Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trust Your GPS

My An Arkie's Faith column from the June 22, 2016, issue of The Mena Star.

Recently we had a family outing at Little Missouri Falls. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and playing in the Little Missouri River. The kids had a great time and so did the adults.

Many years ago my son-in-law had visited the Blue Hole, and he wanted to take everyone there. He had gotten directions from the internet and brought them with him. We caravaned down narrow, rough, dusty roads. After traveling down FS99 for awhile, we found that the road had a closed locked gate. We had to turn around and head back. From this point, we weren’t sure of the best way to get back home so we used our GPS. The GPS directed us down a beautiful road that I had never been on before, Long Creek Road. The road repeatedly crossed the creek. There were some beautiful new concrete bridges and some low water crossings. After several miles, the road came to an abrupt stop, and we had to turn around once again.

We knew how to get back to Little Missouri Falls and how to get home from the falls so we headed back. Sometimes exploring a new road can be quite an adventure. When you are traveling a rural Arkansas road, you just don’t know where you will end up. Sometimes even a GPS doesn't help.

Have you taken any wrong turns in your life? Have you been on any bad roads? How do you know which route to take? In Psalms 25:4 (NLT) the Bible says, "Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.”

That sounds like a GPS doesn't it. God will point out the right road for us to follow. You can trust him.  You might not always be able to trust your GPS, but you can always trust God. No matter how knowledgeable you are, you aren't the best choice as navigator. Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) tells us that, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."

The whole point of being a Christian is to have a knowledgeable navigator to guide us through this life to our eternal destination. Why would we decide not to listen to the best guide there is and use our own judgment instead? Solomon explained it very well in Proverbs 20:24 (ISV) “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord; how then can anyone understand his own way?” The only reliable GPS for our spiritual life is God’s word. The Bible gives us direction. So many Christians I meet seem to want more than the Bible.  The Bible isn't enough for them, and they want something new. Psalms 119:105 (NKJV) states, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  If David and Solomon understood that it was God’s Word that directs our steps why should we feel that there is not enough information in the Bible and feel the need to supplement it?

One of the last songs that George Harrison recorded was a song titled “Any Road”. The chorus of the song says “If you don't know where you're going any road will take you there.” His words are very true. They describe the kind of roads that I like to explore. I like to drive on them because I don’t know where I’m going. I like to just take off and explore new roads. When I see a road, I always wonder where it goes. Sometimes I have been completely lost, but eventually, I made it home. It can be fun not knowing where you are going.

While it can be fun to explore unknown roads on a Sunday afternoon drive, it’s not a good plan in our spiritual lives. We should know where we are going. We should all have the same destination in mind.

Gentle Reader, I hope that you know where you are going. Jesus told us that not just any road would take us there. Have you found the road that leads to life? Have you studied the map? Do you have your spiritual GPS? Do you use it? I hope that you and I will be able to say what David said in Psalms 73:23-26 (NCV) “But I am always with you; you have held my hand. You guide me with your advice, and later you will receive me in honor. I have no one in heaven but you; I want nothing on earth besides you. My body and my mind may become weak, but God is my strength. He is mine forever.”

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