Interbay Community Church
(Psalms 119:105 KJV) …Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
There is a wonderful young Christian Comedian named Michael Jr., who in an interview talked about how G-d was like a G.P.S. system. Have you ever used one of the G.P.S. systems that are available today? I know Charles has one he calls his “Blood Hound.” I have been using my P.D.A. which has a G.P.S. in it for a couple of years now. I remember many times in the past before there was the technology available that I could have used one. In our time we spend together today I want us to look at three different aspects of a G.P.S. system. The first will be its purpose. The second will be the desire that we might have for one. And the third will be the practical use in our every day life of a G.P.S.
Of course knowing that there is a direct correlation between the physical world and the spiritual world, there are many different ways that you can use the letters G.P.S.; In the modern, “real world” it stands for Global Positioning System. It is made up of a series of satellites that beam back to earth your position in accordance to your surroundings. You can input a destination that you desire to go, and it will guide you to your destination, telling you when and where to turn. It can give you directions to restaurants and hotels and attractions, and airports. The technology is absolutely amazing. And most of them are done with a comforting soft, often eastern European accented voice.
On our spiritual journey we can use the letters G.P.S. to stand for a higher meaning. Something like G-D’s Positioning System, or Grow, Pray and Share, or G-D’s Power to Save….oh you can be creative and come up with a couple yourself. The idea is to dig below the surface of the world around us and see the eternal purpose for each of us.
So in our passage in Psalms we see how G-‘d word is a lamp onto our feet. In this way it is basically suggesting that the Bible is our spiritual G.P.S. Now to tie that into our three part sermon, we first have to discuss the purpose of this G.P.S. It might seem like a silly thing to ask about the purpose of a G.P.S. Everyone would know that it would be to give you directions and help you reach your destination.
So what did we do before the days of G.P.S. and technology? Well we either used a map, or if worse really came to worse… I mean only if we desperately had to… we would… I even hate to say it… we would…. ask for directions!!!!! You know, women are always asking why men have such a hard time asking for direction, but is seems to always be the women, that are asking the men, to ask for directions, why don’t they just ask themselves… OK, now I am getting myself in trouble…
But I want us to think about this for a minute. I mean I have traveled over a lot of the world; all throughout the United States and Canada, Mexico and Central America, Europe and Great Britain, and very rarely have I ever stopped to ask for directions. Even when I at times had no idea what state I was in. I remember even knowing that I was going in the wrong direction and had no idea which direction was the right direction but I just kept going. For years I would say that I have never been lost… I might have gotten turned around for an hour or two, or three, but I was never lost.
So there in lies the biggest problem of mankind. They don’t even know that they are lost, or at least they won’t admit it. Then when we talk about the purpose of a G.P.S. we have to have a few things in mind. We first have to have a destination. We have to at least have a general idea of where we want to go.
If we move this back to a spiritual level we not only have to have this desire to someday get to heaven, but we also have to be able to navigate through this maze of highways and dirt roads and open fields and mountains and valleys called life.
One thing I discovered in my many travels is that there is more then one way to get some where. There is the long way, the short way, the fast way, the easy way, the scenic way, the fun way, the hard way, and the wrong way. The question we often ask in life is; is there a right way?
And that is going to take us not only into the discussion of the purpose for a G.P.S. in our lives, but it takes us to our personal desire for one. I think it is hard wired in us all to know that we have made some wrong turns in our lives.
One of the fastest growing churches in South Florida is Flamingo Road Church in Ft. Lauderdale. Now they are a firmly grounded biblical church with Southern Baptist affiliation, but they know that they are reaching an ever-changing world with the never changing love of G-D. So they have come up with some creative methods. One of which is like us, they use the internet. However one of their web-sites is a little more controversial then we would use. It is “www. I’ve screwedup.com.”
I just want to read a couple of confessions that people have posted on this web-Site.:
“I began looking at porn through the scrambled channels around 6th grade, and after the internet came into our home it got worse. This has hurt my walk with the Lord so much. After every time I say \"never again\" but it happens again. I was just looking five minutes ago and in desperation looked for a site and found this one.” This was from a 19 year old young man.
