God’s Positioning System
The other day, I needed the GPS to guide me to an appointment in an unfamiliar area of town. I dropped the kids off at a friend’s house and was on my way. As the voice began spouting off the first direction, I immediately questioned the direction it told me to go. As soon as the notion came to my mind, I remembered when I ignored the GPS directions to my last appointment. I ended up getting lost and was late, all because I was sure I knew better than the GPS (I mean, I am the intelligent human with a pretty good sense of direction; it is only a machine). Against my inner compass, I gave in and followed the directions from the little black box on my dashboard. Low and behold, I made it safely to my destination.
While I was driving, the thought occurred to me that I have been guilty of taking the same stance with God. When the Holy Spirit prompts me in a certain direction, there are times I insist I know a better route. Sometimes, it is because I am uncertain where that road will lead me and I do not want to be out of my comfort zone. At other times, I can’t seem to make sense of the road God has placed me on. Why is this road so bumpy at times? Shouldn’t it be smoothly paved? Don’t I deserve a nice, easy ride?
Psalm 16 is referred to as a psalm of confidence. In the psalm, David tells of God’s goodness toward him. He testifies that the Lord is his teacher and gives him good advice. He declares
“You are my Lord. Without you, I don’t have anything that is good” (Psalm 16:2 NLT).
This psalm was written at a time of uncertainty and upheaval in David’s life. Saul was in pursuit of his life, even though he had done nothing wrong against him. The prophet had anointed him to be king, yet he found himself an outcast and a fugitive of Israel. I am sure he wondered at times why this was happening to him. His own men told him he should kill Saul when he came into the cave where they were hiding. Yet David knew that was not God’s plan for him to take the kingdom in his own strength. He tells Saul he could have killed him but He will let the Lord judge him and pay him back. He trusted God to save him from Saul. (1 Samuel 24:12-14).
David chose to trust God alone, no matter the circumstances, no matter the outcome. At the conclusion of Psalm 16, he pronounces
“You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:?? NLT)
At times, in our Christian walk, we come to a juncture and we need to know the direction God has for us. At other times, the road may be filled with obstacles, littered with potholes, or tied up in construction. Just like David, we need to hear God’s advice and counsel. Here is the cool part: all we have to do is turn on our GPS (God’s Positioning System). He is our creator, our Father, and friend. God says in Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
“I will guide you and teach you the way you should go. I will give you good advice and watch over you.”
He will never lead us down the wrong route or leave us when the road gets rough. Although we may not always understand why he steers us on a particular road, we can be confident that He knows how to get us safely to our final destination.
Through The Bible Devotions
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV) 19This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Blessings and life or curses and death, those are our choices. There is no middle ground. We must choose one or the other. Heaven and earth will bear witness to the choice we make. Our choice is visible to all created realms.
It is a wonder that Almighty God gives us such a privilege. Considering the horrible consequences to others if we make the wrong choice. It is a wonder that we get to choose at all. But God is not after robots. He wants relational, volitional creatures. He is looking for those who will desire Him and His goodness of their own free will.
In these verses we find that the choice of life that we make effects our children, our love for God, our ability to hear His voice, and our endurance in the faith. It effects the length of our lives. When the choice is laid out so clearly, and the consequences made so plain, who would choose curses and death? Sadly many still do. It is easy to believe the lie that other things can deliver these benefits to our lives, when that choice lines up with our fleshly desire.
The LORD is our life. We may think our life is wrapped up in things and family and friends, but all those are from the LORD. He is life itself. He breathed into us the breath of life.
Meditation: Have I recognized that Jesus is life?
Streams in the Desert – April 13
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth unto the plain, and I will there talk with thee” (Ezek. 3:22).
Did you ever hear of any one being much used for Christ who did not have some special waiting time, some complete upset of all his or her plans first; from St. Paul’s being sent off into the desert of Arabia for three years, when he must have been boiling over with the glad tidings, down to the present day?
You were looking forward to telling about trusting Jesus in Syria; now He says, “I want you to show what it is to trust Me, without waiting for Syria.”
My own case is far less severe, but the same in principle, that when I thought the door was flung open for me to go with a bound into literary work, it is opposed, and doctor steps in and says, simply, “Never! She must choose between writing and living; she can’t do both.”
That was in 1860. Then I came out of the shell with “Ministry of Song” in 1869, and saw the evident wisdom of being kept waiting nine years in the shade. God’s love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feet His love. Also His love and His sovereignty are co-equal and universal; so He withholds the enjoyment and conscious progress because He knows best what will really ripen and further His work in us.
–Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal
“As for the leper who has the infection … he shall … cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection … his shall live outside the camp.” – Leviticus 13:45-46 NASB
Providing an important pattern for daily life, God taught the Israelites the importance of cleanliness to recognize the impact of diseases, to be aware of how each individual could affect the overall community, and to realize that no one lived in true isolation.
Lives were intertwined in many ways, and they needed to understand their responsibility within the community. For example, it was not enough for people with an infectious disease to know that they were infected. Self-centered people might be inclined to concentrate on themselves and hide the fact that they had such a disease.
They also needed to realize the impact this disease could have on others. They were to let others know they were “unclean” to keep the community free from diseases. There was no desire to embarrass or humiliate them.
Jesus reinforced the principles of community when He taught that the greatest commandment was to love God with our whole being. But the second greatest commandment was to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39).
Today, ask God to help you be clean and pure spiritually in His sight. Be sensitive to what you allow into your mind and heart. Realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Remember the impact of your attitude, words, and actions. You can touch others in many ways. Seek to love them with the love of Christ.