Locate your spiritual ‘GPS’
In this age of modern technology, one of the gadgets that have become essential for our everyday travel is called the GPS or, the ‘Global Positioning System’. GPS is a United States space-based radio-navigation system that provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to civilian users on a continuous worldwide basis -- freely available to all. For anyone with a GPS receiver, the system will provide location and time. GPS provides accurate location and time information for an unlimited number of people in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world. Given the ease of purchasing a GPS unit for our vehicles, it is hardly surprising that people residing in the United States use this gadget especially to help them in their travel needs.
On the spiritual side, we are travelers or, pilgrims in this world. This world is not our own, we are just passing through. Of course, we are not tourists here but residents for a short time as we travel through our life’s journey to reach the other shore behind the veil. Hebrews 11: 13-16 speaks so eloquently about the perspective that the Old Testament saints had during their lifetime: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
In the beginning pages of the Bible, we see that the original man and woman (Adam and Eve) whom God had created and placed in the Garden of Eden lost their spiritual place in their journey. After disobeying the commandments of God they hid from God among the trees in the garden. The LORD God called out to Adam and asked him directly, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). Due to sin and fear on account of their nakedness, Adam and Eve could not face God and commune with Him as before. This teaches us an important lesson. We loose our spiritual place in our life’s journey on account of sin in our lives. Sin creates a barrier between us and God, and our own efforts (fig leaves in the case of Adam and Eve – Gen. 3:7, 10) are not enough to tear down this separation between us and our Creator God. An animal was needed to be slain by God himself and its skin had to be used as clothes for Adam and Eve to hide their nakedness (Genesis 3:21). In our case, God’s own Son Jesus Christ became for us ‘the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). It is only through our faith in Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10), and we find our way back to our ‘original’ path - for Jesus himself is our Way (John 14:6) and our path to salvation (Acts 4:12).
There is a good chance that we may also loose our spiritual place during the course of our onward life’s journey. The great prophet Elijah lost his spiritual place in his life’s journey when he ran away from Jezebel fearing for his life on a day’s journey into the wilderness from Beersheba (1Kings 19:3-4). With the strength that he received from a two-course meal served by God’s angel, he walked for forty days and forty nights even until Horeb, the mountain of God (vs. 8). It is on this mountain that God asks Elijah a question – not once but twice – “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (Verses 9, 13) If we have veered away from the path of life that God has laid for us (Psalms 16:11) and drifted away from the ‘race that is set before us’ (Hebrews 12:1), God is asking us the same question – “What are you doing here?” If we are deliberating disobeying God and running away from His plan for our life like Jonah the prophet (Jonah 1:1-3), it is high time that we come back to our senses like the prodigal son and return to our heavenly Father in repentance and with a contrite spirit (Luke 15:17-19). God will surely forgive us and restore us back to fellowship with Him. It is our choice – we can be like Peter who repented (Luke 22:62) and was restored back to his place as the spiritual leader (John 21:15-17) or, we can be like Cain who went away from the presence of God never to return back (Genesis 4:16) or, even be like Judas Iscariot who sincerely repented but committed suicide seeing no way out of his predicament (Matt. 27:3-5).
This brings us to the all-important questions that we must sincerely ask ourselves – “Where am I today?” “Am I in the center of God’s will?” “Am I prayerfully discerning God’s will for my life through prayer every day?” If we ask Him, He will instruct us where to go (Psalms 32:8; Prov. 4:18, 25-27) and direct our paths (Prov. 3:5-6). We can then walk safely and our feet will not stumble (Prov. 3:23). Even if we do stumble (or even fall), we will not be cast down for He will uphold us with His hand (Psalms 37:23-24). I pray that God will help us walk everyday close to Him as Enoch (Gen. 5:24) and his grandson Noah (Gen. 6:9) walked with God even while living in the midst of an evil and wicked generation. Let us try to locate our spiritual ‘GPS’ today before it is too late for us to return back to our life’s pathway that is set for us.
I wish to end this small article with a poem I had penned in August-1992 entitled “Walking the Narrow Way”, which I hope will bless you as you walk onward on your life’s journey:
I see His hand amidst life’s pathway
As I walk this narrow way
His hand of restraint, of love and power
For he knows what’s best for me in every hour
I would’ve escaped, I would have run
As I see many promises unfulfilled and undone
He halts me at times to pause and breathe
That I would know, He is the Lord to lead
I cannot but bow, to His perfect will,
As He is Lord, who’s to lead me still,
He’ll lead me safe with renewed power
For He knows what’s best for me in every hour.