I have this odd habit of turning on my GPS (global positioning system), even when I already know the way to my destination. It’s like a safety net just in case I stray from my path or miss a turn. A couple of nights ago, I ran into some unusually heavy traffic while on a route that was familiar to me. My GPS was on, and it immediately began to redirect me. It kept telling me to turn right, even though I knew that the highway I wanted to use was straight ahead.
I came to the place where I would usually turn to get on the highway, and there was a big detour sign. The detour said to continue straight, but my GPS kept insisting that I should turn right. It even enticed me by telling me that if I would turn right like it wanted me to, it would have me home in 15 minutes. However, I stubbornly proceeded straight, because I was confident that I already knew the way home.
About 10 minutes later, I finally made it to the on ramp for the detour route. When I finally got on the highway, I hit a never ending line of traffic that was being routed back off the highway and around more back roads to yet another on ramp. At the end of my journey, it took me 45 minutes to get home on a route that should have been 15 minutes. It turns out that my GPS knows a little more than me about getting from one place to another, even when I think I already know the way. It can see things ahead on my path that I cannot see.
Much like a Global Positioning System that tells us how to get from one place to another, we all have a Spiritual GPS, or what I like to call God’s positioning system. This system has been given to us in the the Holy Spirit. If we have given our lives to Christ, this Holy Spirit now dwells within us, and He is constantly speaking to us.
I have often found that I tend to take the same approach with God’s positioning system as I do with my global positioning system. The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to me, and encouraging me to take paths that are unfamiliar. He tells me to say “no” to things that I want to say “yes” to, or to say “yes” to things that I want to say “no” to. Much like my GPS trying to get me home faster, God is only trying to help me get to the destination He has for me faster and with less pain. But, for some reason, I keep looking back at Him and saying, “No, God! Straight is obviously the direction I should go to accomplish Your purpose for my life.” God just lovingly responds, “Yes, straight may get you there eventually, but if you turn right you will find far less traffic and no more detours.” Because just like my global positioning system, God’s positioning system can see things ahead on my path that I cannot see.
Our spiritual GPS isn’t programmed to make sure we get everything we want in life. It’s programmed to draw us near to God, and to help us walk in the purpose that He designed us for. It’s programmed to bring about His greatest glory, and our greatest good. But much like a Global Positioning System, God’s Protection System does us no good if we don’t follow it. We won’t use it if we think we already know the way.
Sometimes I treat God’s voice just like I treat my GPS, like a safety net. I only want to listen to it when I take a wrong turn and end up in a place that I don’t want to be. God’s Positioning System isn’t just a safety net. When we get to know Him and learn to trust Him, He will guide our every single step. The good news is that He never gets tired, or needs to be recharged. He never takes a wrong turn. He is far more reliable than the global positioning systems we are used to. Sometimes the route He takes us doesn’t seem to make sense. Sometimes it leads us down roads that are dark and scary. Sometimes He tells us to go right when we just want to stay on that straight, familiar path.
It all comes down to this one question, “Do we trust the Holy Spirit?” If we believe that He is indeed the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, that He is for us and not against us, and that His ways our certainly higher than our ways; we will follow Him. When I am being prideful and not listening to God’s voice, it’s because I have lost perspective on who He is and how much He loves me. So rather than sit here and tell everyone reading this that you should go try really hard to follow God’s positioning system, which is something I have already told you that I have trouble doing, I want to ask a more important question. Will you take a few minutes to just reflect on who God is, how incredibly powerful He is, and how much He loves and cares for you? It’s the faith in these things that truly gives us the courage to turn on our spiritual GPS, and actually follow it’s directions.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Proverbs 16: 9)
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12)