Finding God’s Path For Your Life
by Jerry & Denise Basel
There is a profound interchange between Jesus and the Pharisees in Matthew, chapter 22, when the question is asked of Jesus, “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; and everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Emphasis added). Everything. Every part of these two commands are uppermost in God’s heart—even the part about loving yourself.
This last part—the loving yourself part—was what the Father began to place in front of us when counseling others. Because truthfully, if you think you are loving others but you’re not that crazy about yourself, when you’re hard on yourself and critical of yourself, then you can’t truly be loving others very much—including God.
To discover what is hindering us in our lives and in our relationships, we will need to look closely at our childhood. One way to visualize this process is to think about a set of railroad tracks that symbolize the path God intended for us from the point of conception. This set of tracks, designed by God, represents his perfect will for our lives. However, as we start out our lives and journey from that point, we often begin to shift our direction and veer off on a different set of tracks which are not the ones he intended for us.
When we come to a place where we realize that we’re on the wrong set of tracks, we have only one good choice: to stop, turn around, and allow God to take us back to where we grew up. Often, it is here where the Lord reveals how we were shaped by things that should not have happened to us but did, and by things that should have happened but did not. When our childhood needs for nurture, affection, belonging, and protection are not met, we develop difficulties in trusting others, including God, later in life. Many of us were expected to meet the needs of a parent while our own needs went unmet. And since as children we do not know what to do with our pain, we learn to be strong, stuff our feelings, and put up walls to protect ourselves in order to survive.
Do you know where you are on this journey? Does the fruit of your life indicate that maybe you veered off on a different set of tracks than the one God intended from the beginning? If so, he’s asking you to stop and bring those parts of your heart back to him and allow him to heal you and establish you on the right path—his path.
On this journey, we learn what happened to us, we realize that it mattered, and we find out where we go next. We heal because Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. And when God heals a broken heart, a life is transformed from the inside out.