Stay the Course

Years ago a New Zealand friend, Bill Tindal, told me about an experience he had as a missionary in Africa. He was in a mud hut trying to sleep in the middle of the day, in intense heat. While lying there, unable to sleep, he noticed a long ant trail crossing the wall. The mud wall had timber uprights to support the roof. The timber had recently been painted with creosote, a smelly substance that protects timber against borers and the like. The ant trail crossed the freshly painted timber, causing the ants to lose the scent of their trail.

Bill noticed that many ants lost their trail because they would wander off trying to find the scent again. Other ants, however, simply kept on the same path they were on and picked up the trail further along, once past the smelly creosote.

That spoke to Bill about following the Lord. At times we have clear leading and follow with confidence. At other times we might feel we have lost the scent and aren’t sure if we are on the right track. The best thing to do under those circumstances is stay on the same course we were on when we last sensed God’s leading.

We will tend to stay on course if we have a faithful and trusting spirit. If we can follow orders and survive without constant affirmation we can keep doing whatever God has set for us to do.

If, however, we are insecure, fearful, untrusting and needing constant affirmation, we are likely to wander about looking for something to make us feel better.

Jesus asked the question about whether the Son of Man would find faith on the earth when He returns.

“When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

In the New Testament ‘faithfulness’ is built from the same word as ‘faith’. We can be faithful when we have faith. If we have faith we will be faithful. If you don’t trust your leaders you may be tempted to be slack in your faithfulness to them.

The ants Bill saw walking in a straight line were the faithful ones. Those that wandered about and got themselves completely lost were those who were not faithful, not trusting the direction they were already on.

God is big enough to speak to you and direct you. If you are in a place where you are not hearing any clear direction then go back and recall the things God has spoken to you in the past.

Then ask yourself if you are being faithful to those things or not. Maybe you have already wandered away from the obvious things you are supposed to do.

In your home do you have a godly attitude to parents, spouse and children? Do you have the right attitude toward sin in your life? Have you forgiven those who offend you? Have you kept up sweet fellowship with fellow believers? Do you talk often and freely with God? Are you feeding your spirit on the Word of God? Have you cast your cares on the Lord? Do you yield yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Is there something God has prompted you to do which you pulled back from? Have you repented to God for anything you have done that offends Him?

If there are no blockages that you are aware of, then recall what God has had you doing and keep being faithful in doing it. Stay the course, be not weary in well doing, endure to the end, and you will receive your reward.

“Do not grow weary of doing the right thing, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“The one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22

God can be trusted, and He cares for you. So trust Him, even when you wonder if you are on the right track. Trust God to lead you as you Stay the Course for Him.


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