You want to get from Point A to Point B. What do you do?

  • Study the map before turning on the ignition.
  • Key the destination into your GPS and just let it direct you while you listen to “Baby Shark” over and over and over again.
  • You have a general idea of where you’re going, so you hop in the car and just follow signs.

I used to study maps religiously—but then along came GPS. Woo hoo! Now I drive without thinking—just doing what someone else tells me to do. (A braver man would compare that to marriage, but I’m not that brave.)

But there’s something adventurous about just setting out on the open road with no clear directions. On the occasional Sunday afternoon, my wife and I go out into the county and … “Let’s see where that road will take us.” We call it “having an adventure.”

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaliaaaajge4nwvjzgy4lwe0zgitndazni05mja1ltc4zwi2mdi5zmm4nqA hundred years ago, that romantic notion of an adventure was a way of life for the traveler—and it was far more hazardous than romantic.

  • Few paved roads
  • Even fewer road signs or markers

Do I go right or left at this fork in the road? Where’s food? Where’s gas? Drivers were constantly stopping strangers and asking for directions. It had to be a golden time for practical jokers who could send you in the wrong direction.

MapBut in 1909, GPS came along. Sort of.

Along came the Jones Live-Map: a device that attached to the outside of the car—close to the steering wheel—and was connected to the car’s front wheel. It held a disc that rotated in relation to the speed of the car. The disc contained distances between intersections and indicated where to turn. You would know where you were and how to get to Point B.

jones_live_map_meter_c-_1909_view_2_-_museum_of_science_and_industry_chicago_-_dsc06693While the Jones Live-Map was popular, it didn’t last long. With each succeeding year, more roads were improved, and Rand McNally got seriously busy printing road maps.

God’s will includes you. He desires to do great things in you and through you. Trust Him. Follow the direction He has given you through His Word. Walking in the center of God’s will is a great place to be, but at some point you will veer off course. We all do. And when you do, consider your walk with God as GPS, not a Jones Live-Map.

1. Legalism and the law. With the Jones Live-Map, if you stuck to the prescribed route, no problem. But if you missed a single turn, the Jones Live-Map became totally useless. You were on your own.

Some people view living for God that way. They approach the Christian life legalistically. They seek to follow God’s Word without wavering.  That’s good, but they think if you miss one command, you’re toast. You’ve blown it. You are on your own.

2. Grace. With my GPS, if I miss an exit, she kindly redirects me to get me back on the route. She’s not obnoxious about; she just helps me get back. That is the Christian life. God’s Word shows us how to live, but when we get off course, He tells us how to get back on course.  In describing the power of Scripture, Paul said,

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

See that word “correcting?” God rebukes us when we sin, but out of His grace, He lovingly gives us correction. And puts us back on course.

Keep your eye on God’s plan for you as revealed in Scripture.

  • In His grace and wisdom, He teaches you.
  • In His grace and love, He rebukes and corrects you.
  • In His grace and wisdom, He trains you in righteousness.

With God’s Word in your hands, you are never apart from His wisdom—and with Him in your heart, you are never apart from His grace and love.

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This post supports the study “God’s Will and the Bible” in Bible Studies for Life.