Shortly before our youngest child was born, my husband and I went shopping for a new minivan. The only one we could take possession of before the birth of our baby happened to come equipped with a GPS system. Both of us thought it was totally unnecessary for us to have a GPS system; after all, it was expensive. Nonetheless, get one we did.
After logging many miles between the East Coast and the Midwest in that vehicle, we soon realized what a blessing it was. It never failed, when traveling through places like Chicago, someone would need to make a potty stop or roads were under construction; and that GPS system came in handy.
How about your GPS system? Has it helped guide you through some pretty rough predicaments? What’s that you say? You don’t have a GPS? Of course you do! You just might know it by another name… the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in John 14:26:
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Just as Global Positioning Systems help us find our way physically to our destination, our spiritual GPS (God’s Personal Spirit) helps us navigate our way through life. Amidst the potty stops of sinfulness, the detours of wrong choices, the “under construction” routes where our will is not in sync with God’s will for us… our spiritual GPS is there providing discernment and wisdom when we can’t find our way.
Now, the interesting thing about GPS devices is that you have to activate them in order for them to work. The same holds true for our spiritual GPS. Have you ever tried driving your car with the GPS engaged and then you totally ignore what it’s telling you? Try it sometime! It will frustrate you to no end. You wind up screaming at it, “Why are you telling me to go THAT way when it makes so much more sense to go THIS way! Will you just shut up! AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGG!”
You activate it, thinking you’re going to use it, it shows you the overall route, and you decide, “Oh, no, I know a better way. I won’t listen to it this time.” So, you head off to your destination completely ignoring the warnings. As you make “wrong turn” after “wrong turn” it gives you a warning signal and repeatedly attempts to get you to turn around and start heading in the “right” direction. You continue to block it out and ignore it. Eventually, you may wind up where you wanted to, but the means of getting there was probably much more difficult or time consuming than it needed to be.
Isn’t that just how it is with us and God’s Holy Spirit? We ignore His guidance. We get irritated with the gentle promptings of where to go and which way to turn. We block out the warning signals and the repeated efforts to get us headed in the right direction. We, too, wind up taking the hard way or the time-consuming route, because we think we know better. We fail to realize how much easier it would be if we would just listen to the “Voice.”
I look back on my life and see many instances where I was driving along without my spiritual GPS activated. I wound up pretty lost, angry, and confused. I wondered why I didn’t wind up at the destination for which I had started out. Nowadays, I don’t go anywhere without it.
Oh, there is one major distinction between my van’s GPS and my spiritual GPS… my spiritual GPS was a gift. It didn’t cost me a single cent. Peter tells us, in Acts 2:38:
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The price has been paid by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We’ve got this remarkably helpful tool on board. Let’s start using it and listening to its guidance!
Praying you find your way today…
Dear LORD, help us utilize the remarkable built-in “perk” you’ve given us when it comes to navigating through this journey called Life. Help us to realize that part of learning to use our GPS effectively is to listen to what it says. Open our ears and help us to pay attention to what we hear. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.