“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
One of the great benefits of modern technology is the on-board navigation system that comes with new cars. Essentially we now have maps that talk to us. I’m sure you have punched in an address, selected a route, and pushed the button that says “begin guidance.”
As you set out on your trip, the Voice tells you when to turn to the right or the left. If you miss the turn, which I have done on many occasions, the Voice will say, “Recalculating…” — as it pulls up another route to get you back on the right track. I must admit there have been a few times when I wanted to say something back to the Voice….but there’s no point. It doesn’t listen.
Did you know that the Christian life comes equipped with something very similar? Similar; but not the same.
We do have a Map that speaks to us; it’s the Bible, God’s living word. When you open it, you activate its power; and it will begin to speak to you in very real and personal ways.
First, it will show you where you are. Then it will guide you to where you need to go.
And, if you happen to make a wrong turn and veer off the correct route to an unfamiliar path, “your ears will hear a voice directing you back to the right way, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” when you turn to the right of to the left (Isaiah 30:21 NIV).
But our equipment also comes with something very special and singularly unique. We can actually talk to the Navigator – as often as we like, about anything that’s on our mind, without concern over exceeding our time limit or bandwidth.
This is called PRAYER. And it is the Third Sign we will find as we travel the Road where the Spirit leads us to go. It is the ultimate “Walkie-Talkie!”
Hildebert of Lavardin wrote in the 11th century — “God is over all things, under all things, outside all things. He is within but not enclosed; without, but not excluded; above, but not raised up; below, but not depressed. He is wholly above, presiding; wholly beneath, sustaining; wholly without, embracing; wholly within filling.”
This is who you have on the other end of the line; this is your Navigator!
And there’s more. Sometimes we are in fact so bewildered, exasperated and at such a complete loss – that we don’t even know where to begin our first sentence in prayer. Not to worry, The Bible assures us that “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. The Holy Spirit does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, and our aching groans.” (Romans 8:26 The Message)
We will need some more time to discuss this important topic, so we will pick back up on it tomorrow. But for now suffice it to say that if you are being led by the Spirit you will find the sign of Peace, the sign of Purity, and the sign of Prayer on your route. If you have not yet seen these signs – STOP what you are doing; turn around (the Bible-word for that is “repent”); and get back on the right road.
Breaker. Breaker. 1,9, Charlie. Please confirm. Over.