Following The Directions

by William J. Stewart

Advancements in technology have always impressed me. My first computer was an 80-88 made by Tandy. Suffice it to say, it is obsolete, a dinosaur compared to anything that anyone is using today.

I am equally astounded at how we get driving directions now compared to just a few years ago. At one time, we had a huge stack of road maps from various places in our car. That was replaced by the convenient and compact Rand McNally map book. Eventually a map program on my laptop was helpful in getting us from A to B. Digital maps! Then, an offline map sitting on Shelly’s lap was replaced with a 5-inch screen sitting on dash with vocal directions, real-time location, traffic updates, etc.. And now, with Google Maps on a cell phone, you have access to even more (construction zone info, gas prices, etc.).

If you’ve done much driving, you know just about everyone out there has a GPS or cell phone (or both) sitting on their windshield or dash. What a wonderful thing to have accurate and detailed directions from A to B, with all kinds of bells and whistles to boot.

With all that said, this article is not about GPS or computer technology. But, I do believe we can learn a few things about the nature of man by considering the above observations. People are looking for that which will make life easier. Folks are wanting sound, easy to follow directions. This is true in many areas of life, not just travel and work.

Tech companies are able to make many areas of life easier, but they are unable to affect the most important needs of man. There is no gadget, doo-hickey, thing-a-ma-jig or what-ya-ma-call-it that can address man’s spiritual needs. Nothing new will be introduced that can satisfy man’s soul’ the Bible alone can meet our spiritual needs.

The Scriptures, if we will subscribe to them, give direct for the soul. Consider:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The prophet Jeremiah acknowledged that when it comes to direction,

…the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)

Paul’s desire for himself and his brethren at Thessalonica was that

…the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

There may be a variety of places which one might look to for spiritual direction, but only the Bible will supply us with accurate and life-giving direction. Peter tells us that God has

…given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue… (2 Peter 1:3)

Numerous areas of life may be made easier with new gadgets, but when eternity comes, it won’t matter how easy or hard we had it in this life. It will matter whether we prepared to stand before the Lord in judgment or not.

Jesus told us about two men, a poor beggar by the name of Lazarus and an unnamed rich man. This man “fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19). There was nothing wrong with him being prosperous or enjoying the fruit of his labour (Ecclesiastes 2:24). However, this man was so focused on himself that he would not help another (Luke 16:20-21). How we live now (not wealth, but service to God and man) will affect us in eternity. Abraham spoke to the rich man,

…remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (Luke 16:25)

The root cause for the rich man being in torments is identified in his attempt to warn his brothers; none of them heeded the word of God (Luke 16:27-31).

Obeying God’s word will not guarantee an easy life in the here and now. In fact, Jesus revealed that trouble would come to all who walk in His way (John 15:18-20; cf. 2 Timothy 3:12). However, if we will pursue the things of God, we have the assurance of victory (John 16:33; 1 John 5:4).

Walk according to the way of the Lord, and appeal to His word as a guide for life. The Lord calls to us

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)

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