Stay On Course

  • Nov. 15, 2006
  • #6403

Joni shares that if we respond to our circumstances based on our feelings, we can become completely disoriented.

Ken and I were once standing with a group of friends on a high bluff, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, just enjoying the broad expanse of water with different shorelines and inlets far into the distance. Because a few of us grew up on Chesapeake Bay, we got into a friendly argument about directions. One person looked over the railing toward a far shore and said, "That is south." And somebody else said, "No, it's not. That's east." Well, before you know it, others were throwing their two cents worth, and people began taking sides, becoming entrenched in their opinions. We were every which way but right!

Finally Ken reached into his duffle bag and he said, "Okay, I'm going to solve this one real fast." He walked over to the railing, studied his compass, shifting his feet this way and that. "There it is," he said, looking at the compass and pointing toward the far shore. The compass confirmed that we had been facing west the whole time. And you know what? Not one of us was about to argue with the compass. That's because we knew, we were convinced it had the final say. 

In the same way, friend, if we only look at circumstances around us, and respond with our feelings, in no time at all we are completely disoriented. Just a couple of wrong cues and our bearings can get turned upside down, making north look like south, making wrong look like right, and making evil look like good. We risk dangerous wrong conclusions when we try to ascertain God's purpose and plans in our life just using our circumstances for cues. Worse yet, using our feelings as cues. 

I have never forgotten the lesson of that compass. The longer I am in this wheelchair, the more I need help in keeping my bearings. More and more pain encroaching into my life can turn my feelings "this way and that." 

That's when I have to reach into my duffle bag, so to speak, and flip open my Bible, and read a verse like that one in Isaiah 30 which says, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it'." I need the Holy Spirit to remind me that there is "set your face like flint... for this is the way you should go." Whether it be backaches, heartaches or headaches, I need to hold fast to the blessed Word of God.

Friend, we are creatures naturally inclined to take cues from our circumstances first, and leave wisdom behind. But how can we be so foolish as to think we can plan our life itinerary apart from God's strong counsel. So as you walk through this day, would you please determine that you will make no decision without first consulting the Lord. Ask him to bring Scriptures to your mind that will help you find-and keep-your bearings.

© Joni and Friends

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