This past Sunday I joined a local choir and we’ve begun preparing to perform Handel’s Messiah (it’s the one with the Hallelujah Chorus). One of the songs, All We Like Sheep, has lyrics based on Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. You can check out a video of this song, along with a fantastically intense director, here: (

I really love this song because I always imagine hundreds of sheep walking in their own direction. This picture then leads me to my morning commute on the subway which is packed full of hundreds of people going their own way. The picture below gives you a good idea of what it’s like.

Jesus talks about the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to find the one that is lost (see Luke 15) so we know that we, as sheep, are each important. The job of a shepherd is to keep the sheep safe. In a powerful sermon I once heard the pastor asked the question: Is it the purpose of the shepherd to develop sheep that can be independent of the flock? As a young person I love to be independent from my family and to be my own person. In America, we like to be independent; we love to rely on ourselves and find guidance and meaning on our own terms. But our culture and our faith collide when we consider our dependance on our Lord and on the community of believers.

As a Christian I often find myself assuming that I know what God wants me to do or to learn. I catch myself not praying for his guidance because I think I can guess his answer. Do you fall into that same mindset? How often do you ask God to guide your steps? Are you plans dependent or independent from God? Do you plan your life so well that there is no place for God to fit in? Do you believe that your plan or your own way is better than His?

I often find that my plan for my own life is quite large, spectacular, and ends up being all about me and my accomplishments. I focus on how my life appears to the outside world more than how it appears to God. Luckily, my Savior knows my heart and forgives me. God is calling you to a life dependent on Him for guidance, daily bread, and most of all eternal salvation. Francis Chan,  American Evangelical Bible teacher, says it like this:

But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

When you need God’s direction in your life you can look to God’s Word. The Bible is filled with people seeking God’s plans and examples of how God guided them. A good place to start is the book of Psalms, David often lays his thoughts and worries before the Lord and asks for His guidance.

God wants us to rely on Him.
Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalms 143:10

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

God is working in us and through us.
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

God will give us His wisdom when we ask.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. Proverbs 2:6-9

When we bring our plans to the Lord and seek Him in His word, we can have peace knowing that He hears our plea for guidance and that He wants to guide us with His wisdom. Whether we are able to make the perfect decision or not, He will never leave us.

And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. Psalm 25:12

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

In all of God’s plans for his people, there is one that is like no other. His plan of salvation in Christ to offer us forgiveness and eternal life is the ultimate gift of love. Even when we try to plan things our own way, we know the ultimate outcome of His will for us has been accomplished in our Lord Jesus. His plan to redeem us has already been done!