Know Your Directions and Itinerary

If we’re looking at life as a big adventure, like a big trip, it’s important to know where we’re going and what we’re doing. Imagine trying to successfully complete a long road trip across the country without even bothering to look at a set of directions. In today’s age of smartphones and GPS devices that’s almost unheard of, because at some point we all break down and look at what the maps say. However, just imagine you were going to try that. How successful do you think you’d be? What roads and exits should you take? Where should you stay? If you don’t have reservations ahead of time, it can be a real problem. I can remember a time when I was traveling for the US Air Force and they mishandled a hotel reservation, telling me I had one when I didn’t. I was standing in the lobby of the hotel where I didn’t have a reservation, in a suburb of Washington, D.C., trying to find somewhere, anywhere, to stay that was closer than Gettysburg, PA. I was seriously considering heading back to the airport and sleeping the night in one of the terminals before the folks I was going to meet were able to locate me a place. It was a nightmare. That’s not something you want to face on a long cross-country trip. You want to know where you’re going and where you’re staying and even what you’re going to be doing. Unfortunately, when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ, I suspect we don’t do such a good job of this.

  And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:19-21, ESV

Peter wrote about the fact that we should pay attention to the prophetic word, the Word of God, as we would a lamp shining in a dark place. In other words, Peter was urging us to be into the Bible, to know it with a passion and fervor that you’d find in someone who was lost in the dark but suddenly saw a light source in the distance. We should want to read and know the Bible like someone who is without directions but who was finally handed a GPS device with accurate instructions to get them safely home. Is this the way you look at the Word of God? If you’re like most of us, then your answer is, “No.” However, this is what we are striving for. It’s like if we were wanting to be samurai back when the samurai were predominant in feudal Japan. Here is what Yamamoto Tsunetomo said in the Hagakure:

  Although it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way of the Samurai, it would seem that we are all negligent. Consequently, if someone were to ask, “What is the true meaning of the Way of the Samurai?” The person who would be able to answer promptly is rare. This is because it has not been established in one’s mind beforehand.

We could turn those same questions around being a Christian. Could we answer this question well, “What is the true meaning of the Way of the Christian?” The person who would be able to answer promptly and accurately is rare. Why? Simply because of the fact that we have not established this in our minds beforehand. How do we do that? We do it by coming to understand God’s Word. We learn it, understand it, and apply it. The Gospel becomes more to us than simply words on the page. Rather, the words of Scripture become that lamp in the darkness, one which we long for and fight our way to. It can be this way. It should be this way. We should always be prepared to give a ready answer for our faith. That only comes by hungrily learning the Word. It is also the way we get our directions and itinerary for life. It comes down to the BIble. Our directions must be founded in the Bible. It is the only way to experience the great adventure fully.


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