Growing in the Right Direction

Growing in the Right Direction  
God wants us to make a difference wherever we are and bring light -- lighting things up so those around us get to see Him.  When we do that, we are growing in the right direction.

Some time ago, I set out with a group of dear friends, brothers, and sisters whom I loved. We were bound for the joy of encouraging one another while helping others in a beautiful destination. Along the way, disruptions came and what started with such elation turned into frustration. In frustration, feelings of disappointment began to develop within me with rapid-fire speed.  I was thinking about decisions that weren’t just related to the immediate circumstance but about ‘my next’ on the basis on ‘my now’.  In the middle of the ocean, I thought I knew the direction we were going and what should be done once we got there. I was surveying the land from the ocean of feelings around me and thought I knew exactly where we were headed. The problem… from the ocean all we can really see is the ocean. Everything else is far off in the distance, unless we have the right vantage point. I was moving headlong in the wrong direction – spinning thoughts into deeds that were yet to be done.

I can be pretty persistent about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’ve either got an idea or a full on plan that I can’t be easily moved from.  Some would describe a personality like that as tenacious, others as stubborn.  Either way, what we focus on or give our attention to generally says a lot about us.  I was giving myself to the frustration that had risen and rather than rein it in, it was stoked by my belief that I was right. The problem was I was standing on a feeling instead of truth (Proverbs 3:5-6). I was focused on being right more than being righteous (Galatians 5:22-25). The view from the ocean doesn’t always allow us to fully grasp the safety on the shore. Our feelings and circumstances are much like that.  When we focus on them, we aren’t finding security in the truth of God’s Word and how it will direct us. They are real and they challenge us but they can’t guide us. We have to master them instead of them mastering us to see beyond them.  It takes stopping and reflecting upon what is going on in me and around me and letting the Holy Spirit lead me into truth before moving on.  Are we forging ahead even when we need to change direction or will we yield when faced with the understanding that we’re off course?  The one you’re prone to is an indicator of whether or not you are growing in the right direction.

Growing in the right direction is a matter of choice. It’s a matter of deciding what is going to lead you, inform you and guide your decisions. Will it be the latest TikTok fad or the hottest Instagram post?  No hate or shade to technology but it can’t save.  It can help but it can also hurt if it causes us to focus too much on what’s others are doing or even ourselves and not enough of what God is doing. Will it be the culture or the cause of Christ? Will you grow in the light of His Word, agreeing with Him about your life or will it be yours to do as you please?  Unlike the world around us, we can choose to grow in the right direction.  We can choose wisdom that's greater than we are.  We can choose to look to God's Word not only for inspiration but direction.  We are growing in the right direction when we seek to know Him, what He wants for our lives, and desire to make Him known to others (Isaiah 26:8).

As we look to the beginning of spring with flowers starting to bloom, ask yourself ‘what is blooming in me’? Are there seeds of new growth in your life that signal something is developing? If you sense it or see it, nurture it so that the fruit that is growing matures and blesses others.  Admittedly, there’s work to be done in turning from our own ways towards God’s.  I still catch myself being carried away with feelings and have to take that to God.  I’m grateful to say I’m carried away a lot less now because growing in the right direction has been a pursuit for a long time.  I think of the avenues that present the greatest opportunity for my growth. It always involves growing in faith, in community and things that will bring me closer to God.

Sometimes we’re in situations when the best thing we can do is be quiet. God may be speaking and we’re too busy to hear it.  He was speaking through the disappointment I felt but I had to listen. There was a need beyond my own that He wanted me to acknowledge and be available for it. When that reality hit me, I realized that was the purpose all along. We grow by sharing our lives with others. When we share our faith, experiences and testimony of what God has done it reminds us and encourages them.  We grow by caring about others and what they are going through.  When we bear the burdens of others, they encounter the love of God and we get to live beyond ourselves.  We grow by daring to be what Christ has called us to be!  When we choose to follow God’s way over the blaring culture, we serve as evidence of His work in the world and the impact He wants us to have (Matthew 5:13-14).


Deborah Threlkeld - March 4th, 2024 at 9:21am

Praise God! Thank for this heartwarming article.

Desiree Banks - March 18th, 2024 at 9:06am

Thank you for this message and guidance. Much needed in making a transition in ministry to be more supportive.

Jennifer - March 18th, 2024 at 9:27am

I am so glad I "stumbled" upon this devotion this morning. I can never be reminded enough that it's not about me.

Craig Kelly - April 1st, 2024 at 9:10pm

I was just flicking looking for something in regards to a job and some how this article came up and it is truly a blessing heading in the right direction as God has been dealing with me to continue to take up my cross and fellow him whatever the cross may be in Matt 11:30 for it states ,for my yoke is easy and my burden is light, the more I surrender to God the lighter the burden I find myself carrying. Thank you for this message and may God keep on blessing you in Jesus name.