Trust the Map

My dad and I took a trip to Wisconsin to spend time on ATV trails. He had been on many of them before, at least some parts of them. I hadn’t. He’s a planner, so he had ample trail maps, plus a GPS (which, thankfully wasn’t dependent on cell reception, since we were basically in no-phone-land). Neither of us are directionally-challenged, but those trails made slight turns this way and that until…without the GPS, I would have guessed wrong on the direction we were headed, at least, on the cold, rainy day. On that day, it was especially important we knew we were going, because we had limited daylight hours and over a hundred miles to cover.

contradictory-directionsDad had the GPS right in front of him, and I had the map, protected from the rain in a plastic bag. I’d peek around his shoulder to compare the map with what I saw on the GPS. A couple times, early in our ride that day, we’d approach an intersection, and I’d pause. It felt like we should go one way, but according to the map, my instincts weren’t right.

How could I argue with the map? Well, I could if I was stubborn (which I sometimes am), but I was motivated to choose well, because wrong choices meant more cold, more wetness, and less sunlight. One phrase came to mind:

Trust the map.

It’s not the only map I (and you) need to trust. There are times I feel like I should go one way, but I haven’t prayed about it. I haven’t checked in God’s Word. I’m just “pretty sure” I know what He would have me do. Of course, sometimes the choice is obvious, just like turning toward or away from water made directional choices obvious on the ATV trails. But there are a lot of times when both options look pretty good. And maybe they’ll both get me to the same place. But the destination isn’t the only factor; the journey is important, too.

I won’t always understand exactly where I am and why. I won’t always know how one path prepares me for another or protects me from something. But I don’t have to know or understand it all. In fact, I can’t, even if I wanted. God does, and He gives me directions, promptings and cautions. I don’t always pay attention as closely as I should, but I need to…

Trust His map.

 

 

 

Being Resolute in Being God’s Messenger

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory parade. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume. Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost. To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life. So who is able to do this work? We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God. 2 Corinthians 14-17

What intimidates you about being God’s messenger?

When have you avoided being God’s messenger?

How has someone been God’s messenger to you?

We assume the responsibilities of being God’s messenger are going to be more than what we can handle – or more than we want to handle. Sometimes we’re simply too lazy to do that which is required of us. God gives us what we need. He often gives us more than what we want to handle, but it’s not about us. It’s about the big picture of what God knows needs to be done to further his kingdom and fulfill his will. Our role isn’t to figure it out, know all the details, or carry the entire burden of God’s will. Our role is to listen and be obedient. We can easily overstep our boundaries and take on a responsibility that is not ours to take. In the process, we are not only disobedient but we impact others’ obedience as well. We take the role or responsibility intended for someone else. We can also understep our bounds, not taking care of the territory God has specifically given to us. The ball is in our court, but we’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to show up and play the game. We make being God’s messenger much more difficult than it needs to be. As we live out the life God is leading us to live, being God’s messenger is simply part of the journey.

Watch for God to provide an opportunity for you to reflect him today. It might be a simple smile, encouraging word, help with a burden, sacrificial service, or personal testimony. Let God guide.