This morning's devotion dealt with following God's will for our life, much like following a GPS while traveling:
February 19, 2010
Psalm 139:2-10 (KJV) "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."
Friend To Friend
My family and I just returned from our first vacation in nine years. My husband, our four children, and I left Ohio and began our journey to Myrtle Beach, SC. After a few days, we then headed to North Carolina to meet some old friends. We really enjoyed our trip, aside from the hundreds of stops, and kids fighting in the car ... good times. About a week before we left, we prepared for the trip by packing and planning and borrowing a GPS system from my sister and brother-in-law. I have used one before but never really thought about how amazing they are.
A GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a navigational system involving satellites and computers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by computing the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver. In other words, the GPS receives signals from satellites that let the GPS know where they are and where they need to go, to get to where they need to be.
Ok, now that I have that figured out, on with my story. Usually, when we take a trip, we plan our route by using an atlas. My job is to intently watch the map and pinpoint the signs on the side of the road to make sure we are heading the correct way. However, this trip was different.
Before we left, we put the hotel information in the GPS and did what the voice told us to do. At first, we enjoyed just listening to the voice, almost entertained by this little box telling us to turn left off of our street. It did not take long, however, before we were amazed by the accuracy of this tool. The directions are so intricately given; it lets you know the amount of feet left until it is time to turn. It is so sensitive, that it will let you know the speed limit change at the same time you pass the sign on the side of the road. The voice is so consistent, it never sounds angry or irritated, no matter how many gas stops or potty breaks we took. It just simply said "recalculating" and went on with how to get us back on track. There were times, however, that we got quite irritated with that sweet voice when we just wanted to "be there!"
We left Myrtle Beach after a few days and headed to Concord, North Carolina, a city near Charlotte. We put the address in the GPS and let it do its thing. As we got closer, we passed an exit that read the exact city that we were heading toward, on the exact highway that should have taken us directly there. I didn't understand why the GPS didn't have us turn. I opened the map and looked at the route we were taking. I was sure the GPS had finally messed up; it was taking us clear into Charlotte. Not only did we pass the exit to our city, we were going in the wrong direction. After about twenty minutes of intently watching this system fail us, and adding how much time we are losing with our friends, the road turned and got us right to our hotel, and yes, in the exact time it said we would be there.
What I learned from the GPS is that there is no point in having it if you don't trust it. I experienced frustration that I did not need to experience. As I laughed at myself and my lack of faith in this system that is so intricately designed, I felt God so clearly asking me why I do the same thing to Him. You see, if we have faith, then why do we constantly question when will this happen or why didn't this go the way I thought it would? Why do we question the route in which God takes us where He wants to take us? Sometimes we have everything figured out ahead of time, like we are making His job easier, right? Did you ever look back at a trail of events in your life that lead to something amazing? I'm sure it did not always go the easiest way or the way we thought would be easiest.
Like on our way to Concord NC, the satellite had its reasons for taking us I85 instead of the highway intended for the city of Concord. Maybe there was construction or an exit closed. Maybe if we had gone that way, and that sweet voice just said "recalculating", the ride would have taken twice as long. Just because we think one way is best, doesn't mean it's the way God wants us to go.
The GPS gets its signals from the satellites in space, as our Holy Spirit get's its coordinates from God the Father. Once He fills us with the Holy Spirit, it's up to us to listen to that sweet voice or to do our own thing, only to hear "recalculating." I want to listen to that first voice so that I get where He wants me to get, when He wants me to get there. Faith is such a huge part of the Christian walk, yet it's the hardest part. It is a big decision to make, yet the best one you will ever choose. May God bless you on all your travels.
I want to be like that. I want to be able to trust God completely, ESPECIALLY when it doesn't make sense to me. When thinking about it, when we tell God what to do, the way that we think He should do things, isn't that quite arrogant of us? I mean.. think about it. We're telling God, the creator of the universe, the giver of life, the King of Kings, the ruler of everything, we're telling Him what to do. Yeah... that's not a very comforting thought. When I look back on my track record as a human, I can't help but confess that I'm clumsy. I mess things up. Basically, I'M NOT GOD. I'd much rather just let go, leave things in His more-than-capable hands and watch the miracles that He's promised to perform in my life. But that only comes from following His directions, instead of thinking that I know best and going off on my own.
When driving around town, and especially out on those back-country roads, it's all to easy to take a wrong turn. I remember one time down in TN when I was trying to get to Bro Rick and Sis Leslei's house. I had been there one time before, but it had been a good year or two since then and even though I remembered the exit number and even the main street to turn onto, I could not navigate through all the side streets. I tried, thinking that I knew best, but in the end I was hopelessly lost. Through the panic-induced tears, I called my Dad and described where I was, reading off the street names. He, as the loving father, wanted to know why I had not just asked for directions in the first place, and I had to confess my mistake. But even as he tried to help me, I let me fear get the better of me and took out my frustration at the situation on hm, yelling and crying even harder. Finally, I calmed down and I remember him asking me one simple question, "Do you want my help?"
Newly ashamed and remorseful, I said yes, admitting to myself that I couldn't find my way alone. I needed my father's help, but that required me swallowing my anger and directing it at the person who was actually responsible for the situation- myself. Once I admitted that and asked for his help, Dad was able to get me out and to the Moncrief's house within minutes. (Only to find out that they weren't home! ha!) How much easier it was when I listened to my father, instead of following my own will.
Yet how many times have I done that with my Heavenly Father? How many times have I just "taken off" on my own, only to find myself lost, alone, and scared. THEN I ask for help, yet I get angry when He tries to get me back on the right path. It is then that He stops and simply asks, "Megan, my child, do you want my help?"
"Yes, Lord... I do... I'm sorry for my attitude and my willfulness. Please help me as I try to do better. And yes.. please show me the way that You want me to go."
And thank you, Lord, for speaking to my heart today. You always DO know best!