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I got in the car …
and programmed the GPS before starting the journey to an area of town that was unknown to me. At first, my route took me to familiar roads, but soon I found myself not recognizing my surroundings. I got off the main road and continued for several miles. As I glanced at my phone’s GPS, I realized that while paying attention to the landscape, I did not hear the Australian dude telling me I had a left turn coming up.
Next thing I know, the screen went gray. I had missed an important turn. Why did he not start screaming: “Pay attention! You are about to miss your turn! Hellooooo!!”
Nope. I’m sure he advised that a turn was coming up. But I missed it.
I looked down at my GPS, waiting for the correction to come. Several seconds went by… and nothing. All I had was a gray screen, filled with streets going everywhere, and no blue road indicating where I should turn next.
It was dark, and I was lost in a bad area of town.
I restarted the app, soon realizing that reception was poor. No sign of my Australian friend.
Finally, after what it seemed to be forever, my phone caught the carrier’s signal and a blue light indicating the route popped on my screen again.
Sigh. Thank you, Jesus.
When the GPS finally updated the route, I looked down at my arrival time. My rerouting cost me 10 precious minutes that I really could not afford to spare. Now I was lost, angry, anxious… and late. What started as a pleasant ride to an exciting event turned into a time of unnecessary stress. A waste of time and energy, simply because I was too distracted and missed the voice and map to my destination.
Missing a turn on the road at an unknown part of town is certainly no fun. But it’s nothing compared to what we miss when we take the wrong turn on the road God has mapped up for us… or when we miss His plan for our lives altogether.
I recently met a man who had been called into ministry many years ago but decided not to follow through. I could hear the disappointment, sadness and pain in his voice.
Oh! He continued to serve God during his professional career and even now, during retirement. But he missed a crucial turn… and it cost him. He paid the price with a joyless career and a sense of loss. But the truth is, only God really knows the full extent of what he missed.
If you are like me, missing the GPS turn is not the only time you found yourself lost in your ways. I certainly found myself drifting away from the blue light in God’s GPS in the past, and I praise God for His mercy and grace, and that the Holy Spirit did not give up on me until I confessed my wrongdoing (or wrong-going ), corrected my course and headed back to the center of His will.
God put it in my heart …
to share six things that I believe, from personal experience, are sure signs that you are heading in the wrong direction.
I have decided to make this a blog series because the material is too extent for one blog post, so make sure to visit my blog for the next weeks.
Without further ado, here’s the first sign you are in heading in the wrong direction:
1) You have no peace about your decision –
We’ve all been there.
You make a decision, sometimes even rationalizing something you know not to be God’s will. It may be that you blatantly go against Scriptures, manipulating the Bible to fit your own carnal desires. Or maybe you compromised by following the crowd: Everybody does it. Society accepts it, so why not?
Or it could be that you did not necessarily go against God’s statues. As far as you know, your decision does not compromise the Word of God at all. But a nagging, uncomfortable feeling pricks at our heart, every time you think about it or do what you decided to do. I love the New Living Translation of 1 Corinthians 10:5, where Paul addresses this issue:
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.”
In other words, not everything that is good… is good for Patricia. Period.
So, if the Bible does not clearly answer my specific question, and even if my dilemma is completely allowed by the Word of God, how do I know where to turn?
Here is the answer for you, me, and all of Yahweh’s children:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Colossians 3:15
Some things that are God’s desires for us are very clear in His Word. You don’t have to wonder whether you should date a married man or tithe your income. There are clear answers about such things in the Bible. But sometimes we don’t have a bible verse to clearly guide us into the next step. For example, when people ask me about decisions such as job changes, I cannot tell them to flip their Bible open and point to a verse.
But Colossians 3:15 clearly tells us where the blue light in our spiritual GPS is found: “let the peace of God be the Ruler in our hearts.”
If you don’t have peace – stay put.
If you don’t have peace about where you are currently standing – turn around and start moving in the opposite direction.
If you are courageous enough to turn around, He is gracious enough to forgive, and merciful enough to guide.
How is God encouraging you today?