November 11, 2012

Directional Faith

James 1:2-5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
—James 1:5


God has a way of changing us deeply through various crisis points in our lives.

But what happens when God strings together a long series of crisis points? Eventually the trail of change-points will lead somewhere, like stepping-stones crossing a river. As we realize this, our collection of snapshot crises starts to become a movie with a story line.

But how does one tell where the story is supposed to be going? That’s not easy. God assures us that he has plans for our lives, but it can be hard to tell where those plans might lead. Sometimes it would be nice to have a burning-bush episode like Moses had—something concrete you could see through the fog of life’s busyness (see Exodus 3).

Why is it so difficult to determine God’s direction for our lives? Sometimes it’s simply because we forget to ask. It’s surprisingly easy to charge into the events of a day without bothering to ask God what he wants from us that day. Sometimes that can prompt God to allow a minor crisis to pop up as a wake-up call to pull our attention back to him.

When was the last time you asked God to show you his plans for your day?

How about asking him right now?

God, you have promised that your plan for our lives is good, but sometimes that’s hard to believe. Help us sur-render our plans for your review. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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