jesus and serve him in all ways?  Part of the confusion we face when we come to a crossroads is due to the fact that we, in all honesty, are not sure we want to do God’s will or follow his way forward.  We may be afraid of losing control, or comfort, or fearful of having to “give up” something we have come to believe we “need.”  And there are many, many more reasons why it is often downright scary to surrender our lives to Jesus.  But unless we consciously, consistent, and with fear and trembling, bow before our savior the Lord, we will not have the vision, courage, nor discernment required to navigate the way forward.  If we don’t know where we are going, then as the Cheshire cat says it doesn’t really matter which way we go.


It is an often repeated truism that it is easier to find the path God has for us when we are already on the move.  It is easier to hear God when we are actually on the path, and at the crossroads, as opposed to napping in the barcalounger.  Where can you intentionally be a blessing to someone today?  Who is on your path that you can serve right now?  Or to whom can you go out of your way to love?  As you move in these acts of love you will notice that God's will is clearer, his presence is more tangible, his voice more easily discernible, and “you will find rest for your souls.”


The ancient paths are those that have been walked by generation after generation of believers.  Our faith journey has always been a “group project.”  Make it a point to ask another Christ follower this week what practices or postures have been key in navigating their lives with Jesus.