My GPS always gives me a chuckle. If I’m not going the exact way that it thinks that I should go to reach my destination, the pleasant voice is apt to say, “When possible, make a legal U-turn.” And I am usually wont to answer back, “Did you say an illegal U-turn?” just to be silly. Yes, I talk back to my GPS. Don’t you? And granted, in my time, I’ve made any number of U-turns, both legal and illegal, when trying to reach that end point. And sometimes, I hear the word “recalculating” a lot!
I was thinking about Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday in relation to that wonderful piece of technology called a GPS, how we can put in our destination, and it tells us (when we are willing to listen to it) just how to get from point A to point B. And, when we got off course, it is always guiding us back to the main route, no matter how lost we are.
We can think about the Bible as being our GPS…our God Positioning System, if you will. God’s Holy Spirit is that pleasant voice that we hear, giving us turn-by-turn instructions on the highway of life.
Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to proper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The word “know” in this verse is the Hebrew word “yadah”. It means to declare, to teach, to understand. So, let’s read that verse again with that in mind:
“For I declare/teach/understand the plans I have for you…” (by the way, that’s God speaking)
All throughout their history, God had amazing plans for his people, the people of Israel. But more times than not, their God Positioning System was off. They allowed their worship to go to idols, not the one true and living God. They lied and were deceitful toward God. One only needs look at their journey to the Promised Land. A trip that should have taken a number of days took the children of Israel 40 years! You can almost hear the murmurings and complaining now: ”Are we lost?” “Who’s going to stop and ask directions?” “I’m sure we’ve passed that same rock at least 6 times.” And then, it was once more around the mountain.
All along, though, God was trying to steer the children of Israel back to the correct path. Whether through events or prophets like Jeremiah or Isaiah, God knew where He wanted His people.
Isaiah 42:16 says:
“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”
God will never leave us, never forsake us, no matter how far off course we get. His grace, mercy, and love are available to us, and are His way of “recalculating” and getting us back on the road toward Him. We simply need to listen to His instructions and be willing to follow them.
I heard a song on K-Love the other day driving to work that fit the theme of this devotion perfectly. It’s called “All You’ve Ever Wanted” by Casting Crowns. Here are a portion of the lyrics:
“I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where You are.
You gave me life worth dying for
But between the altar and the door
I bought the lies that promised more
And here I go again
Lord I know I let You down
But somehow I will make You proud
I’ll turn this sinking ship around
And make it back to You.”
God has our destination programmed…it’s up to us to listen to Him…and, it’s okay to make some legal U-turns along the way!