"People, like nails, lose their effectiveness when they lose direction and begin to bend." Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864)
One of the big problems we create for ourselves is attempting to plan God around our lives instead of planning our lives around God. So how do we avoid the rough spots and not get off on the wrong road? Guidance. We need guidance. E. Stanley Jones said, "If we do not have guidance, then it is probably withheld for one of two reasons: we are untrained, or we are unwilling. Guidance doesn't just happen. It is a result of steering oneself in the right way. A radio doesn't just happen to pick up messages; it is tuned in by deliberate intention, and then it receives. Receptivity is necessary to perceptivity-you perceive only as you receive." Often people pray "God bless my plan" instead of "God what is the plan?". Self-interest is going to God with your plan not his, His plan is already blessed.
Guidance comes as a result of our fellowship with God Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV) says, "The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." As we spend time with the Lord His peace prevails in our hearts, putting us in a position to hear His voice.
Thomas Brooks said, "It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet." It is important that we spend time with God and abide in His presence. As we draw near God, He will guide our lives through the Holy Spirit who abides in our hearts. Guidance does not happen through the brief prayers we utter before drifting off to sleep. We are to live our lives in prayer. Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." The idea is to include God in on everything we do. Set aside a time for uninterrupted prayer and pray. Learn to trust God with your life and depend on Him for guidance-and you will get it.
As you travel the road of life you will encounter rough spots. One writer put it this way. The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success.