To believe without direction is to remove the banks of a river. The end result is that we become a swamp. The banks keep the water channeled in a specific direction. The river has force and momentum. A swamp, by contrast, is stagnant and foul. The water in it usually has a funny color and strange smell.
Many people want to believe in God, but they have no direction. They have no destiny and no purpose. They just move around like a cesspool full of junk. They swirl around with no forward momentum. Life feels purposeless. There’s a stink—a contamination of the heart and spirit. Obviously, this is not God’s plan or purpose for our lives. Confusion, stagnancy, and uncertainty are not heaven’s purpose. The key idea here is this: believing is receiving. What is the best way to keep our heart directional and free from stagnation? We must receive from the Spirit of God by faith. This is an ongoing endeavor. We are called to receive from heaven on a continual basis. What is faith but the response of receiving unseen revelation? For our faith to remain vibrant we must remain in a posture of reception.
Many Christians are comfortable with this idea as it relates to the initial act of regeneration. Jesus knocks on the door of our heart. We open the door through repentance and faith. He enters to cleanse us and give us a new heart and His mind. We experience the renewal of our thinking and motivation. Jesus becomes our Savior because we have received Him. Yet, it must never stop there with one encounter at an altar. The activity of the Spirit doesn’t stop there. It is ongoing in nature. Only when we adopt a heart posture of reception can we experience the river of the Spirit flowing inside of us. This is critical to keep our heart out of the swamp of sin and selfishness. The work of the Spirit of God occurs in the heart. As such, it is in the heart that the Spirit leads and guides us. This is the real nature of divine direction.
There are two important ideas here for keeping our heart full of direction. The first is revelation through the Word of God. The second important idea is motivation by the Spirit. Let’s be honest; sometimes God’s direction is difficult. Just ask Abraham, called to leave Ur and go to an unidentified place. Or ask Daniel in the lion’s den or the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. His direction in our heart can be challenging. At this critical juncture we need obedience, and obedience is much easier when we have the motivation of heaven to obey.
It’s one thing to think God’s thoughts and understand His direction. It’s another thing entirely to receive the motivation that we need to obey effortlessly. Is such a thing possible? Yes, I believe it is. God’s will for our lives requires both direction and volition.