Tanner and I just returned from a quick trip to Orlando where we visited some old friends ... and it just so happened to be during the same couple of days that a particular football game was being played there! Obviously we made the trip because of the game but in all honesty I might not have done so if it wasn't also a good chance to visit with Scott and Laura Puckett and family. Scott is an old friend from days long ago when Anita and I attended Perimeter PCA in Atlanta and when he graduated from Auburn we actually hired him here at CPC where he served a few years as our youth and music director. He left here to attend seminary in Orlando and serve on another church staff that eventually called him to be a church planter in the Orlando area.
Those of you who make this drive to Orlando know it's about an 8 hour drive ... a full day's work. The trip down was a breeze ... we left after lunch on Sunday and the normally busy "get back home" traffic was delayed by a day since Monday was a holiday. But I knew coming back on Tuesday would be a different story and it was looking like we'd be hitting Atlanta in the late afternoon if we decided to go that route. The prospect of Atlanta rush hour traffic prompted us to ask Ms. Google about alternative routes. She gladly cooperated and gave us a couple of suggestions and we then responded in faith and followed her advice. So we venture off the familiar and easy path of the Interstate Highway and begin a journey though sections of Georgia and Alabama that just aren't very familiar to us. To be honest there were some roads, turns, directions, etc. that had me scratching my head just a bit. These didn't look like a route I'd ordinarily choose to take but I had put my faith in Ms. Google and believed she would guide me to my intended destination of Moody, AL. And indeed she did! It turned out to be a great decision ... we got home right on time, avoided Atlanta rush hour, and enjoyed the scenery of the journey.
Some of you will recall that I used this very illustration in a sermon a couple of weeks ago when I preached from Proverbs 3:5-6. God has guaranteed that He will get us to our destination (eternally in His presence in the new heaven and new earth) but the route He takes us on may be much different than what we had envisioned. We want to travel the easy, comfortable, most familiar route but He often takes us on back roads with many more twists, turns, hills, valleys, and stop signs than we prefer. On this route He often has us encounter some other very interesting drivers on their tractors, trucks, and antique cars. And in certain stretches of this route you often feel pretty isolated and fearful that if you had a wreck or breakdown there would be no one to find you for several days.
It really is fairly easy to trust Google maps, Waze, or whatever other app you may use to guide you to your destination. The technology is amazing and we're willing to submit to the wisdom given us through that app. Is God somehow lacking in that we can't trust Him as we do an app? Has He ever proven Himself to be unreliable in guiding His people? Is there some reason to question whether or not He will not get us to our destination of eternal life with Him? Is His wisdom limited in that He might not know what's best? Is His power lacking in that He ultimately may not be able to get us to our destination? Is the Bible in any way lacking and not sufficient for God's children? Granted, the Bible doesn't have an audible voice that says stuff like, "in 30 minutes call your friend and encourage them in their job situation" ... "in 60 days resign from your current job and pursue a new position with a different company." But the Bible is more than sufficiently clear in what and how it tells us to be followers of Jesus.
Wherever you are right now, if you are a child of God you can be assured that God is directing you toward the final destination of eternal life with Him. He WILL get you there ... the route may be unfamiliar, the road may have bumps and hills to climb, there may be some interesting characters on this same path, we won't hear an audible voice telling us in advance when and where to turn, but He will get us to our eternal home with Him.
The question now is whether or not we'll actually trust Him. To trust Him means we'll read our Bibles, spend time in prayer, fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, partake of the sacrament, and then take a step of faith. What faith "step" do you need to take today? Is it to forgive someone, tell a friend about Jesus, call and encourage a friend, forego the purchase of something, pursue reconciliation with someone, go meet a new neighbor, tithe, serve in some capacity, etc? The route may be difficult but God can be trusted!