"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." (John C. Maxwell) What is the way you want to know? Is it the same as you are going? Is it what shows through in your actions? It requires all three to be in congruence in order to be meaningful, my friends. If one is to be genuine in their walk, there must be knowledge of the way we are heading, then we must walk it well - so doing, we will lead others, maybe not knowingly, but we are leading nonetheless because others are watching us.
Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:11-14 NLT)
What do our actions say about what it is we "know" in this life? You soon realize that what we know begins to affect what is evident through our actions. When I first discovered I could sneak a cookie here and there "undiscovered" from the cookie canister as a child, I did it more and more. My actions revealed what I came to know as a way of "manipulating" the cookies in such a manner that it covered up the ones I removed in my need for a little sugar rush. Eventually the cookie canister ran a little low, making it dangerously harder to "cover up" my actions, though. This is so true of every compromise in our lives. We can cover up for a while, but eventually it becomes evident that we have less and less "material" with which to "cover up" those things we know to have been wrong, but we pursued anyway.
I wonder how many times we choose to go "wrong" in our actions simply because we don't "know" the right way to go - we simply say we don't always possess all the knowledge we need to avoid evil - or do we? According to God's Word, all we need for living godly lives, upright in every way, has been given to us in Christ Jesus. That blows our argument that we didn't "know better" right out of the water! Like it or not, we have access to all the knowledge we need in order to walk godly - we just don't choose to "tap into" that knowledge, or rely upon God's goodness to use that knowledge to help us walk uprightly.
Knowing is one thing - acting upon what we know is another. I know it is wrong to respond in anger, but am I able to always consistently not respond in anger? Nope. I know it is wrong to gossip about another, but am I able to avoid all forms of gossip 100% of the time? Nope. It isn't that I don't want to avoid being angry or gossiping about another - because I do. "Want to" doesn't always match up with "doing", though. I know it isn't desirable action, but something isn't connecting the knowledge with the doing!
If that is the case, then maybe the "doing" is closely related to more of where my focus is rather than on just knowing what direction I am supposed to be going. As Maxwell says, when we "go the way" we are finally moving from "knowing" into the realm of allowing what we "know" to affect the direction we are traveling. The ability to "go" in any direction is really based upon focus. Don't believe me? See how confidently and assuredly you walk in reverse without any focus on what is behind you! You are likely carrying some inward fear that you will stumble upon something you don't count on being in your path. No one can know what is truly in the soul of a man more than the Creator of that soul - so we turn to him to help us know what is within each of us, how we develop an aversion to what isn't worthy of our pursuit, and to become accustomed to turning continually toward what it is we will never be ashamed to show or to point another in the way to go! Just sayin!