Am I going in the right direction?

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Sometimes, when I watch my oldest son play a video game, he tries to navigate where he should go. One game he plays creates an actual “ring” that surrounds all the players, forcing you into smaller and smaller conflict areas. Our younger son plays the same game and wants to move away from the intensity of the battle, but my oldest son says, “No… You need to keep going. The more intense the battle, the more you are heading in the right direction.” In another game, my oldest coaches my youngest, “Don’t avoid or skip the side quests. Because it’s where you get strong enough to fight the boss at the end of the game.”

Movement equals strength. The more you move, the stronger you get. If you sit and wait, you won’t get where you want to be or accomplish the goal, whether video games, travel, or your spiritual journey. There will always be barriers. Do not avoid them. They make you stronger. There will always be side quests. They are placed there to make you stronger.

Isaiah 43:19 says,

“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness.
and streams in the wasteland.”


What are you doing in the wilderness? Looking for the way. What are you doing in the wasteland? Looking for the stream. Where do you find the new thing God is doing? In the wild wasteland that you thought was just the waiting place to your next adventure.

Moses, David, Elijah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, John the beloved.

What do these and so many Biblical characters have in common? They detoured to a wasteland, a solitary place, a place where it seemed like they were doing nothing for periods of time when really they were working through obstacles, traffic, detours, processes, healing, boldness, power, understanding, revitalization, revelation, prayer, sanctification. Most often, they were discerning the voice of their heavenly Father. It made them stronger. Do not avoid the wasteland, the desert, the wilderness, and the obstacles. There is no way around it. There is only through.

God knows the impact you will make and the “big boss” you are about to come up against. But he also knows you need the “side quest.” In time, you will be ready, and God will make your faith as strong as the ground underneath your feet. You cannot stay where you are and go somewhere that is new at the same time. So keep moving within the limitations of your wasteland or wilderness. But move where God is leading you spiritually, even if at this time you are limited somewhat in your own ring of conflict.

The obstacles in the Apostle Paul’s ministry and in many of the patriarchs’ lives in the Old Testament were not to destroy but to ensnare them. Moving forward in your relationship with God is not complicated. It becomes so when we make every attempt to stop, stand still, or imagine things are more complicated than they are. Perhaps you are called for a season to the wasteland or to the wilderness. But you are never called to simply never grow in your relationship with God. Find a way to move forward even if you are locked into a situation. There is always a way to strengthen your faith and walk with the Lord. This new year starts with stronger prayer time, more focused Bible study, and genuine, healthy, loving relationships.

These aren’t just side quests. You will need all the strength you have accumulated. God knows.

He will help you take your next steps.