The road ahead will never be as clear as the road behind.
The road ahead will never be as clear as the road behind. Joshua told the Israelites, when entering the promise land, to be deliberate in only following the ark since they had ‘never been this way before’ (Joshua 3:4). Likewise we are called as sons to be led by the Spirit of God. In turn He will lead us where we have never been to do what we have never done.
Recently my wife and I were watching an NCIS show where operatives worked covertly in Columbia. In this case the U.S. Ambassador to Columbia asks what she should say to Columbian officials. The response was classic in the sense that it was witty and at the same time defining. The NCIS official replied, ‘you’re a diplomat, say something diplomatic’. This is the nature of the road forward… It is uncharted. She wanted to be told what to say but the nature of her role is to discover what to say.
The point being there are some situations where the future is not prescribed. There is no plotted course we can follow. Yet this is the nature of true leadership! It requires we find a way without the benefit of precedent or human guidance in the way of precise example. Without having a predefined method or path, it is simply up to us to determine by the Holy Spirit what comes next.
Many people have jobs with a minimal requirement for creative problem solving. In such cases there might be the security of a system of protocols or procedures. These can guide us through day to day routines answering for us the question, ‘what should I say’. But the most senior roles do not come with such creature comforts. We have to find the path. Like the CSI agent a voice declares ‘say something diplomatic’.
The Kingdom of God works similarly in that our steps are not always formulated. Though we have values and principles that act like lighthouses, navigation is a matter of faith and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. This is the requirement necessary to go where we have not gone before and do what we have never done. Like Joshua who followed the ark at a distance we are charged with following the Spirit. This is the road ahead!