How Do I Find Norm? – Where’s Norm?

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During the weekend service, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder told us: “Your GUIDE determines WHERE you GO.” It is the “principle of the path,” as author and pastor Andy Stanley describes—direction, not intention, determines your destination. So who, or what, guides where you go? We’ve all talked to people who want to discuss their problems with us. But maybe they don’t have real problems as much as they have chosen to follow the wrong directional sign. They may be focusing on one of several things:

  • Future — Am I basing my decisions on what I believe my future may hold? Who tells me about my future? Am I trusting speculation—well, yeah! Because who can predict the future?
  • Feelings — Should I make decisions on how I feel at this moment about something? Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel differently! My feelings are fickle and often depend on the weather or what I’ve eaten!
  • Facts — According to whom? How can I vet, or trust, any of the sources of information on which I depend to make decisions?
  • Fate — Is it all “karma”? What goes around comes around? Sometimes it seems so!
  • Faith — What does God have to say about all of this? Can I trust him?

What really is guiding you? Is that guide the one you really want, or need? Pastor and author Tim Keller tells us that we have a source in which we can have supreme confidence. “The Bible is a case book for life,” How so, you might ask? The Bible illustrates how God guided people through the disruptions of their lives. If we follow Moses, the Jewish boy who grew up in Pharaoh’s household, as he leads the Hebrew nation out of Egypt to the Promised Land, we see how God guided them.

Exodus 13:20-22
20 The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.

This was how he led the Israelites. But God promises us, of the new covenant, more than this. He has given us more than a pillar of cloud or fire. He has given us his Spirit, his Bible, and his family. When we invite God into our lives, his spirit dwells in our hearts because of Jesus’ sacrifice. When we trust in God, his word becomes a living thing that guides our lives. He gives us his family, the church, to walk beside us, to love and encourage and worship with us. God promised to guide us every day, and he does it out of his love for us! The stories in the Bible remind us who God really is—he is a good and loving father who wants the best for his children!

Questions:
On what or whom do you base your decisions? Is this a source in which you have confidence, or does it change day to day? How can you learn to trust God’s guidance for the next step you need to take in your walk with him?

Next Steps:
Generally speaking, we don’t base our decisions on faulty information but rather a lack of complete information. Ask the help of your CedarCreek Group or a trusted Christian friend to give you input on your decision-making process. Pray, pray, pray. Then listen!           

21 Days of Prayer: Our Cities (Day 2):
Dear God, today, we lift up each city in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. We come to you—with one heart, one voice, and one prayer—to see COVID-19 halted, lives healed, hardships mitigated, people drawn to Christ, and your Spirit poured out in our communities. We humble ourselves, seek your face, and turn from our evil ways, believing that you will heal our lands. Lord, give us the wisdom necessary to unite us and lead us in the days ahead so our cities can be a light to our nation and a testament to you, our Savior. We pray this in Jesus’ name—amen.


This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.


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