God's Positioning System
When I hike or cycle, I like to have a reason for doing these activities. Besides the obvious benefits for health, having a goal or destination adds motivation and fun. About the time Global Positioning Systems were introduced, I found that GPS technology was useful for outdoor activities, including a game called geocaching. This game uses a handheld GPS to find an object that has been hidden anywhere in the world by another player. The clues to finding the hidden treasure are posted on the internet. The GPS generally gets players close to the right spot, but finding the hidden object often requires careful searching. Several aspects of geocaching have parallels in our spiritual lives.
- When I am geocaching, I must study the data ahead of time and decide if this is a goal I want to pursue. The same goes for our spiritual waypoints. As Christians, there are many waypoints that influence our lives. We have to choose whether a waypoint will be beneficial to our spiritual walk, or if it might be detrimental.
- Once I have selected a target or a goal, I must program the waypoint coordinates into my GPS. The GPS guides me to the location of the goal or the prize. The Bible is our GPS. It has the directions to guide us on our spiritual journey to the ultimate prize - eternal life with Jesus Christ.
- The GPS is never wrong, but if you enter an incorrect coordinate, or another player enters the wrong coordinates for a cache on the internet, you can miss the mark by feet or miles. I have done that and ended up at a location a long way from my goal. When we use the Bible as a guide, the instructions (coordinates) are always correct. It takes personal study of the Bible to anchor ourselves and know that we are going in the right direction.
- The treasure or prize that we seek in geocaching is an earthly treasure that will not last. Our goal should be to seek heavenly treasures that will be everlasting. Luke 12:33-34 says, "Store up treasure for you in heaven! ... The purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be" (NLT).
- The GPS would not work if there were no satellites in orbit sending out signals. The GPS is of no value without a signal being sent from a satellite. Likewise, without daily study of God's Word, I lose my direction because I am not locked onto the signal. I am not going to the source. Simple instructions to direct our spiritual journey are found in Psalms 119:105: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (NIV). I am glad that my salvation is not dependent upon a satellite being in a proper orbit and sending the right signal, but by the clear sure Word of God.
- The signals provided by the satellites are very low power. The GPS receiver is designed to find and lock onto these low power signals. Similarly, we need to listen for the still, small voice of God to discern His will for us. He does not force us to listen by turning up the volume. He says "listen" and I will show you the way.
As we start a new year, let us make sure that through prayer and the study of God's Word, we stay locked on the signal that will show us the way home.