More and more believers, it seems to me, appear to be lost in life. By “lost” I don’t mean that they are unsaved or backslidden. I mean they seem to have lost their sense of direction caught off guard by some storm or fog that quickly rolled into their lives and disoriented them. By lost I mean they feel they have lost their way or their purpose. They are perplexed and bewildered feeling like they are in a maze, uncertain how to get out and back on the right path. Believers lost in a fog without vision are in danger of compromising their destination, bankrupting their faith, and leading other Christians astray.
I remember going to the dime store with my mom as a five year-old kid back in Illinois. It’s amazing how big everything looked through the eyes of a child. The store, though small, was large enough for me to quickly lose track of my mom as she turned the corner with shopping cart in front of her to check out some special in the store. I remember momentarily being gripped in a fog of fear as I lost site of her only to glance above the shelf line to see her blond hair bobbing down the aisle. That 1960’s hairdo became a beacon of hope to help a little boy to get back where he belonged.
There are many reasons why believers get lost in the fog of life. Some believers run with the wrong crowd and follow that crowd off the path. Some believers allow a root of bitterness to spring up in their hearts and that root will defile many, according to Scripture, but it starts by deceiving and sidetracking the ones who harbor it in their hearts. Some believers simply take a wrong turn in life. They are not bad people but it only takes one bad turn in life to get off track. Some believers succumb to the intensified level of spiritual warfare in the world today and the central mission of that war is to distract and cut off believers from their destiny. Some believers get isolated from God and stop seeking Him and in doing so also lose the direction that His presence automatically provides. Still other believers falter because of burn out or because of major setbacks, failures, or disappointments. Regardless of the reason, the Lord wants you to know that no matter how thick the fog, no matter how far you have strayed, He is ready to turn the light on and help you find your way back.
Proverbs 4:18-19 tells us that the path of the righteous, unlike the path of the wicked, gets brighter and brighter. This means that God’s best and the norm for the believer is to walk a path that is clear and obvious. When we are in a fog, that path gets dimmer and dimmer. The good news is there are some practical things you can do to navigate through the fog and get back on God’s best path for your life. First, turn on the light. In other words open that Bible up again and begin to draw from the wisdom and apply its light to your path (Psalm 119:105). Second, back track to what you were doing when you got lost in the fog. There is usually a critical signal you missed or some juncture where you stepped off the path and into the fog. No matter how painful, have the courage to admit that you missed it because God gives grace to the humble (2 Peter 5:5). There’s nothing sadder than to see a fog bound believer more interested in protecting their image of infallibility than getting their life back on track. Third, reach out for a “seeing eye” Christian. It does you no good to seek counsel from another Christian that is also lost in the fog. Seek advice from a believer that is walking in the light and can tell you what you need to do to get out of the fog. Fourth, Pull away with God by yourself for a time of serious reflection, prayer, and study. Remember the Lord loves to answer prayers for wisdom and guidance (James 1). Fifth, listen for the voice of the true shepherd and tune out other competing voices. The Bible (John 10:27) declares that God’s sheep know his voice. Psalm 119:176 says, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant.” Like the Psalmist, invite the shepherd to venture into the fog of your life and rescue you. Finally, to keep from making the fog worse, postpone decisions that affect other people until you know you are back on the right path. Too often, believers in desperation make matters worse by trying in the flesh to make something happen. Too often, those believers end up pulling family and friends into the fog with them rather than walking out into the sunshine of God’s grace together.