Have you ever doubted your map app? Whether it's Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps, have you ever been certain it's wrong? Once I was visiting a friend who lived in Keller, a town I don't visit often. Our families were meeting for dinner, and I was stuck in rush hour traffic. The cars in front of me were at a standstill, and cars were piling up behind me. To my left was a turn off. Even though my map app, which accounts for traffic, wasn't saying I should turn, I was certain it was a better way.
As I turned off, my GPS continued to tell me to turn around. It was wrong. I was driving parallel to the freeway-turned-parking-lot, thinking how I had outsmarted the machine. The kids were hungry and Monica wasn't so sure, but it appeared that I had gotten away with a fantastic shortcut. Then, just as the restaurant was within site, I hit a forced turnaround that took us around the city and put us back in line where we were. Only we were now behind all the cars that were previously behind us.
When searching for direction, we have to know what source of information we should trust. Proverbs 3:5-6 exhorts us not to lean on our understanding. Ok, cool. Whose understanding should I lean on then? My GPS apps have proven trustworthy, but the problem is that I have another device that has proven untrustworthy. To confuse matters even more, it is the device I am most prone to trust. It's my heart. Not the beating, blood-pumping organ, but my emotional center, the core of my being, AKA my gut, AKA my feelings. That heart is untrustworthy.
Think about it. Have you ever been in love? Are you still in love? If not, what happened? Your heart was being unreliable, that's what happened. Ever thought you were going to marry somebody? Or have you ever really wanted something, only to buy it and then let it collect dust? Our heart leads us astray all the time. So, if we can't "follow our heart", what things can we rely on to accurately navigate us through the directions of life?
When you trusted in Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins, you were given the Holy Spirit. This is direct access to God Almighty. You can talk to Him, and He can hear you. He controls things...all things. Trust in Him with all your heart and in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct you.
Right about now you're probably thinking, "that's great, I can talk to God, but He's not so good at talking back." He's actually really great at talking back, but it seems the medium He most uses is His inspired Word, the Bible. Why should you read the Bible? One of many reasons is that you get to read the desires of and wisdom from God Himself. When you are reading the Bible, be in prayer. Ask God to help you understand His Word and ask Him for wisdom from it.
There are about a dozen Proverbs that effectively say, "you don't know, so you better ask somebody." Maybe a better paraphrase is "wisdom comes from the counsel of many". Get other solid Christians in a room. Present your questions and situation, with all the necessary details. Allow them to ask any questions they want. Then ask them what you should do. Let them work it out together with you and hopefully gain a consensus. Pray that the Lord would speak through them, and ask them to share Bible verses that inform their counsel. After all, why only listen to mortal man, when we have God's Word? Men who know me and know God's Word and who will tell me the truth are invaluable to me. They are priceless sources of godly direction.
Next time you're lost in life's decisions, remember your GPS :
G o to God
P ray through the scriptures
S eek wise counsel
It will get you unstuck every time.