People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." –Isaiah 30:19-21
Dr. D. Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, spoke about the book of Isaiah and its application to our lives in his Chapel address last week.
The book of Isaiah is sometimes referred to as a "Bible within the Bible," Dr. Lindsey said. Just as the Bible has 66 books, Isaiah has 66 chapters. It was written with a vision of what prophecy should indicate. There are three main themes: the theme of suffering and judgment, the theme of salvation in the form of the suffering servant, and the theme of personal calling and accountability. This third theme was Dr. Lindsay's focus.
Dr. Lindsay was working on what he thought would be a book for high school students, a book about one's calling in life, an exploration of "how do we manage change and respond to it?" Change happens instantaneously, Dr. Lindsay explained. Everything else [after a change] depends on your response to the crisis or opportunity. These are "hinge moments." Transition, however, happens gradually, often over a period of months or sometimes years. Transition is often preparation for a "hinge moment." Throughout these times of transition, God will guide. He will be a voice behind us, directing us, whether we turn to the right or to the left.
While writing his book, Dr. Lindsay realized the Lord was using this process to speak to him directly – directing him on a different path. Telling a little about his personal journey, Dr. Lindsay said, "Sometimes the life of faith is a life of obedience even when we don't understand it." He began to sense God was calling him away from Gordon College and into something different. "You have to move forward in faith," he continued. "Being between things can be very unsettling." He encouraged his audience to follow some advice he had, himself, received: dedicate a portion of time each day to ask the Lord to guide and direct you. "God doesn't go before you to cajole or pull you along," he said. "The Lord speaks behind us, guiding us. He has plans for us. We will find the Lord when we seek Him with all of our heart."
"If you are in a time of discernment, trying to figure something out, or even wanting to know how to conduct yourself in this season of Covid-19, be reminded that God will guide with a voice from behind," Dr. Lindsay encouraged as he closed. "This requires us to be still, quiet, and to listen. The voice of God will guide. He will say from behind, 'Don't look to the right or to the left. This is the way, walk in it.'"