Terry and I recently went on a road trip together to Sandwich, Ill., which is located close to Chicago.
It was the farthest west that the two of us had ever together traveled. We saw a lot of huge corn and soybean fields along the way.
The occasion for the trip was to attend a wedding. Many of you remember Brenton Clark. Brenton graduated West Point in recent years. After a tour of service in Afghanistan, he had been currently stationed at Fort Campbell close to Clarksville, Tenn. It was at church there that he met Laurel Skorop. Eventually, the two became engaged and asked me to take part in their wedding ceremony. I have been Brenton’s pastor since 1998.
The travel route for the last 100 miles was very detailed. There were several highways and bypasses to exit and get on during those last legs before hitting the backroads to Sandwich. But, it was not difficult because our vehicle has the GPS system. Terry and I had typed in the destination of Sandwich as we left home in Mason, and the lady’s voice, along with the touch screen, features directed our routings.
But, a certain thought amazed me as we traveled. The same voice that directed the specifics of our travel was at the same time directing the specifics of travel for many other people traveling around the country. Though in different locations, others were being directed to where they needed to go by the same satellite system and technological dynamics in place for this purpose.
I used to have to use a map if I traveled into unfamiliar territory. Sometimes I would consult someone who knew the way, and wrote down directions. If I needed to do so, I would stop and ask for directions. Uncertainty still hung overhead.
But, if your vehicle is equipped with the GPS, all you have to do is type in your destination and you will be directed to where you need to go by this Global Positioning System. From it, I can get directions I need. You can get directions you need. We all can get directions each of us need.
This subject, however, leads us to consider an even more favorable directions system. It is more favorable because this particular directions system gives us accurate directions for life concerns. This directions system not only helps to know where to go, but how to get there. It directs our decisions. It directs us out of difficult circumstances.
It is GPS of a spiritual kind. We might refer to this GPS as “God’s Providential Speaking,” for God does providentially speak to us to give us His directions for our lives. His speaking is specified, however. God employs His Holy Spirit to give us necessary guidance.
The Bible exemplifies the directive influence of the Holy Spirit. When the Apostle Paul was minded to go east into Asia to preach the Gospel, he was “forbidden of the Holy Spirit” to do so. When he was still minded to evangelize eastward from a different angle, “the Holy Spirit allowed them not.”
But, there eventually came sure GPS through the Holy Spirit to go westward with the Gospel. It is a critical Bible-based point to consider that has come to affect you and me. God’s GPS through the Holy Spirit got the Gospel going in a prime westward direction that effectively spread unhindered through Europe, and then eventually to the United States. There are consequential ramifications for us because of the leadership of the Holy Spirit concerning the direction of the Gospel.
God (G) providentially (P) speaks (S) to us by way of the Holy Spirit. That is why the Scripture calls on us to “walk in the Spirit,” and to “be led by the Spirit.” The reason for this specific Bible information is that sometimes we just do not know which way to turn in our lives. Sometimes we need directions for getting out of difficulties. Uncertainties hang overhead if we consult other directional sources for perceived assistance in life. But, uncertainties are eliminated when you depend upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
He does not make mistakes. He never misdirects us. I can get directs I need. You can get directions you need. We all can get directions each of us needs.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.