“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

reflect

Whenever I go for walks with my kids in our neighborhood, I often have to yell “stop” or “watch out” as they run ahead of me. The same is true in parking lots, stores and most other unfenced areas.

In my experience, most kids suffer from mild to moderate tunnel vision. Focused on getting to their destination—or maybe just focused on having fun—they overlook things like uneven sidewalks, oncoming traffic and other pedestrians.

But good parents see the dangers and obstacles ahead of their kids and call out “stop!”

Kids don’t always obey the first time, and they might wonder why their parents are bossing them around, but they don’t see the whole picture.

Or they might even bargain: “But, dad, I need to go get my ball across the street.”

They don’t understand that their parents have their best interest in mind and want to protect them.

We all serve a good Father, and at times in our lives, He might tell us to wait or to stop. We might be headed in a direction that seems great, but God sees the whole picture.

We might have found the seemingly perfect job, relationship or investment opportunity, but when God tells us to stop, we need to listen.

Jesus said, “‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me’” (John 10:11,27).

Yielding to God’s voice is difficult at times. We might pray and beg to go in the opposite direction He has sent us, but He always has our best interests in mind. He sees our past, present and future.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

react

>Have you ever ignored God’s voice? What was the result?

>When do you hear God’s voice most clearly?

>How have you seen God at work in your life through unanswered prayers?