FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


Leave a comment

You are HERE

How did we survive before GPS?  I mean really!

When I learned to drive, road maps were all the rage.  I have very vivid images of my dad sitting at the kitchen table with his maps spread out and a World Atlas at his fingertips.  He would sit there for hours planning our family vacations, mapping the routes, making note of the connections, turns and exits.  I thought he and my sister were amazing the way they could recall and discuss highway numbers… “Turn right onto 42 and go about 37 miles then take NC 97 North to 301.  You’ll go about 12 miles then merge onto Interstate 95 North.”

I well remember my first solo trip with a road map.  Like Daddy, I sat at the kitchen table, spread the map, made my markings and jotted notes.  I was going on a job interview and, worried enough about that, I wanted the travel to be uneventful.  I even used the little scale in the bottom corner of the map to calculate mileage and approximate time.  All along the way, though, I had to keep stopping on the side of the road to consult my trusty road map.

Three things are important when planning a trip using a map – knowing where you are, where you need to end and which direction you need to travel to get there!  And therein lies the beauty of GPS.  The screen shot always includes a big arrow indicating YOU ARE HERE.  That’s good news to any driver!

Want some even better news?  Not only are you “HERE,” so is God!  He is everywhere!  He is with you!

Joshua 1:9 (ESV) reminds us to be strong, courageous and without fear or dismay because the Lord, our God, is with us wherever we go. Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) echoes the same encouragement adding a reminder that He will never leave nor forsake us. David asked, “Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7-10, ESV) In the heavens, in Sheol, in the uttermost part of the sea – even there David said we find God’s hand which shall lead us and hold us!

I find that latter thought to be particularly encouraging because I live in the boondocks, and I frequently drive rural highways.  This means I regularly lose signals for my telephone and GPS.  The “GPS Lady” often tells me she is rerouting.  I suppose rerouting sounds better than “I don’t have a clue where you are.”  When the GPS loses its signal, I am left to go it alone trying to read road signs while I drive.  That is not only frustrating, it is unnerving, especially if I am traveling an unfamiliar and not well-marked route.  Whenever the signal reconnects, the GPS offers instructions to correct whatever mis-turns I may have taken and tries to get me back on track.  It’s rare, but sometimes GPS cannot get it right and I have to rely on other sources like stopping strangers to ask for instructions or accessing Google Maps on my cell phone.

Our God never loses connection with us though we sometimes choose to ignore the promptings of His Holy Spirit.  Now there are times when I know better than the “GPS Lady.”  She tells me to turn left and I am looking at a ONE WAY sign or a ROAD CLOSED sign, so I know not to follow her directions. But our God gets it right 100% of the time! Isaiah 40:13-14 asks, “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?” The answer is NO ONE! He is omniscient and omnipresent, so He knows and He is with us. He is also faithful, so we can trust that He is with us, just as He promised, wherever we are.

There are times when we ignore God’s directions or believe that we know better.  Surely when God has us on a route that is bumpy or one that is twisted or winding or scary or lonesome or dark even, He has made a mistake, somehow gotten it wrong.  No, it is not God that has gotten it wrong, it is our perspective that is limited while God is finite.

Question God?  Be puzzled by His directions?  Surely, but never doubt.  Even Abraham had questions about God’s directions and decisions (e.g. the destruction of Sodom), but Abraham obeyed in faith.  He never mocked, rebelled or cursed God.  Abraham knew what we can know as children of God and that is that God is Here, right here with you!

THIS WEEK earnestly seek God’s direction for your life.  Charles Stanley offers seven words that will help us in seeking His direction. Study, meditate and pray on one word each day this week. (Cleansing, Surrendering, Asking, Meditating, Believing, Waiting, Receiving). Find more at:  http://www.intouch.org/you/article-archive/content?topic=seeking_god_s_guidance_article#.VMV5UrAo7IU

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Asking for Directions (Part 2)

Today let’s just dive in.

We established in our last blog entry the importance of seeking God’s direction before we begin each daily journey.  That means we embrace the examples of Psalm 63 1(a) – “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee…” (KJV) and (less we be uncertain what early means) Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (KJV)

But how do you seek God early?  Look back at Mark, and pick that Scripture apart.  Jesus:

  • Rose before day
  • Went out
  • Departed into a solitary place
  • Prayed

Do you have to get up before the sun? No. Your “early” may occur later in the morning but BEFORE you begin your day in earnest. Remember, you want to seek God before you begin to encounter the world (your children, your spouse, morning traffic, your work place, etc.)

Do you have to leave home (go out)? No. But you do need to go somewhere that is a solitary, quiet place. If you’re home alone – no problem. If your household is overrun with children, animals, extended family…, you need to find a quiet place.   Back porch? Basement? Garden? Bathroom? (Hey, He is everywhere, and a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to get some solitude.”)

Do you have to pray? Yes! Do you have to pray lofty liturgies? No. Just talk with God.   I say with because it is a conversation in that you are talking and listening. I encourage you also to read the Scriptures, meditate and journal, but mainly I encourage you to personalize this time. Christianity is NOT a legal relationship; it is a love relationship, and just as you personalize your time with those you love, personalize this time with Christ.

POSSIBLE RESOURCES

How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time

Love Worth Finding (Adrian Rogers)

http://www.lwf.org/site/News2?id=10545

 

How to Have a Quiet Time

In Touch Ministries (Charles Stanley)

http://www.intouch.org/you/quiet-time-toolbox/content/topic/how_do_i_have_a_quiet_time_qt

 

How to Have a Quiet Time According to Martin Luther

Christianity Today

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/advice/faithqa/whats-quiet-time.html

 

Quiet Time: 7 Minutes with God

Precept Austin

http://preceptaustin.org/quiet_time_seven_minutes_with_god.htm


2 Comments

Asking for Directions (Part 1)

Sunday School Student: “Why did Moses wander in the desert for 40 years?”

Female Sunday School Teacher: “Because even back then men would not ask for directions.”

Okay, forgive me, Lord, for that one. But, if we have ever ridden in a car with a man for a distance greater than around the block, then we know it is too true. Men will not ask for directions!

Don’t worry, I’m not about to bash men. Just to be fair I will share an equally painful confession about women. We are notorious for being backseat drivers! Now many, like my mother, will not actually get behind the wheel if anyone else in the car has a valid driver’s license, but they (she) will give you guidance every turn of the way. Slow down! Look out for that car in front of you! Don’t park there. You’re too close.

But back to the men.  Well actually if we step out of the car, MOST of us will find that as we navigate life we don’t stop and ask for directions. Proverbs 3:1 cautions us, “My son, do not forget my teaching…” Verse 6 follows, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (NASB)

But no sooner read, we forget this invaluable teaching – in ALL ways we are to acknowledge Christ so that He will make our paths straight. Another translation of Verse 6 says, “He’s the one who will keep you on track.” (MSG)

My daddy loved to travel and often took us on family trips when I was a child.  Not being wealthy, much of our travel was via the family station wagon. (Yes, we had one of those with the wood veneer sides.)  I can still see him sitting at the kitchen table with maps and Atlases spread about as he was planning our next venture. (For you Millenials, understand there was no GPS!)  What is key is that daddy consulted the maps and atlases BEFORE we ever put a suitcase in the trunk!  And that is what your heavenly daddy would have you do.  Consult the maps and atlases – His word, His teaching – before you begin the journey!

And just as my daddy consulted those guides before every trip so you need to consult yours before you begin every day.  How?  Next blog entry…