Almost everyone has used an automobile GPS navigation system. We turn it on. It finds our location on the face of the earth within a few feet. It identifies the street we are on and the direction in which our vehicle is headed. We input a destination – even points along some route. We set additional perimeters – fast route, scenic route and more. And then the journey begins. The GPS barks out the commands – turn right, turn left. Keep to the right. Move to the left. Merge onto this road or that! It even warns about traffic snarls and advises about detours. And when we take a wrong turn, it incessantly commands, “When possible, make a legal U-turn!” Listen, and you will be steered back on track. Turn it off or ignore its advice, and you could end up off your course, adding hours to your journey. Maybe lost!

During this Christmas season, we remember God’s version of a GPS, the star that led the shepherds to the Savior!

The Holy Spirit, in the life of a sincere, Spirit-filled believer, is a bit like that GPS system. Connected to heaven itself by the Spirit with a conscience programmed by the Holy Scripture, the Spirit serves to keep us on the right road. Mistakes, missed turns, wrong decisions, all demand adjustments. We have to turn – which is the essence of repentance – to repent. You cannot expect to reach your destination, heaven, if you don’t follow the instructions! And as in any journey, turning is not a one-time event. We are constantly turning. Repenting. Recalibrating. Grace compensates for our errors, our misdirection. But grace was never meant to cover wild excursions that paid little or no attention to God’s righteous plan for our lives.

Let us pray this Christmas season: Lord, your word is like a GPS system. How encouraging that you track our path, that you know the twists and turns ahead of us. You know where we are now – and what is ahead of us for 2019. You know the detours we will need to take. We take courage from such knowledge. Amen.

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P. Douglas Small is founder and president of Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY and he serves in conjunction with a number of other organizations. He is also the creator of the Praying Church Movement and the Prayer Trainer’s Network. However, all views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization.