I love to travel. To me there isn’t much more comforting than ‘Hitting the road’. I imagine this comes from my upbringing. The Brown family was a bit of a nomadic tribe. To date I have lived in 23 different houses, I have resided in 2 countries and 5 different states, some of them multiple times. In the 2nd grade I lived in 4 different homes, in 2 different states and attended 3 different schools…yeah, we were a tad bit nomadic…but it seemed normal to me. So, I am sure this has had an impact on my feeling comfortable being on the road. As a result, I have visited 34 of the 50 states, the territory of Puerto Rico and have been to 4 different countries. Many of you have travelled even more extensively than I, many of you less, but my travels have indeed made it an experience I thoroughly enjoy.
One of the things I do when I travel is input my destination into a GPS. I don’t do that because I need directions, no, I am a man after all, directions are not necessary…I do this simply so I will know what time I should arrive at my destination. In fact, sometimes I even turn down the volume so as to not be distracted by the voice in the box barking out orders when I purposefully leave the prescribed route. When I do venture off toward some alternate destination I have not been so polite or inclusive as to have formerly made the GPS aware of, it will begin to inform me rather abruptly that it is recalculating to give me the most efficient directions to return to my original path.
Did you know that as Christ followers we have an awesome GPS inside each and every one of us? Just like the GPS in our cars and on our smartphones it knows exactly where we are at any given time. It knows how far we are from our final destination and it knows when we will arrive there. It also has the ability to alert us when we leave the prescribed route whether we have done that deliberately or in error, and unlike the navigation systems in our cars, is able to gently and lovingly get us back on track.
Psalm 139 1-16 (NKJV) reads; O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high; I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
Thankfully these words written by King David were not only true for him but are true for us as well. Our God loves us so intensely and immensely that He is always keeping a watch over us and knows where we are at all times. Not just where we are physically, but where we are emotionally and spiritually as well. These verses point out that He knows where we are, what we are doing, and what our thought about it are. God knows when we get off track too, and has a plan to help us recalculate. His word tells us in John chapter 17 that when He went back to heaven to prepare our final destination, He was sending us a helper (our internal GPS) to keep us on the right path. He said this helper, His Holy Spirit would let us know when we were deviating from the intended way and would convict us of our wrong doing. In fact, He promises that our internal GPS will help keep us from making the wrong turns in the first place.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) says, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. For those times when we still turn off of where we shouldn’t, He gave us the formula for being able to turn around (repentance) and get back on the right way. He stated in 1 John 1:9 that if we would confess our sin, He will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Praise God for what a loving and good, good Father He is! Thank Him for the GPS (God’s Protective Spirit) that He has provided for all those who follow Jesus. Welcome His direction for your life and travel it with ease. David ended Psalm 139 with these words inviting the recalculating for his life…Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
So now, traveling with the GPS turned up so you can hear Him and His correction…go be awesome!