When I was a child, Follow the Leader was a popular children’s game. The goal was simple: one person would lead, the rest of us were to follow and mimic everything the leader did. If the leader turned left – we turned left. If they waved their arms up and down or spun around – we waved and spun. There was as much delight in seeing how closely we could follow the leader as there was in being the leader.
Oh, that we would seek to mimic and follow our Leader, our Shepherd, our Lord, with as great an intent and as much delight. But life isn’t a children’s game. Unexpected turns and seemingly out of control circumstances can cause us to take our eyes off our Leader. We get frightened by or disappointed in the path that is set before us. We don’t like the route God has chosen. We are confused by where He’s going. And sometimes — often the most difficult of times — we feel like He’s not leading us at all.
However, the truth is that He is leading us:
“The Lord is my Shepherd…He leads me in paths of righteous for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1,3
The Lord is our Shepherd. Whether through a valley, mountainous terrain or lush pasture lands, He is ready and waiting to lead us. The question isn’t, “Will Jesus lead me?” The question we must ask ourselves is, “Will I follow?”
Jesus, our Good Shepherd, led by example. He followed His Leader. He followed even when He didn’t like where God was leading, when He didn’t like the route God had chosen:
“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me, but not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
One thing Jesus knew, the one thing we must know, is that God always leads in love:
“For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The phrase of a song has stuck with me for years: “If you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
You can trust God’s heart! “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
One day our Shepherd will lead us home, home to heaven, home to Him. Until then, the wisest thing we can do is follow — listen for the Shepherd’s voice and follow. This is Way #7 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Let God Lead You.
Let God lead you on the path of righteousness He has ordained specifically for you. In doing so, sometimes our decision to follow needs to come down to one fact: “He leads me on paths of righteousness FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE.” I’ve once again found myself in need of the reminder that this life is not about me, and not about me is a very glorious place to be. Great peace and provision, and ultimately great reward, come when we let go of our preconceived ideas and the “must haves” of this life and simply follow our Good Shepherd.
Where is God leading you? What decision is He asking you to make? In what direction does He want you to follow? Remember that God’s glory is always for your highest good.
His ways are not your ways. His thoughts are much higher than your thoughts.
The path He has chosen may not look like you’ve sought.
But trust Him, just trust Him and one day you’ll see,
Your destination will be glorious, just as He foreknew it would be.