“Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks; walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—this you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.” Isaiah 50:11
Lighting Our Path
My son applied for a new job recently for which he was very qualified. He had been trained and certified to do the job, and had been doing the job already in another state. He is young, strong, polite, and capable. But he didn’t get hired, and he was perplexed.
I explained to him that sometimes employers already know the person they want to hire, but they are required either by law or their own company rules to post the open positions publicly. People then apply for jobs while someone else has already been hired. Maybe this is what happened, or maybe not.
When we come to God in prayer seeking His wisdom and guidance on a matter, all too often we are mentally running through our own ideas and options at the same time as the prayer is coming out of our mouth. I’ve done this often without being aware of it. For instance, I’ll be praying for a friend to get some answers about her illness, while wondering if she has considered such-and-such treatment. Or I’ll ask the Lord for His leading in writing a devotional, while thinking how this or that would come together and if it would make a difference.
This is lighting our own torch and following it, as today’s Scripture says. Instead of waiting on God to turn on the light, we follow a spark from the torch we lit ourselves. I don’t want to follow my own light. I have limited vision. I might wander into a dark cave with endless twists and turns, and when the water rises behind me, I’ll really be stuck. I might go down someone else’s path while mine remains untraveled. I might have extremely limited understanding about what should take place, and yet I push ahead as if I am an expert. My own best thoughts come to nothing. I simply do not have the wisdom of God without God giving it to me.
In the end, if I am not in “torment” as the Scripture says, I am at least confused, or I realize too late that my agenda didn’t amount to much, didn’t go anywhere, wasn’t a good work after all. And sometimes my own wisdom and counsel really does lead to torment. If only I had truly sought the Lord, waiting on Him for wisdom!
“Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me…” Psalm 43:3
“God, light our torches, that we may follow Your light. Give us Your wisdom and understanding for the paths You laid out for us, for the glory of Your Son. Amen.”