LEARNING TO READ THE ROAD SIGNS
            ...What direction do you take?

For years I have saved photos of the funny and unusual road signs that I have seen in my
travels. Since people know that I save these signs, they often send me others that they have
seen, either in-person or on the Internet.

Let me share a few of the quirkiest ones with you...
I have often compared road signs to the clear-cut instructions that God desires to give
to each of us—if we can only learn to observe and obey.

Most people don’t realize how much God wants us to see His signs. During my years, I have heard
lots of questions that show how unclear people think it is to follow God’s signs. Here are a few of
the most common:

  • How can I know for sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?
  • I’ve messed up so much—how can I get back on track?
  • I really want to serve God and do His will, but how do you really know?  
  • Can you really know what His will is?
  • What if I choose wrong? Will it be too late to make a u-turn and get going in the direction
    God wants me to go?

Well, fellow pilgrim, let me say this without any reservation:
God loves you and has a plan for
your life!

In fact, knowing that you are living in God’s perfect will is the most exciting life you can experience.
You see God at work in your life. You get to enjoy the blessings that follow. You get to touch other
people with a life-giving message.

But when you’re living outside God’s perfect will, life can be a dead-end. Wrong decisions made
outside of God’s will not only affect you, but may affect your family and their future.

People often know, deep inside, that a master plan exists for their lives. Some call it destiny.
Others call it providence. Maybe they call it fate. Christians know (or we should know, at least)
that this Master plan is called God’s perfect will.

I’m more convinced than ever, from studying God’s Word and reading about the lives of great
men and women, that God wants to speak and share His will with each of us.

READING THE SIGNS
Every Christian should seek to know God’s will. God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: “Then the
word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and
before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the
nations”
(Jeremiah 1:4-5).

Even before Jeremiah was born, God had a plan for his life. He formed Jeremiah with the purpose
of making him a prophet to the nations. In the same way, God has a plan for your life. He may not
be calling you to be a prophet to the nations, but you have no less of a calling on your life. It is
your responsibility to find God’s plan for your life.

And while it’s true that God has a blueprint for you, it’s also true that the devil has a plan for your
life. Jesus very clearly pointed out the difference between His will and the devil’s:
“The thief
cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and
that they might have it more abundantly”
(John 10:10).

Throughout life, we face two roads that we can follow—God’s road of abundance and life or the
other road of destruction and death. It’s that clear-cut, even with all the overload of mixed
messages thrown at us.
The choices we make determine whether or not we will
experience God’s blessing or not.

My prayer is that you will choose the way of God’s perfect will and experience the riches of His
blessings throughout all of your life.

LEARNING WHAT THE SIGNS MEAN
God has a wonderful plan for your life. This plan is directly connected to His perfect will.  
Discovering His perfect will comes about progressively as we learn to hear God’s voice.

Do you want to be wise? Then consider this:
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding
what the will of the Lord is"
(Ephesians 5:17).

Whether you need to make a decision concerning a job opening, a potential spouse, a
ministry opportunity or your child’s education, I’ve got good news for you. All of us face
crucial decisions, and God cares about all of them, even the “small” ones.”
Jesus said:
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the
oven, shall he not much more clothe you"
(Matthew 6:28).

God not only cares about the decisions you make, he wants you to make decisions that reflect His
will for your life. In Ephesians 5:17, as quoted above, we are commanded to know His will. To
know God’s will is to be wise. Not to know God’s will is to be unwise and ultimately devastating.

Let’s explore specific ways to hear God’s voice concerning His will for your life. Here
are three foundational truths concerning God’s will.

Road Sign Lesson # 1: You cannot find God’s will apart from the Lord Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 declares, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you.” You cannot know God’s will apart from Christ Jesus.

Anytime I communicate with people in crowds or one-on-one, I realize that people come from a
variety of backgrounds. Perhaps you have been a dedicated Christian longer than I’ve been alive.
Others, perhaps you, have never heard the Gospel before and are desperately seeking answers
for questions you thought you’d never be asking.

Here’s a basic starting point for everyone:
Regardless of your background, education or
culture, the first step toward knowing God’s will for your life is making sure that you
have Jesus living in your heart.

