It happened again. I had my plan all laid out and was pleased with it. Then a friend shared hers. It sounded preferable to mine. She beamed with enthusiasm and simply bubbled as she explained point by point, each word heavy with conviction that it was the way to go. Before long I saw my thoughts leaving my path and wandering over onto hers. I felt uncomfortable as I started to abandon mine in favour of her own but it seemed like I’d lose out if I didn’t go along. I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I tried to be enthusiastic about the ride but it was bumpy all the way. I struggled and fought to get comfortable and accept it but I just couldn’t find my sweet spot. Has that ever happened to you?
I know of people going into business in an area they have no interest in and this was akin to that. I have had people trying to convince me to join in on their business ventures like selling health and beauty products (which I use) but selling them just isn’t for me.
Then God spoke. We all have our own path to walk on. No matter how familiar you are with another, your path is yours and yours alone.. Don’t disregard it in favour of someone else’s. Doing so would be akin to driving on a road leading to Disneyland while expecting to arrive at The White House.
Isaiah 46:7 But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path ahead of them
I am part of a coaching group headed by Valorie Burton, and a few weeks ago we did an assessment which identified the fears that were holding us back. I had 4 main ones, one of them was the fear of disapproval. Each week I prayerfully focused on a single fear and the Holy Spirit who is indeed our guide, was faithful to point out to me situations in which I was exhibiting that particular fear.
Choosing to abandon my path for another’s in my case was as a result of the fear of disapproval. I didn’t want to appear foolish, turning down a great idea for no logical reason. So I went along.
I spent sometime praying and the Lord showed me through His word that we all have our own paths and we need to stick to it. No matter how beautifully lined with flowers your friend’s path is, it remains theirs. In addition the bible says it is better to fear God than to fear man;
Gal 1:10 I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of my God. If pleasing people was my goal I would not be Christ’s servant. (NLT)
Prov 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap but trusting the Lord means safety (NLT)
Ps 32:8, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. (NLT)
This means there are many paths, many of them good and attractive, but God will guide us along the one that’s best for each of us.
Do you often feel tempted to veer off your own path unto someone else’s?
Could it be that you don’t appreciate and recognise that what you have is beautiful?
Or you fear the disapproval of man?
Or you are just being disobedient?
Signs that you are not on your path include discomfort- bit and bridle, uncertainty- you have no idea what step to take next, discontentment- not being fulfilled or the feeling that ‘there must be more to life‘.
Ps 32:9 says do not be like a mule or horse that needs a bit and bridle to keep it moving (on it’s path).
If you’ve done this veering off thing a few times you would have been met with discomfort, like I was.
I know I’ve had my share of bits and bridles, and I’m done!
Hope this blessed you, let me know!