While math was never my strongest academic subject—a fact I have shared with you on numerous occasions—he made it seem easy. Things just clicked for me when he was teaching the lessons.
One of the most valuable insights Mr. Galeza ever gave me, however, didn’t exactly have much to do with basic algebra.
I learned something even more useful at the conclusion of a surprise test.
“There’s a piece of paper on your desk,” he said that day. “I want you to turn it over and read all ten questions on the page before answering anything. Even if you know the answer, do not write it down until you have read every question.”
My left leg bounced up and down rapidly beneath my desk as I burned off nervous energy. I didn’t like pop quizzes or that sort of thing. Not knowing what to expect, for some reason, always formed an anxiety-filled knot in the pit of my stomach.
“Be sure to follow my instructions exactly as I gave them to you,” Mr. Galeza continued. “Alright. Turn your papers over and get started.”
Immediately, I knew the answer to question one. I couldn’t resist, so I jotted it down.
Same thing with question two. I frantically wrote the answer with my yellow No. 2 pencil, feeling excited.
There wasn’t a single item on the whole handout that stumped me. By the time I reached number nine, that nervousness dissipated. The questions were so easy—like what-color-is-an-apple kind of easy—I was wondering why we were even being asked such basic things.
And then... I read question ten.
My stomach dropped. My left palm went to my forehead. My eyes got big. My mouth fell open.
I realized my mistake. It wasn’t ever about the questions I answered.
It was all about number ten, which said, “Put your pencil down. Do not answer any of the questions on this page. If your paper is blank at the conclusion of this test, you have passed.”
I was mortified and upset with myself.
But before I could get too down about it, I heard a bunch of other people responding verbally, indicating they had also made the same blunder.
Moments later, the classroom full of non-direction-following pupils filled with laughter. I think only one or two students did the assignment correctly.
“You see? It’s about following directions,” Mr. Galeza said, already knowing the majority of us would jump the gun and ignore his directives.
“That’s an important principle in math and life,” he said. “If you can’t follow instructions, you’ll fail.”
I never forgot it.
Day by day, and more specifically, in our walk with the Lord, we each must be willing to submit to instruction, accept guidance and heed wise counsel in order to get to our place of destiny.
It is of critical importance that we remain open to God’s leading like the deacon-evangelist Phillip did in Acts 8:26-38.
One day, an angel of the Lord told Phillip to go southward down a road running from Jerusalem all the way to Gaza.
Phillip didn’t ask any questions. He didn’t try to figure out why God was asking him to do this. He just went ahead and followed directions.
When he did, Phillip came upon a great man of power, the treasurer of the Ethiopian Queen. He was returning from worshiping in Jerusalem.
Then the Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Phillip obeyed and right at that moment, he heard this man reading Isaiah 53:7-8. So he asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
This stranger answered, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
With that, the Bible says, this official urged Philip to come inside the chariot and sit with him.
This was clearly a divine setup.
You see, the Ethiopian man didn’t know who Isaiah was talking about in this biblical passage he was reading. Confused, he asked Phillip, “Was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?”
Right here was the opportunity to share Jesus Christ who was the subject of that scripture in Isaiah. Phillip, who had already been preaching in various regions, was the perfect candidate for this job.
The man accepted Christ that day and was also baptized by Phillip along the road.
How powerful is that? The Lord brought those two perfect strangers together at just the right time so His will could be accomplished.
But what would have happened if Phillip refused to go down that road because he didn’t know the purpose of it?
What if he hesitated when God told him to walk alongside this man’s carriage because he was a stranger and felt insecure about what he would say?
What if Phillip had grown frustrated with the lack of clarity he had regarding his assignment, started doubting God and reneged?
A soul could have been lost. His opportunity to share Jesus Christ with someone who desperately needed a Savior would have been wasted.
What a shame that would have been, right?
But Phillip obeyed instructions. He did exactly what God told him to do.
My point: if you obey the Lord just as he did, this roadway you're on will also lead to destiny.
I know that not knowing all the details of what God is doing is uncomfortable. Continuing to move forward, despite being unable to see your way clearly is difficult. But you can do all things through Christ.
You just have to commit to embracing His plan without wavering, complaining, or veering off the path.
Not understanding the way God is taking you, not having all the answers and not fully grasping what He's up to is not a bad thing.
Guess what? None of us understands God’s methods 100 percent of the time. He leaves us all scratching our heads on occasion.
That’s where faith comes in.
Just trust the Lord to keep His promises as you keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you do that, you’ll end up in the right place at the right time to reap a divine harvest.
Friend, God is setting you up for a destiny moment. Just keep following Him. Continue moving forward when you feel like turning around. Stay on that road, no matter how rocky it gets.
This is how you experience blessings, increase and overflow for God's glory. It takes walking in obedience to His instructions.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring Deuteronomy 28:2 NLT into your cup of inspiration, which says, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, you are being empowered to walk on by faith, knowing that God will reward your obedience and faithfulness.
Stay on the path. Something good awaits you down this road.
Wait and see.
Now let’s pray.
God, I know in my heart that this road is leading me to divine destiny, breakthrough and blessings. When I cannot see my way clearly, I will walk on by faith and thank You on the journey. As I go, I am anticipating the manifestation of all the great things You have in store. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.