I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. – Psalm 32:8
One of the worst feelings is feeling like you have no direction or purpose. Think about how frustrating it is when you are trying to find a certain destination and you have no idea how to get there. Or worse, when you have no idea where to go at all. Feeling like you have no direction or purpose in life lends itself to feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, frustration, depression, and instability.
How comforting it is that God assures us He will direct us where we should go. He gives us purpose and teaches us how to make our way in this life. And it is always good. He says He will guide us and will never let us out of His sight. This makes me think of children playing on the playground with their parents close by watching them. Have you ever observed the attentiveness of a loving parent? They are always keeping their eye on their child. They let them wander around and play with others, but as soon as there is any inkling of potential danger you can already sense a parent’s posture stiffening. They are alert and ready to take action to protect their child, whether through gentle verbal direction or making their presence known to all in that very moment. I think God is like that with us. He is always watching, in a loving and protective way. He let’s us live our lives and make choices, but He is also ready to step in and protect us when danger is near or when we begin to wander from His direction.
He instructs us and teaches us in the way we should go, but we have to be near Him in order to hear Him and understand His instruction.
His promises are good and true. We will benefit from His guidance and the result will be a righteous and fulfilling life. But He also wants us to want to be near Him and desire His guidance. He does not want a relationship which requires us to be constantly disciplined and forcefully directed (like a horse that needs bit and bridle). He wants us to stay near because we know Him and we know He is good. Actively keeping near God and listening for His guidance, this is the best way to lasting purpose and fulfillment in life.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good – Psalm 73:28