When I’m using my phone to navigate to an unfamiliar destination, sometimes I’ll look ahead along the route to check out traffic conditions so I’m not caught off-guard when I hit a super slow patch (not while I’m actually driving at the moment, of course!). There’s this nifty little button at the bottom for me to tap to get my present location back into view that says, “Re-Center.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if life was that easy? If when we got off-track a bit, or a lot, all we had to do was press a button to get back to where we belonged?
Well have I got some good news for you! There is something we can do to get back on track.
Each one of us starts off in this life living for ourselves. Don’t believe me? Go to the mall or grocery store and watch the little kids. They want what they want, and they want it NOW!
As we grow up, this attitude remains part of who we are, but hopefully we learn to control it a bit. We want a car, we want a newer car, we want a bigger car, we want, we want, we want . . . our “wants” list is never-ending!
If we believe in God, our wants list can even affect what we ask him for, and we’re surprised when He doesn’t give us everything we desire! How could He be so uncaring?? But God is quite a bit wiser than we are.
“And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure” (James 4:3 NLT).
How can we get off this rat race of selfish desires? By remembering that our lives are in God’s hands, and trusting him with our everything. By choosing to live in obedience to his Word and submitting to him as Lord of our lives (giving him full control of what we have or don’t have, what we do or don’t do, what we say or don’t say . . .).
The quickest way for us to re-center is to take ourselves off the throne of our lives, and put Christ there instead. I don’t mean we should share the throne with him, I mean we should get out of the way! The sooner we stop struggling and fighting for what we want and begin to submit to what He wants, the sooner we find peace. Our days and ways are in his hands anyway, we might as well walk along with him instead of fighting him the whole way through!
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps“ (Proverbs 16:9).
“The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (Proverbs 20:24)
How can we learn what God wants for us? Our first guidance system comes in the form of the Bible. The more we get into it, read it, study it, think on it, and apply it, the more we get to know what God wants for our lives. The more we know and practice what it says, the easier it becomes to know the right road to stay on. Our steps become steady, and our footing sure no matter what comes our way. Jesus said,
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock” (Matthew 7:24:25).
Our second GPS comes through the presence of God, the Holy Spirit living in us. As we obey his Word, we learn to listen to his still, small voice in our hearts. The more time we spend listening and obeying, the easier it is to hear and identify when He’s speaking to us.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (John 14:15-17).
How’s Your Journey Going?
There’s no time like the present to make a pit stop. Just pull right over to the side of the road, and do a safety check. Who’s in the driver’s seat? Who’s in charge of navigation? Are you trying to wrestle with God over the steering wheel as you go down the road?
Maybe it’s time to climb out of the front seat altogether, and give full control of your life over to God.
My friend, you can trust him!
Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
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