by | Apr 30, 2018 | Direction, Guidance, Listening

Many people in the Western world now use GPSs for navigational purposes. It is really a fantastic tool. You set the address or coordinates into the tiny computer, and it tells you what road to take, how many miles or kilometers it is, and even how long it will take you to get there. It can tell you where there is gas and food, it can even tell you where the nearest hospital can be found!

Truly a wonderful device.

But anyone who has a GPS knows that it can also be a frustrating tool. Once you program a route, there is no stopping. Even if you just pull off the road at a rest area or gas station, you immediately hear the annoying voice of the GPS telling you that you are no longer on the intended route. If you continue in your “wayward” way, the GPS will ask you repeatedly to make a U-turn, and if you persist in ignoring it, it will continuously tell you to turn right or left, trying to get you back to the original route.

The GPS we own is totally annoying. It will NOT STOP telling us to get back to the intended route unless we either turn it off or cancel our trip. On our recent trip to Quebec City, my husband and I finally started turning down the volume so that we could no longer hear the machine’s efforts to get us back where it thought we should be.

As we pressed the “mute” button on the GPS for the third time in as many hours, it occurred to me that the GPS is very much like the Holy Spirit.

You see, God has given us a guide: His very own Spirit: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26-27 NKJV).

God’s Spirit will guide us. He will keep us on the right path. But we can choose to “press the mute” button! We can ignore God’s Spirit and continue to do our own thing.

The problem is, the consequences could be more harmful than me turning down the volume on my GPS! The worst that can happen with my GPS is that I get lost! But if I ignore God’s Spirit, if I continue to go my own way, despite the warnings and heedings of the Holy Spirit, I will also get lost-spiritually lost! I will quickly fall into sin, I will miss opportunities to witness, I will miss opportunities to help others, and I will make wrong decisions, ones that can have lasting consequences, to name a few.

But there is yet another, even worse consequence of tuning out God’s Spirit: “Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.” (Mark 3:28-30 THE MESSAGE)

When we ignore God’s Spirit, we “slander” Him. We “blaspheme” Him. And the Bible tells us this is the ONLY sin that can NOT be forgiven …

If your GPS annoys you, go ahead, turn down the volume. But if God’s Spirit is letting you know that you are taking a step in the wrong direction, give Him your FULL attention!

Lyn Chaffart