As Carl confidently drove us out of Manchester City Centre, I was reminded of how stressed my Mum feels finding her way round one way systems in city centres. She would much prefer for someone else to drive as she doesn’t find it a pleasant experience & often gets lost. ‘I’m a lot calmer when I’ve got a Sat Nav’ she laughs!
I’m very fortunate in that Carl’s brain is a pre-installed, pre-programmed Sat Nav! When I’m with him I don’t have to take much notice of where or how I’m going to get from A-B. He has an incredible gift of navigation and is fearless when it comes to venturing out.
I remember getting the Mega Bus to London and a train from Piccadilly to Woking, Surrey. I bought my ticket and excitedly told the cashier that this was my first time getting the train here on my own! – I received a vacant look! But when I finally made it to my destination I was so proud of myself and told the first person I met when I got off the train! – you can tell I don’t get trains vey often. I followed my directions and got to my destination!
Nearly everyone today owns some form of navigation device. Perhaps its installed in their phone, car or you’ll own a map. If it’s a new journey- or even a familiar one- people will usually travel with something to guide and instruct them.
The purpose of a Sat Nav is to get you from one destination to another with guided instruction along the way. It gives us instructions to follow. Even when it instructs us to go left and you suspect it may be wrong- we still follow because we place our trust in it to get us to our final destination- or perhaps there’s a few of us that ignore it and go our own way?
If we get lost, most Sat Nav’s will immediately reassure your pounding heart; sweaty palms and utter panic, by a voice speaking those comforting words- ‘destination re-routing, make a U-turn when possible’ and you immediately feel calmer because you know you’re not alone and the Sat-Nav will get you home eventually- even if you have to re-route and take a few detours.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now- but simple things like this seems to be how God uses me to think about our relationship and walk with Him.
Why is it we place our total trust in a device or map to guide us to our destination, yet we don’t follow who I believe is the one and only true Sat Nav to life- God?
He has provided us with His living word in the form of the bible, speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, prayer and many other ways. He promises to guide us, to be with us always- to go right or left, to wait, to trust, to listen…and yet we constantly cry out where are we going? Where do you want us to go? What do I do? And even, I don’t want to do that or go that way.
Isiah 30:21 NLT
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.“…I wonder what voice/accent God has?!
Carl and I have always had a spirit of adventure and travel. We have prayed many a prayer as to where God is guiding us, what plans does he has for us- at times feeling very confused.
I particularly find this difficult. I am a planner! I plan ahead so I know what we’re doing- I like to know we have a plan for the next year- something to aim for. But recently my plans have all gone up in the air! Our plans to buy a house and settle has not gone straight forward and this frustrates me. At first, I would cry out to God! Where do you want us to go? What should we do? Why is this happening?!…but that’s where it ended- unbelief and doubt kicked in! My plans were ruined! I didn’t look to God any further, but concentrated on and overthought how my plans hadn’t gone to plan- and I couldn’t understand why, causing me to feel lost, panicky and free falling into the unknown.
Yet when I turn to His word I see promise after promise leap out of the page! I am immediately comforted and begin to feel excited at what He has planned for me- even if it doesn’t align with my own plans. If my plans haven’t come to pass it’s because he’s got something better planned! – pretty cool ey?!
Proverbs 16:9 NLT
‘We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.’
Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
But why do I leave this to the last minute instead of looking to God first? Why don’t I prepare and look for direction with the map of Gods promises before I make my own plans? Just as I would if I was travelling somewhere. We follow instructions (or should!) from people in authority and our managers. As children one of the early stages of development is to learn to follow instructions- why is it then that we find it all too easy to ignore God or agree to follow his instructions as a last resort?…. or am I on my own there?
What if we listened and obeyed the instructions and directions God gives for our life as much as we did our Sat-Nav’s? If we placed as much trust and reliance in Him to guide us along the right path, just as we did with any navigation device.
‘Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it.’
‘For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in God. Lean on your God!’
‘We want clarity; God wants us to come closer. Come closer to God who’s got it; Lean on His love, Rely on His strength. Sometimes we want greater clarity when what we need is deeper trust’ Ann Voskamp.
Yes, there will be delays; bumps, detours, breakdowns and usually a few warning signs along the road, but God has sent us the best rescue service! Forget the AA- Jesus came to rescue and save the lost. We have him on speed dial with unlimited access and signal! He is never out of range! All we have to do is trust and believe. Trust that he loves you and wants the best for you and wants to keep you on the right path.
God promises fill the bible. What if we began trusting these promises, agreeing to walk with God and follow him to fulfil his plan for our life- not our own. What if we turned up the volume instead of making His voice background noise and only tuning in when it aligns with your plans or as a last resort when you are completely lost and out of your depth?
Psalm 143:10 NLT
‘Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.’
I’m not saying this will be easy- sometimes you may be asked to go somewhere or do something you don’t want to do or can’t understand. Carl and I have been through many bumps in the road, detours and often travelled the same road time and time again- but it’s only now looking back that we can be thankful. We have grown both as individuals, in our marriage but most importantly in our relationship and walk with God. He sees what’s best for us even if we can’t!
After going through many trials already, we are still unsure as to what and where God is calling us- but we trust God for the right outcome, seek his guidance and spend time in prayer, leaning on him- not easy, and of course there are days we fall short and try to go our own way- but we’re learning to turn up the volume, follow the instructions and rely totally on the best Sat Nav out there- God.
What about you?