DIRECTION – WEEK FOUR
Peace in a Pressured World Devotional Guide

It was a hot summer afternoon in south Louisiana. Even though I couldn’t bear another minute on that hot restaurant patio, I sat and listened to my friend. We ate lunch and talked about how he was going through the toughest time of his life. As I listened to his story and empathized with him, I caught what he meant to be a throw-a-way statement. But it was a significant statement, nonetheless.

Friend: So, here I am…in the middle of this crazy mess!

Me: I’m so sorry you’re walking through this pain.

Friend: Thanks…you know…this is just not how I planned for it to go!

How many times have we all said those exact same words? “This is not how I planned it!” As I heard those words fall from my friend’s lips, I quickly pulled from memory Proverbs 16:9.

“A man makes his plans, but God orders his steps.”

“A man makes his plans, but God orders his steps.”

Whether you are walking through sunbeams or a storm, this passage reminds us of two truths. One, God wants us to make plans. He wants us to set goals and chase after them. Determine what you feel God calling you to and run after it! But the second reality is we need to expect that God will allow deviations from the shortest route to get there. We tend to map out the straightest and quickest path between two points in life. As we journey with God, however, He sometimes wisely and lovingly directs us to take what I call the “Sanctification Scenic Route.”

 

As I shared this with my friend, we both reflected on times God had led us in a direction we didn’t expect. But He always got us to where we needed to go. In both of our cases, God filled His preferred path with personal growth and a deepening of our faith that probably would never have occurred otherwise.

 

In Psalms 23:4, David writes on his experience traveling the “Sanctification Scenic Route.” He describes the comfort and direction that God’s presence and leadership provide along the journey. As you read this week, I pray you will discover God’s direction in your own “Sanctification Scenic Route”. [Ben Coleman, Pastor of Young Adults]

 

REMEMBER

As you read a verse or a passage, ask and answer the following four questions.

  1. What does the passage say about God?
  2. What does the passage say about Man?
  3. Are there any examples to follow?
  4. Are there any commands to obey or a sin to avoid?

After each day’s Scripture reading you’ll notice a section that begins with “I Will….” That’s included to help you with Question 4 as you consider your personal steps of obedience based on what you’ve read and learned. Then pray your commitment back to God.

 

Day 1- Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I will…
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Day 2- Exodus 33:12-23 (NIV)

Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”  And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.  When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

I will…
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Day 3- Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factionsand envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I will…
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Day 4- John 8:12 (NIV)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I will…
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Day 5- Psalm 25:8-10 (NIV)

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

I will…
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