“I\'ve had eating disorders since I was 13. I always felt that anorexia took everything away from me. Before I was a good student and athlete. I was healthy and pretty. By sophomore year my hair was falling out, my period stopped (and would not start again for years), I could not hold my bladder, I coudln\'t sleep, I couldn\'t play soccer. I knew my body was dying at age 15.I\'m 23 now. I survived that epidsode, but I\'ve never been the same. I\'ve been bulimic ever since. In some ways it\'s worse now, not physically. But emotionally. I feel so disgusting, so alone. I isolate myself completely (to the point where i\'ve moved a hemisphere away!). I\'ve never dated since anorexia. I feel too fat. Too ugly. Unworthy of anybody. Undeserving of love.” This was a 23 year old woman.
This one is from a 41 year old man “I confess That I have lied to my wife and my two sons. I would like to be a succesfull man, but the truth is at this point of my life I\'m a looser.”
And it goes on and on…. In the Book of Isaiah it tells us how we all like sheep have gone astray.
(Isaiah 53:6 KJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
And in the New Testament we read how we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of G-D.
(Romans 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The thing we have to do is to first stop trying to fool ourselves and admit that we are lost. This opening verse that tells us how G-D’s word is a lamp unto our feet. It is really talking about His commandments, His law. It is the Law that reveals to us the reality that we are breaking it. We have to first come to the realization that there is a G-D and He is just. We sincerely need direction. We sincerely need help getting home.
He is our destination. He is the love and the peace and the abundance that we desire. Sometimes we move around here on this earth not knowing or even caring where we are headed, but from His perspective He can see what is ahead of us. He knows where you came from and He knows where you are headed.
So in the first two sections of our message we have discovered the purpose of the G.P.S. and deep inside, you know that you have a real desire for what it can do for you For what He can do for you. He can not only get you to where you are going, but He can get you to where you want to go and the things you want to have along the way. Remember it is G-D’s desire to give you the desires of your heart. What we have to do is to learn to delight in Him.
(Psalms 37:4 KJV) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Now what we have to do is to really get practical. Let’s imagine for a minute that you have one of these G.P.S. units in your car. And for the spiritual side of the equation let’s suggest that you have got your G.P.S. (G-D Positioning System) in your heart. So you are driving along on a familiar road of life, and the G.P.S. tells you to take a right turn. Well, you have always taken that right turn and you are getting kind of bored of it. You heard that going left was more exciting and it looked like it could be a lot of fun; everyone else was turning left. So, on an impulse, just on a whim, in the spur of a moment you go left instead of listening to the G.P.S. and going right.
Now, there is old technology, and there is new technology. With the old technology the G.P.S. would just keep telling you to make a U-Turn, Make a U-Turn, Make a U-Turn until you finally just shut it off. That reminds me of all of those times we have had someone pointing their fingers at us and telling us to “Repent, straighten up, get in line, turn over a new leaf, REPENT,REPENT,REPENT……”
Well, you know what… they were right, but you probably did exactly what I did, I shut it off, and went my own way, even though the further I went the more lost I became.
That is kind of like the Old Testament, But the new G.P.S. systems, they are more like the New Testament. So when you take a wrong turn, like we all do at time, whether we do it on purpose or by mistake, they just recalculate and in a soft loving voice give you new directions to your destination.
You see, G-D is not waiting up in space for you to make a wrong move so He can zap you. Even though He is definitely powerful enough to, and even though you definitely have made some wrong turns. He is looking over you, because He loves you. He is there to Guide you.
Some of us have had our G.P.S. systems turned off for quite some time now. Maybe you turned it off because you just wanted to go your own way for a while. Maybe you turned it off because all you heard was “Make a U-Turn, Make a U-Turn. Repent, Repent” May be you just forgot that you even had it. Some people never even knew it was available to them. I mean if you look up in the sky you don’t see the satellites orbiting the planet, and sometimes it is hard to see the spiritual world through our physical eyes.
The thing that I want you to know today is not only that you have an eternal destination, but that you are on an eternal journey and it can be a whole lot better if you will just turn on your G.P.S. and listen to that still small voice.
I want to end today with the words of the great theologian Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go….
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind….
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,…
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won….
Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't….
On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are….
God loves you and has a plan and a purpose for your live and he also is right there to guide you along the way. Always remember “All things work together for the good, to those who Love the LORD and are called according to His purpose…. That’s you!!!!!