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Day #22: Saturday, March 21

Day #22: Saturday, March 21

Netflix Weekend

Messiah: Episode 6

Clip: 5:30 – 11:30

Old Testament: Exodus 13:17-22

New Testament: Acts 16:6-10

Practice: Guidance

Music: “No Longer Slaves” by Zach Williams; “Every Time I Feel the Spirit Moving” by Mahalia Jackson; “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli

            Near the end of the clip from Messiah is a powerful image: Felix comes to a literal fork in the road and had to determine which way to go. This is on the heels of al-Masih (the messiah figure) telling Felix that he was to lead them. Al-Masih didn’t know where God wanted them to go. Certainly, we can relate to Felix in this moment of decision. We often come to forks in the road and are uncertain which way or which choice God wants us to choose.

            This is a crucial aspect of our spiritual life to consider during Lent. The pursuit of the spiritual life is the pursuit of open communication and communion with the Holy Spirit. We are seeking his guidance and direction in our everyday lives. When we face difficult decisions, as Christians, we seek out God’s will for us. “What do you want me to do?” we ask. It seems like a faithful response, but what if God’s response to us is: “You decide”? More troubling still, what if we don’t get a response or a “feeling” either way?

            The passage from Acts is full of spiritual direction that we wish we had in our world today. The Bible says, “the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word of God in the province of Asia at that time” (Act 6:6 NLT) and they later “concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News [in Macedonia]” (Acts 6:11). But how did they know God was calling them?

            Today, consider God’s calling and the Spirit’s leading in our lives. Perhaps it is something that you haven’t thought a lot about, but the Bible is full of examples of God’s people being led by God – all the way back to the Israelites being led out of Egypt by a cloud and fire. Richard Foster includes “guidance” among the spiritual disciplines, but he includes it under “corporate disciplines.” He writes,

“But the knowledge of the direct, active, immediate leading of the Spirit is not sufficient. Individual guidance must yield to corporate guidance. There must also come a knowledge of the direct, active, immediate leading of the Spirit together.”[1]

            What does God want for your life? What is he calling you to do at this point in your life? Who is he calling you to minister to? Is he calling you to stay put or go? Is he calling you to remain where you are already connected, or is he calling you to a new work? These are not easy questions to ask of ourselves. As humans our default is to settle into the familiar and comfortable, yet God has been calling his people to new, unfamiliar places since he told Abraham to leave his homeland.

            Reflect on these questions and consider reaching out to a spiritual director or friend who can help you discern these questions. During this Lenten season, consider a director or friend who can continue to be your spiritual guide after Easter. Too many of us try to work out our spirituality on our own. Your first reaction may be to list countless reasons of why you don’t have anyone who can serve as a spiritual director for you. If this is the case, go find one! Throughout the Bible, spiritual guidance is seen as a corporate reality. We need someone to help us along. You need someone to share openly with. We are often helped by the insight of others who can help us see God’s hand in our lives. Pray that God will direct you to someone who can enrich your spiritual life beyond what you can ask or imagine.

[1] Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 1988 ed., (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1978), 175.

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