How Does Your GPS Work?
The GPS, or global positioning system, has become part of our culture; every smartphone comes with one now. And I love these things. You're in a car somewhere and it will tell you, "In half a mile, turn west on this road." It's exactly what I need--explicit direction. Here's my question: Is there a spiritual GPS--a God positioning system--for believers? What's the method of determining the will and direction of God for our lives?
Sometimes knowing the will of the Lord is obvious and plain--things just fall into place and you can say, "Wow! God was all over that." Then there are other times when it's not so obvious and you feel more like Job, who said, "I cry out to You, but You do not answer me" (Job 30:20).
I want to give you five ways to tune your spiritual GPS, and it all revolves around a single word: trust. Let's look at Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." According to this text, this kind of trust has five characteristics.
Number one, it has to be a God-directed trust: "Trust in the LORD" (v. 5). The idea of trust isn't that I have this power called faith that I can use to speak God's will into existence. That's nonsense. The object of faith should be the Lord: you trust Him. You and I have been designed to depend on God, and God wants you to depend on Him.
Number two, it has to be a wholehearted trust: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart" (v. 5). According to the Bible, your heart is your mind--where you form your motives, make your choices, and exercise your will. So this verse simply means: trust God with everything and don't be divided in your thoughts about trusting Him. And not only that, but "lean not on your own understanding" (v. 5). Years ago, I was witnessing at the hospital in Southern California where I worked when one of my supervisors said angrily, "Jesus Christ is your crutch." I said in reply, "You're wrong. He's my stretcher." He has to carry me through. It has to be a wholehearted trust.
Third, it needs to be a recurrent trust: "In all your ways acknowledge Him" (v. 6). God is in the leading and guiding business, but He gives it to you in increments, not all at once, so that you'll keep coming back. How did Jesus teach us to pray? "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). That implies He wants you to trust Him in every situation every single day.
Number four, it should be a Scripture-based trust. If you want to know God's will, you have to know God's Word. It's that simple. The Bible is the roadmap that helps us navigate through this world and into eternity. The more you know Scripture, the more you become predisposed to do His will. It becomes second nature to you, a life founded on the deep currents of God's truth, steady even in the face of trial and change.
The fifth and final way to tune your GPS is with obedient trust. Based on years of being a pastor and pastoral counselor, I believe that about 95 percent of a person knowing the will of God for their life begins by that person committing to do the will of God even before they know what it is. If a person says, "I am willing," I know that God is going to direct them, because they have an obedient trust.
The best advice I've heard about finding out the will of God for your life is to love God with all of your heart, and then do whatever you want. If you love God with all your heart, you're going to do what He wants you to do. You're going to think about what His Word says. You're going to be concerned about glorifying God. So, do you want real life, vigor, and confidence? "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."