The Unexpected Path
A lot is written—both in the church and the world in general—about developing a vision or plan and then making decisions that are consistent with that vision/plan. You say yes to the plan and no to everything else. It's the way to live strategically and intentionally.
That can be good advice, but be careful with it. Here’s why:
- God prepared David for the throne by putting him out in the pastures with sheep and then allowing him to be chased around the wilderness for years in exile from a rabid king. If it had been exclusively up to David to develop a pathway to power, it wouldn’t have looked like that.
- Throughout history, human wisdom has come up with all sorts of step-by-step agendas—for businesses, careers, church or mission goals, etc.—and found themselves out of step with the way the Spirit was moving.
- A cross doesn’t look consistent with a vision of glory, but it’s often part of the journey.
The point is that God’s directions often seem senseless but get us where we’re going faster and better. If we’re relying exclusively on reason, we might end up taking the longer, less effective route. We should use reason, of course; but we have to depend on something higher.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 ESV)