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When I am driving, I often struggle with a nagging uneasiness. I frequently feel like I may have missed a turn, or even worse, that I’m going in an entirely wrong direction. Both of those things have happened to me, more times than I would like to remember. I have to admit it. I am directionally challenged!
That’s why I am so thankful for Google Maps! The directions it gives me are right most of the time. All I have to do is carefully follow its step-by-step instructions. However, there have been times when I was following Google’s directions very carefully, and I still got lost. Each time that happened, I discovered that I had accidentally typed the wrong address into the map program.
Worse than driving around and not knowing where we are, though, is a having a similar feeling in our everyday lives, a feeling that we are aimless. Why are we alive, anyway? What is the point of living for a few years and then just dying? Is there more to life than a constant scrambling for tidbits of fun that eventually leave us with an empty feeling?
If you think that way, you are not alone because human beings everywhere are spiritually lost. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way….” (Isaiah 53:6). One day Jesus looked at the throngs of people around Him and “… He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Can you relate?
These thoughts got me to thinking. In order to get good directions from my GPS, I have to do two things: (1) make sure I have the right destination and (2) be careful to follow what it tells me to do. Those two ideas are also how I find the real meaning and joy in this life, the purpose that God intends for me to have.
We need first to discover the real reason for our existence. What I’m going to reveal may sound awkward at first. The reason for our existence, though, is the joyful truth that Jesus was talking about when He said that “… you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
Are you willing to embrace the real reason for your existence? God Himself is what we should plug into our “spiritual GPS.” This is the main reason why Jesus came to rescue us. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
To put it another way, we exist for God. “For from Him [God] and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). Discovering a relationship with our Creator puts all of life in its proper perspective. When we move toward Him, we are headed in the direction we were designed to go.
Knowing the right destination, the real reason why we exist is not enough, though. We must also follow God’s path to that destination. The step-by-step directions He gives us are very simple. There are only two turns we need to make: turn from our sin and turn to Christ. Jesus Himself taught that we must “…repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The Apostle Paul’s message was all about “… repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Let me assure you that following Christ produces great joy. Why? Because that is what we were made to do. I have never met a person who repented of his or her sin and turned to Jesus who regretted it. They only wish they had done it sooner.
It is a wonderful thing when we learn to live our lives for the Lord, instead of for ourselves. “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
Yes, we are all born directionally challenged spiritually. But, all is not lost. Jesus came to shed a bright light on our dark lives: “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46).