I cried to God in my distress and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears! Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shame-face again. -Psalm 34:4-5.
Which direction am I supposed to take? I find myself at a four-way intersection and there’s no street signs. Feels like I’ve been here before, but this crossroads looks different. It looks like a sepia-toned, dusty wilderness as far as the eye can see. A few mountains or trees sprinkle the horizon—the first trace of color I’ve seen today. A tumbleweed fittingly rolls by as I try to decide which way to go. Though each road looks the same now, they will have starkly different destinations once I pass the horizon. I need lenses of clarity so I can have the confidence to pick a direction. Then I will have the courage I need to meet whatever lies beyond my vision. But how do I get that clarity?
It’s one of the most common questions asked today. If you find yourself here, the good news is that you are not in the car alone. Even better, you’re the one driving! So let’s sit for a minute in this intersection and look back at the road you’ve traveled. I can see the times where I sat in the backseat with Papa God taking the wheel, looking back at me to see if I’m still having fun. Life was pretty easy then.
PAST MEMORY STONES
Now look at the memory stones you’ve created. Perhaps there were goliaths you faced. I ask Papa God, where were you in those hard times? And I can see His goodness and faithfulness; that He was carrying me, crying with me, being ever loyal to me, even when I didn’t choose Him. Even when the victory didn’t come overnight. I look at the results of those hard times and see the perseverance it produced in my character. He never left me for a minute. I start to feel overwhelmed with thankfulness.
Then He shows me the things that used to define my life—addictions, fears, religious or political spirits—things of the past that He set me free from. Suddenly I realize that I am equipped to be a conqueror in those areas where the serpent has bitten me. The enemy loves to attack you in your areas of greatest authority and calling. In the areas where you thrive. In the things you would do if money, time, and resources were no object. Dreams from years past start to resurface as God lifts the lids of fear, pain, and disappointment that stopped me from dreaming. Ah… Now clarity is coming.
He whispers to me, “There is excitement on the next road, my beloved son. Go ahead.” I’m prepared to move now, so I check my rear-view mirrors. It looks pretty clear. I’m in a wilderness, after all… But there are still blind spots where the mirrors don’t show everything.
I ask for help, just in case. You don’t know what you don’t know, after all. I look and see people giving me a thumbs-up from my mirrors. Where did they come from? God explains that this is the community of believers he has placed in my life for this season. They’re cheering me on. I need their encouragement and help to see those blind spots—any areas from the past that I can’t carry with me on this new road.
A dear friend in my mirror points to three road markers I hadn’t noticed before in the intersection ahead of me. They are labeled past, present, and future. Before I move on, I need to check my heart and my mind.
〉Have I allowed the Holy Spirit to burn up all the failure from my past? All the bad things that happened to me? I get out for a minute to look in the trunk of my car. Is there luggage there that doesn’t belong in this season? Perhaps it’s shame from the past trying to pull my focus onto who I used to be. When I understand that I’m not that angry or bitter or addicted person anymore, shame loses its power and I can live a powerful life.
〉What am I focusing on right now? My present focus needs to realign to God’s view of myself and the world around me. See what he sees, feel what he feels, and say what he says.
〉Is there any fear about my future? Fear is a major factor that removes clarity. Ask God to take it from you, and see what He has to give you in return.
When one of these markers is flashing red, I no longer know which direction to go. When I have the green light, having dealt with these issues with Jesus, the road ahead of me may look bumpy or curvy, but I have courage to go where I need to go. I’m no longer focused on the bugs stuck on my windshield from that last highway we breezed through.
Now I understand why I’m in the driver’s seat. I am still a child of God, but He trusts me to co-labor with Him as His friend and confidant (John 15:15). We’re ready to move ahead. He trusts me to take the wheel because he knows I can handle more responsibility. He could do it Himself, but He knows I would never grow that way. He wants you as his driving companion.
“Continue straight,” says the still small voice of the Holy Spirit—your navigation system—as you move past the intersection onto a smooth road. Parts of it are covered by sand blown across it by the wind, but your comforter, counselor, navigator is by your side, so you have courage. You remain secure in your sonship but are stepping into leadership.
Clarity has given me the confidence to drive and the courage to navigate uncharted territory. I’m confident because I know God is supporting my decision, and understand the next steps I need to take. At this point, the car may even start to fly, or off-road, or do a number of other courageous things you never thought possible. At the moment you feel pressure, you can jump into the backseat and Papa God will take care of it for you. What amazing love…
You pass a few roads and see other people staring at the bugs on their windshield. Many people are looking but few are seeing. This is where the Issachar anointing comes in. It’s making time to listen and look. It’s having the awareness of being a son with a good Father, but having the wisdom not to park in the back seat. He’s looking for people to rule and reign with Him in the driver’s seat. Wisdom gives you the understanding to know when you drive and when you ride. Wisdom is looking at the “check engine” light as an opportunity for heart growth, rather than just another thing I need to work on.
When it’s time for an alignment, it’s an opportunity to realign your vision to His (read more on this subject here). You see yourself like He sees you, shame leaves, hope comes, and the truth sets you free. You become aware of the areas where the enemy is blackmailing you with shame. That’s when you hop into the back seat and invite Papa God to walk through those areas of pain with you. You can pray and declare things all day, and those are great things to do. But declarations without healing are only a band-aid on a popped tire.
The journey is a lifestyle, not a few exciting trips. He’s never left the car. He’s taken care of me so far. There’s been some bumps and we’ve had to change some tires along the way, but it’s made me who I am.
What clarity are you finding in your life today? What courageous things is Papa God telling you to do?