The Next Step

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
–Psalm 119:105

God speaks to us in various ways, but He reveals to us only what we need to know. Several years ago, our church hired a consultant. He asked me, “Do you know the most important question any leader can answer? It’s the question of next: What’s the next thing I need to do?” He went on to say, “Sometimes people get bogged down trying to determine what they’re going to do in a year, five years, or ten years without knowing that next step they need to take.”

I think that truth applies to all of us. Have you noticed that God rarely reveals the entire blueprint of our lives ahead of time? Perhaps He knows that if we knew what was going to happen to us in the future, we would be paralyzed with fear. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

But I think perhaps another reason God doesn’t tell us the whole plan ahead of time is that if we knew His whole plan, we wouldn’t be nearly as dependent on Him. Think about driving in a thick fog. Do you travel at eighty miles per hour? No, you inch along because you can see only a little bit ahead of you. On the other hand, when it’s a clear, sunny day, you’re more likely to put the pedal to the metal. It’s the same way in our relationship with God. When we can see only the next step we’re going to take, it makes us more dependent on God. It forces us to develop our relationship with Him.

In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Have you ever been out in the woods on a moonless night? It’s difficult to see. Hopefully, you have a flashlight or a lantern that governs your steps. It isn’t powerful enough to illuminate the next two or three miles, but it gives you just enough light to take the next step. That’s what the psalmist said God’s Word is like. His voice doesn’t illuminate the rest of your life; it gives you the light you need to take the next step.

I can’t tell you what God’s will is for your life twenty, thirty, or forty years from now. But remember what Jesus said in John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Never forget you have a God who is concerned with every step you take. He promises to give you the guidance you need, and He can be heard by those who truly belong to Him.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Discovering God’s Will” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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