Searching for Network

Recently, I was driving to the office and because I had a meeting, I needed to be there at a certain time and didn’t want to get caught in the rush hour traffic hang-ups so I was using the GPS app on my phone. WAZE is a great interactive app that allows drivers to put in where there are traffic problems and the app will route you around them. Not to mention that I oversee 21 different counties in the northeast region of Florida, so I use this app frequently. However, on this day the app kept saying, “searching for network” across the top of the screen. Thankfully, I have a personal cell phone and a work cell phone by two different cell service providers and my personal phone had no problems finding the network. I also have a GPS for navigating life – God’s GPS.

Have you ever been trying to figure out the path you need to take in your life and you feel like your life app is out there “searching for network?” Do I need to take that new job? Do I need to purchase a piece of property? Should I move to that state? Do I need to go back to college? Do I need to participate in that investment? Should I hire that employee? Do I need to join this church? Do I need to be involved in that community service project? Is God calling me to get involved in foster care or adoption? When questions like these arise, we have God’s GPS to help us navigate to God’s purpose and plan in our lives.

God is our GPS (God’s Path Search)

Thankfully, we don’t have to depend on an app to know the path we need to take in life. God is our GPS (God’s Path Search). Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” But how do we access God’s GPS?

We don’t have to depend on an app to know the path we need to take in life. God is our GPS (God’s Path Search). Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life.”

Accessing our spiritual GPS

We access God’s GPS by taking such questions to God. As we pray, search His word, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He whispers across our heart, ask some mature trusted friend/family to pray about it with us and then look for how God prompts us in our everyday life, God will put us on the path that we are to take. Sometimes as we ponder these life directions, God speaks to us through a song on a radio or in something the pastor says in his sermon, in a podcast, or even a statement from a coworker, family member or friend that speaks exactly to what we’re praying about.  When we take these questions to God, He will show us the path of life. It’s a promise in His Word, so we can have confidence that He will show us.

Accessing Fullness of Joy

With as much driving as I do, when I get off the path, there isn’t much joy in my car. In fact, it frustrating, sometimes stressful, I might end up late, and sometimes I unexpectedly have to pay a toll. The same is true in life. When we are not on the path God wants us on, there isn’t much joy and life is more frustrating and stressful. Fullness of Joy comes when we are in the will of God and on the path that He has for us. Accessing God’s GPS for our life requires prayer, reading His Word, listening to the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom of Godly people He has placed in our lives.

Fullness of Joy vs. Happy Ever After

But even when we follow God’s GPS, it doesn’t mean that everything is Disney style and “Happy ever after.” Sometimes God puts us on paths that are difficult, uphill climbing with lots of loose tumbling rocks trying to make us slide down a slippery slope. God uses such paths to help us grow in our faith, learn to trust Him more, and bring us ever closer to Him.

However, no matter how much turbulence there is, if we are in His presence, we can find fullness of joy. Joy in knowing we’re doing what He wants us to do. Joy in knowing that as we’re taking that path, we’re bringing His presence with us. It doesn’t matter if friends or family believe in the path He’s leading you on or if they think you’re crazy and wonder how on earth He would choose you of all people for this path. The cost of the path doesn’t matter. The scariness doesn’t matter. Once you step out in faith and plant both feet firmly on the path, you’ll find His presence there waiting to walk the path with you and there is no better joy than knowing your walking life’s path with God…but not just joy…there is fullness of joy.

Faithfully and Obediently following God’s GPS

When I’m in areas I know well, I don’t always follow what my GPS tells me to do. One day, someone will create a voice that sounds annoyed and frustrated when you don’t do what the GPS tells you. When I choose to take a different route (or when I just miss a turn by accident) my GPS politely reroutes me. It will still get me where I’m trying to go, but it might take me a little longer to get there.

When I don’t follow God’s GPS and think I know a better way to go, I might eventually end up where God wants me to be, but it will take me longer to get there and there isn’t much joy in being on a path that isn’t ours to be on. The more I fight, struggle and insist on my way, the further off course I can become, the more frustrated I feel, and I may even feel like I failed and just give up.

However, when we obediently walk with God, we proclaim to the world that we love Him more than the opinions of other, more than choosing the difficult way, more than taking the easy way. We show the world that we love Him most through our act of obedience. As we do, we bring glory to Him. Enoch knew this. The Bible says, “He walked with God and was not: for God took him.”(Genesis 5:24). Enoch never died. He walked faithfully in obedience to God and was so close to Him, that God just one day took him to heaven. In Hebrews 11:5, Paul wrote that Enoch was “commended as having pleased God.”

Safety in the Right Path

Years ago (I’m not confessing how many!) before I even owned a cell phone, when I was in college in West Palm Beach, we were driving around looking at the beautiful mansion homes. But then we took a turn and we were not in the “mansion” area any more. All of a sudden we were in a rather rough, unfriendly part of town. I was sitting at a red light and the group of men started walking toward my car. It was the only red light I have ever purposefully ran but I wasn’t hanging around to see what they wanted.

No matter how difficult our life path becomes, when we know we are walking in obedience, we know we are on the safest path possible. In Psalm 23, the Bible says, “Yea though I will through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” In Proverbs 3:23, we read, “Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.” There is joy in knowing, He will keep our path safe and secure.

Joy in the presence of God

When I use my GPS as I drive around, there is comfort in knowing I can rely on it and I don’t have to worry about getting lost. No matter where I go, I have my GPS and KLove radio. Both are like taking old friends along for the ride. KLove and I sing from one destination to the next while “Tom” (that’s what I call the voice in my GPS app) leads and guides me along the expressways and roads on which I travel. Tom shares with me the secrets of the road such as where to turn, the traffic hazzard another driver reported, and even where the police are sitting waiting for the speeders. I have to admit I’m guilty of talking back to Tom at times – sometimes its a grateful thank you and other times its a frustrated or even unhappy comment.

Friends who walk together find joy in sharing secrets and talking about their day to day lives and their plans for the future. Noah walked with God and God told him he was going to destroy the world. The people mocked him and made fun of him, but Noah’s family was the only ones saved. Abraham walked with God and learned God would make a great nation from Abraham’s decedents. Knowing and believing God’s promise allowed him to offer his only son whom God had said would be the son to make this great nation as a sacrifice when God tested him. As we spend time with God, walking in obedience with Him, He reveals himself to us and His plans. There is joy when we feel the presence of God.

Following God’s GPS takes faith

God shows us the path of life and often it takes faith to follow He has for us. As we obediently step out in faith and walk with Him on that path, we find joy in his presence. The last part of Psalm 16:11 says, “At your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” I can think of no greater joy or pleasure than standing before God at the end of this life to hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” To know that regardless of the difficulties God found that I followed Him in faithful obedience for the path of life He chose for me then to spend all of eternity worshiping Him.

What about you? What difficult path is God asking of you? Go ahead and plant both feet firmly on that path. He’s holding out His hand to you, asking you to join him. Will you obey and find the path of unshakeable fullness of joy?

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