Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Remember the Little OnesProverbs 4:10-19
Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
Whether you’re 2 years old or 22 or even 102, humbly listening to and accepting godly wisdom is hard to do. Our pride and ego delude us into believing that we know best: better than our parents, our teachers, our spiritual leaders, and even our Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 4:10-19 portrays a loving father who wants to give sage advice to his young son so that he will be blessed with a smooth, long, and righteous life. The father is loving, experienced, and wise, possessing a wisdom that far surpasses his child’s. He is ready and willing to guide his inexperienced son through the challenges he will face in life. Although the father clearly knows best, it is still up to his child to decide whether he will listen, accept, and follow the guidance of his father. The same is true in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. God has given us the free will to decide whether we will follow His supreme wisdom given through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, many of us refuse to listen to the wise counsel given in the Bible by our Father, because in our pride we think we know better than the Creator of the universe. Our “better” way tends to lead us to crooked, twisted, dark paths that cause us to stumble, fall, and get lost. It can also lead us to “evildoers,” “wickedness,” and “violence.” (Prov. 10: 14-17) God’s way, on the other hand, never takes us down a wrong path or leads us to getting lost.
GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that helps guide users to the correct destination. GPS provides a good metaphor for the guidance we receive from our Heavenly Father. GPS is exceptionally accurate because it receives signals coming from 27 satellites, but we sometimes still question GPS when it tells us to go a certain way. We may think we know a better route, or we may try to find a shortcut or easier route, then end up getting hopelessly lost. Similarly, as children of God, we often think we know better than our omniscient Creator, and try to follow our own path and wisdom, which leads us to destructive, dissatisfying, or troubling situations. In our arrogance, we somehow believe that we are wiser than the God who created us and all the astounding wonders of this world.
GPS usually guides us one step at a time, instead of revealing the entire route to the user. God guides us in a similar manner: He reveals His plan for us one step at a time, even though we want to know the full plan at the outset. In our impatience to get to our final destination we may try to circumvent God’s guidance and forge ahead with our own plans, often with disastrous consequences. Abraham and Sarah’s story gives us an example of this. When they became impatient with God’s promise to give them a child, they devised their own plan to have a child through Hagar, which led to many problems for them and for future generations. We need to learn to patiently wait for God’s step by step, day by day guidance in every situation we face in life.
With GPS, we have the option of turning it on, listening to its guidance, and choosing to follow its directions. However, we also have the option to keep GPS off, so we don’t have to pay attention to it. Sometimes we listen to its directions but then choose NOT to follow its guidance. We have these same options with God. Although God is always with us, ready to guide us through Scripture and the Holy Spirit, we still have the choice to decide whether we will listen to His voice. Unfortunately, we frequently choose to be “hearers of the Word,” and not “doers,” (James 1:22) causing us to go down the wrong path.
One of the incredible benefits of GPS is that it can reroute us back on the right course when we are hopelessly lost. Even if we initially ignore GPS directions, we can, at any point in our journey, choose to follow the GPS-given route. Even after multiple mis-turns of our own choosing, GPS will recalculate and get us back on the right route. Thankfully, the same is true for our lives with God. Some people seem to try all the wrong turns in life before finally getting on the right track through God’s help. We won’t remain hopelessly lost if we turn to God for help. It’s comforting to know that even when we stubbornly choose our own, selfish path, getting further and further away from God, He is always willing to help us when we call out to Him, and He will get us back on the right path. When we trustingly follow God’s guidance, we can be assured that He will get us safely home to our heavenly destination by the best route possible.
Father, we are so stubborn and prideful, often thinking we know more than You do. Forgive us for the many times we refused to trust You and follow Your guidance. Help us to remember that You love us too much to ever steer us wrong. Teach us to always follow Your guidance, trusting that You know everything that lies ahead of us, and that You will lead us down the best path for us…until one day You bring us safely home to Your heavenly kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
If you wander from the right path, either to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “You should go this way. Here is the right way.”
Isaiah 30:21 (ERV)
Isaiah 30:21 (ERV)
Dallas Sehion Mar Thoma Church, Texas