Anyone who really knows me knows there was a time in my life when I fiercely resisted technology. I absolutely despised it! I had this idea that we would lose our humanity if we rely too heavily on technological advices. And while this is true for those who obsess over it eventually becoming rabid, not EVERY aspect of it is negative. In fact, I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for 3 things: Social Media, YouTube and GPS! I was checking the stats for my blog and discovered that most of my readers are people who learned of updates about new entries via social media. Social media has the most incredible ability to spread any message or news across the globe in a second. That’s powerful. #Amazing! YouTube is simply a miracle. There is hardly anything I can’t access, from live streaming to concerts in the 1950s. Being the old school, music and TV show lover that I am, YouTube is one of my closest friends. Just last month, I binge-watched the original Twilight Zone and it was awesome!
Finally, there’s GPS. This one might be the most interactive and fantastic of the three. It zeros in on you from space and tracks your every move until you arrive at your destination. Whether you are taking a 15-minute drive to an event in your city or you are completely lost in a foreign country, GPS will get you back on track. Honestly, the function of the GPS is no different from the way God brings us out of any situation and puts us on the right path.
Whenever you’re lost, God’s focus is to get you back on track. We all have a purpose for being and the only way to realize our destination is to stay on the appropriate route. Of course, we are flawed human beings. Staying on the path is not always the easiest thing. Some people are distracted and may not realize they have strayed from the path. Others are discouraged and believe they have made too many mistakes and are too far from God to be redeemed. No matter what end of the spectrum you’re on, God can always bring you back.
How Do We Get Off Track?
There are more than a million ways to get off track, but they all lead back to one thing: doing our own thing without God’s guidance. Sometimes we are waiting for something to happen in life and during that time we become impatient. Out of frustration, we carve our own path. We make decisions that seem right at the time, but in the end, they lead us to a place we never intended being (Proverbs 16:25). Some of us never wait on God. We always make choices without consulting Him. We allow our emotions to dictate the course. The tricky thing about emotions is that they are so intense they affect us physically. Emotions are more than just a thought in your head. Emotions can literally be felt. Whether they cause you to produce tears, have an elevated pulse or get headaches, emotions are powerful! Unfortunately, emotions are not a stable foundation for us to stand on because they can change second by second; yet so many of us make serious decisions based on how we feel at the time. Without the foundation of truth, which never changes, we’ll find ourselves entering a life of many sins. Some of us continuously exchange one sexual partner for another without ever marrying and committing to any of them (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Others will use alcoholism or drugs to cope with situations, ultimately making life worse (Ephesians 5:15-18). There is an array of sin that we can invite into our lives and each one takes us further from the path of righteousness. In the simplest definition, sin is separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). God holds your path in his hands (Jeremiah 29:11), so sin literally takes you off your path and away from your purpose (Proverbs 13:21).
Like GPS, God has a way of finding you no matter where you are or how far you have strayed. He can find you in the middle of a bar fight, crack house or shameful act. There are times when we have an idea of how we got to a certain point, but we need a few directions to get us back on the trail. Other times, we may be so far from who we were that we don’t even recognize our surroundings or remember how we got there. This is the difference between driving around a familiar area versus being completely lost in a foreign place. Even when we don’t know where we are, God knows. All we have to do in these situations is have an open heart to hear God’s voice. This won’t be an audible voice, but God knows how to reach you and you will know. I believe God appeals to us in ways that we can understand. For a person like me, who loves music, He may speak to me through a music lyric. For a person who is more visual, He may come to them in a dream or use a message on a highway billboard. We can always begin again if we choose. As I have mentioned before, God gives us free will. He’s never forceful with us. When you are ready, God is waiting!
The best way to get back to your real life (a.k.a. God’s purpose for your life) is to read the Bible and meditate on what you read. For new believers, I often recommend books from the New Testament, especially since we’re living in “post-resurrection” times. Reading the whole Bible is something we all should do, but the New Testament is a great starting place. Start by reading a chapter and then meditate. Open your mind to what God may be saying to you. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything the first time. Pray for wisdom and pray often. Prayer is more than just asking for forgiveness all the time. Prayer is the way we communicate with God (James 1:5). We speak and then we listen. It’s not very different from conversing with friends. And just like any relationship, conversing helps you to know the person on a deeper level. Reading God’s word and prayer (conversing) enhances your relationship with Him, thus knowing your own path and purpose better. Who we were called to be is found in Him (1 Cor. 6:17, 1 Cor. 12:27, Gen. 1:27).
Staying linked in with God assures you will never stray from your path (Romans 6:17-18). There will be bumps in the road and times when we make wrong choices; but if we keep our focus on Him, we’ll never be lost. I encourage you not to waste any more time wandering off your path. As powerful as God is, we all have a certain amount of time on this earth. The goal is to fulfill our purpose (reach our destination). But if we remain wanderers, getting on and off the course, we won’t reach that destination. God will forever be recalculating, constantly trying to steer us back in the right direction. Turn your location on, find your path and stick to it.
Kirby N. McKinney