We often are so focused on going from point A to point B, we miss what God is trying to teach us along the way. We don't grow as we are standing at point A and we don't grow as we are standing at point B. Our growth comes from every step we take, as we are in motion, walking from one place to another.
God calls us to be present with Him. He wants us to walk and talk with Him, asking Him questions along the way. God wants to direct our every step with intentional direction. We must be very careful not to go on "auto-pilot" because often we end up in a place that we weren't meant to go. We veer off God's path because we "zone out" on the journey, missed everything on our way, and then realize we went a way that we weren't supposed to go.
God doesn't need us to get to point B. Unless we designate heaven as our point B, we need not be concerned with an end point at all. We are called to journey with the Holy Spirit, being guided by Him, and learn from Him in each step. Having a goal allows us to move on God's path but it's not about the goal, it's about the movement.
We see how Jesus modeled this with each of His steps. He ministered on His way all the time. When we look at the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus was in transit. He was going from one place to another. But even as Jesus journeyed, He modeled how to stay aware of each step - even in His own tiredness. And on this journey, He changed an entire city and converted an entire village.
What have we missed in our own journey? Who did God place in our path that we ended up ignoring because we weren't aware and present?
Reflection and correction allows us to grow and become more spiritually mature. We don't need to feel guilty or criticize ourself. God wants us to become aware of our past transgressions, ask for forgiveness, and then refine our character and correct our ways. That is spiritual growth. That is the goodness of God. When God corrects it results in something even better!
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will listen and answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
In this chapter, two-thirds of these people perished. This third was allowed to live but they had to be refined. This is how important it is to be refined, perish or receive correction. God expects His creation, His children, to grow in their understanding of Him. And because of our human earthly habits which often aren't of God, the way that we need is grow is through refinement. This refinement comes through the fire, is tested, and then found pure.
Sometimes we need shaken in order to testify that "The Lord is my God." And if we don't come out of the fire pure enough then the Lord will refine us again and again.
“My son, do not make light of the discipline of the Lord, And do not lose heart and give up when you are corrected by Him; For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves, And He punishes every son whom He receives and welcomes [to His heart].”
You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
The more we stay aware of God's direction and are obedient to it, the less we need to be refined or shaken so drastically. So we can listen to His direction every step on our journey and enjoy the fellowship with Him, or we can miss it all, end up where we don't belong, and get sent into the fire to be refined. We have been given free will - it is our choice which option we choose.
Godly Leaders need to identify God's ways and put them into practice. Otherwise it's man's ways of leadership and that is how non-believers lead others.
We are called to stand out. We are called to be different. We are supposed to do things following the example of Christ. We are called to an awareness that others don't have.
Enjoy your journey and take each step with the Holy Spirit. Your true destination is heaven.