I was driving along a busy road that had recently been re-surfaced. About every 50 ft., imbedded in the white stripe at the edge of the road – between the shoulder and where our cars are supposed to be – were new kinds of rumble strips. Not the kind you feel when you are on the highway. These were almost invisible, but very effective. They really did let the driver know when they were drifting over towards the shoulder of the road. I thought, “Don’t we all want some instant guidance like that in life?” We’d love to know when we’re drifting the wrong way so that we can turn the wheel and correct the situation.
Then a flood of Scripture came to me showing me that indeed we do have great and perfect guidance that is much better than hitting a rumble strip, (which isn’t a nice feeling but does correct gently). John 16:13-14 “But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.”
If you are born-again, you have the Holy Spirit living in you, the everlasting Spirit of God Himself resides in you! “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I said to you” John 14:26. “…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” John 14:17.
So you might be saying, “Sure, I know all that, but when life gets confusing how do I know I’m going the right direction?” Applying the truth to our lives is probably one of the most complex things in our walk with Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].” It’s when we get focused on ourselves, on our performance, on our ability to do something or not do something that we get off track. When we forget how loved we are and how forgiven we are is when we lose focus and drift off course. When we allow grace to exit our lives and get caught up in doing things to get on God’s good side or impress God or others, it feeds our pride and then we really drift off the road.
Here’s an example of the type of thing I’m getting at:
Let’s say that I read the Bible first thing in the morning most days and find that to be a great time of fellowship with the Lord. But then one day something happens to interrupt that time and I either don’t get to my quite time that day or do it at another time. If I think in my soul that because I didn’t get into the Word at that time or didn’t at all, that something bad might happen to me that day, I’ve just hit a rumble strip in my heart. I’ve gone into a form of law that brought fear to my soul. That fear or anxiety that came “because I didn’t do this or that” gives the Spirit opportunity to tell me that I just slipped into self-effort, trying to please God by my spiritual discipline. I then get back into the Word and allow the Spirit of truth to re-direct me to the truth: “It’s by grace I’m saved through faith, and that not of yourselves (or any personal striving), it is the gift of God; not because of works, (not the fulfillment of the law’s demands) lest anyone should boast” Ephesians 2:8-9. When I see the love of God in all that Jesus did for me (and not because of anything I did, didn’t do or am doing now) and then I’m back on the road going the right direction.
You can bring up any experience you have had and fill it into my example. We’ve all had the same experience in our walk with God. He is so patient and tends to us like the sheep that we are! Our Good Shepherd makes sure that our feet walk towards Him. He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. It’s His rod and staff that comfort us and keep us going the right direction (Psalm 23). Keep yourselves in the truth and listen to the Spirit’s guidance for your specific adventures in life. “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7. So be encouraged! He is keeping your life on the road. Allow His rumble strips to work good for us and keep us going towards Jesus, the author and finisher of faith.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ” 2 Thessalonians 3:5.