In my Sunday School class this morning, during our discussion of the story (based on Daniel 2--it's cool, you should read it!) we were talking about how we can know that we are acting in faith and not acting in folly. One of my class members said, "Don't you think that the difference is that Daniel was walking BEHIND God, not in front of Him." She was exactly right and it was a great way to show how to apply this to our own lives.
When we run off in front of God, and merely ask Him to bless what we have already decided to do, that's just folly. But when we walk just behind Him, checking each step of the way that He is still in front, then He will be able to lead us down the right path, and we CAN be confident in what we do, because we KNOW He is the one leading us to do it.
This made me think of an experience I had years ago. I was driving through Atlanta, up past the airport. At night. In the rain. I hate driving in Atlanta, and I especially hate driving in the dark and the rain. So I was not enjoying the experience. And then, it started raining harder. And harder. At this point, I thought of the advice my father had given me, that if it is raining too hard, you should just pull off to the side of the road until it lets up, instead of risking an accident. Good advice, that...only, until that moment, I hadn't thought of the problem with that advice, which is that if you can't SEE the side of the road, HOW do you pull over on it!? So, I kept driving, unable to tell which lane I was in, or if I was even in a lane at all. I still praise God that I did not meet my end via a concrete wall that night, because my eternity would have been spent in the wrong place!
And then, help arrived in the form of an 18-wheeler. It entered the interstate just ahead of me, and I just fell right in behind him, and decided he was my "safe passage," my salvation. I just drove along, following that truck like a baby duck follows its mama. It occurred to me that if that truck suddenly drove off a 50-ft. cliff, I was gonna be landing on top of it, but I just decided to trust that it was going to stay on the road...it did, the rain finally let up, I became more comfortable with finding my own way, pulled out ahead of the truck, and arrived back home safely, except for a tension headache...
The thing that got me safely where I was going was my decision to just stay behind that truck--sure, I was really just "lucky" that I picked the right truck, because I could just as easily gotten behind one that wouldn't have been safe to follow (well, it wasn't luck; God sent that truck, even though I was spiritually lost at the time.) But, hey, that's not the point here.
The point is, that the safest way to get through life is to get yourself up behind God, and just follow His lead. He will NEVER lead you onto the wrong path, and you are absolutely guaranteed to arrive safe at home, because He knows the way! It is when I become comfortable, and pull out ahead of God that I get myself in trouble, because then the storm comes, and I can't see a thing, and I have NO idea whether I'm on the right road or not. I become afraid that I'm going to end up in trouble, because I can't see ahead of me. The good news is that all I have to do is STOP trying to make it on my own, get back behind Him, and I'm right back on track.
Where are you in life? Do you know you're headed in the right direction, because you're following The Leader...are you trusting Christ to take you in the right direction?
Or are you out ahead of Him trying to do things on your own and just hoping He will bless what you do? That is folly, and you'll find yourself in a storm, unable to find your way out!
Maybe you're already out in the storm, alone, and unable to see where you need to head. You're scared and you don't know how to find your way out. Pull off for a minute and turn your life over to Christ...He will lead you in the right direction, because He knows the way home!!
Today's closing passage is a bit long, but worth it, especially if you're trying to find your way:
" 'Trust in God, trust also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms...I am going there to prepare a place for you...I will come back and take you to be with me...You know the way to the place where I am going.' Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.' " John 14:1-6