If you haven’t done so already, is there any good reason why you cannot receive Jesus Christ into
your heart right now?

If you are willing to let go of your burdens and challenges, and if you will repent of your sins and
receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can do it right now.  At this moment you can
pray the most important prayer of your life. You can use words such as these:
Lord Jesus, I’ve tried to make it by myself, but I need you to help me. I know that I’m a sinner. I
realize that I need your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to know Your will for
my life, and I now invite You to come into my heart and my life. I trade my worst for Your best. I
trust You as my Savior. I want to follow You and live for You. I pray this in Your precious name,
Amen!

If you prayed that prayer and meant it, the Bible has more life-changing promises for you,
including the one found in Romans 10:13:
“For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be
saved.”

The Bible offers this truth as well: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
(2 Corinthians 5:17).

You have joined a special family—the family of God. You are beginning your life in Jesus Christ
now. The journey you are starting is an exciting one as you discover God’s plan for your life and
live it out each and every day, starting today.

Road Sign Lesson # 2: God’s will is always good.
If it’s not good, it’s not God!  Although bad things can happen to good people in the natural, in the
spiritual realm God’s will is always good.  The Bible is clear on this subject:
"And be not conformed
to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God"
(Romans12:2).

When God is involved, you can be in the midst of a problem and still have total peace. You can be
going through a storm yet be calm.  If there is any evil presence or demonic oppression, it’s not
good and it’s not God. If there’s no peace, there’s no God.

Road Sign Lesson # 3: God’s will must be sought.
Understanding God’s will involves a transformation (“be ye transformed…”). The word transformed
in the Greek language is where we get the word metamorphose, as a caterpillar becomes a
butterfly. All of us have seen beautiful, colorful butterflies that bear little, if any, resemblance to
the larva it once was.

Likewise, understanding and doing God’s will means that you will go through a total transformation
throughout your life. First, you present your body to God. Then, you allow him to transform your
mind. Understand that if your body does not belong to God, your mind cannot be renewed. So,
your body and mind must both belong to God.

You and I will not discover God’s will unless we search for it. God’s will becomes clearer to us as
we mature in the ways of the Spirit.  The more we read the word and spend time in prayer seeking
God’s will, the more God responds.

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27). Just as sheep recognize the voice of the
shepherd, true believers are attuned to the voice of God. The longer you are a Christian, the
more accustomed you are to the ways of God. A heightened knowledge of the word and a growing
familiarity with God’s voice enables you to more readily recognize God’s leading.

GOD’S WILL
God’s will for you is good, acceptable and perfect. When you learn to read God's road signs and
therefore understand God’s will, you will find goodness, acceptability before God and perfection.

Goodness will be surround you. The minute you are in the will of God, You will find goodness
everywhere you go. Everything you do has the potential to prosper. Everything you touch is
blessed.

This doesn’t mean you won’t have any challenges—far from it, but you will have a peace that will
guide you through those problems.

You will be acceptable before God. The Bible tells us that through Jesus Christ, God
“hath made
us accepted in the beloved”
(Ephesians 1:6). When you become a Christian, your life is hidden in
Christ and you receive eternal life.

God’s answer will be perfect. The word “perfect” means “complete.” God doesn’t stop halfway
through a project and then quit. His desire is to transform you into His image.

God will reveal His will to you. As you obey Him, follow in the steps He has set before you and
allow Him to transform you, you learn to hear His voice. As you learn to listen to His road-sign
directions, more and more, you enter into the most exciting life possible to mankind.

COMING NEXT: LEARNING TO READ THE ROAD SIGNS, PART 2
FROM THE
BEST BOOK

Trust in the Lord with all
thine heart; and lean not
unto thine own
understanding.
In all thy ways
acknowledge him,
and he shall direct
thy paths.
   —Proverbs 3:5-6
THE COUNTRY
PARSON,
Benjamin Parsons,
has tended to hurts
and hearts in North
America's most
remote frontier
regions, including
the Pacific
Northwest, the
Canadian Rockies
and Alaska.
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Finally, my personal favorite...