Last night I found myself driving through an area I am not all that familiar with. Somewhere along the way, my WAZE app (GPS) told me to take a right. I was a bit disoriented, but I was pretty sure that I should take a left. So, contrary to the instructions I was receiving, I turned left. Within moments, my GPS began to give me directions to re-route and get back on course. Although I was pretty convinced I was going the right way, I also recognized that I was feeling a bit tired and disoriented. So, I went against what I thought was true, and I quickly turned around. Within just a few minutes, I realized that (shockingly), my GPS was correct. I immediately chuckled to myself, thinking of the spiritual application.
There are many times I’m fairly convinced I am on the right path when suddenly, I hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit asking me to course correct. In those moments, I think its easier to try and rely on what I think/ feel/ see, instead of paying attention to the prompting in my spirit to do something I’m not so sure about. I have even found myself arguing/ justifying to myself (and sometimes even others) as to why I am not course correcting.
But here is the truth: Jesus loves me so much, He continues to call out re-routing directions, if you will. If I quickly acknowledge that life really can be tiring and disorienting, if I admit that it IS possible I am believing something that is not true, then it becomes easier to place my complete dependence on He who IS The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). It is when I do that, things begin to re-orient, and the lies I have believed begin to crumble in the light of His truth.
One of the lies that nagged me for years, and continually challenged me to go off course, was the lie that God was easily irritated with me. That He loved me, but didn’t really like me. I think Brennan Manning best sums up my former perception of the Almighty with this quote:
“First, if we continue to picture God as a small-minded bookkeeper, a niggling customs officer rifling through our moral suitcase, as a policeman with a club who is going to bat us over the head every time we stumble and fall, or as a whimsical, capricious, and cantankerous thief who delights in raining on our parade and stealing our joy, we flatly deny what John writes in his first letter (4:16)—‘God is love.’ In human beings, love is a quality, a high-prized virtue; in God, love is His identity. Secondly, if we continue to view ourselves as moral lepers and spiritual failures, if our lives are shadowed by low self-esteem, shame, remorse, unhealthy guilt, and self-hatred, we reject the teaching of Jesus and cling to our negative self-image.”
- Brennan Manning
The Furious Longing of God
I’m so grateful for the healing journey I have been on with Jesus! Bit by bit, He has brought healing to the many areas where I needed course-correction, truth, and love. Once I began to understand His great love for me - His kindness made it so much easier to believe that He really did have my best interest in mind. It is amazing how much easier it is to listen to someone when your perception of them changes from “small-minded bookkeeper/niggling customers officer” to The One who knew you before the foundation of the earth and calls you by name. The One who loves you so much, He paid a horrific price not only so that you could be reconciled to Him, but also that you could be healed.
I’ve been following Him with all of my heart for many years now, and I’m still prone to cling to denial / what I think is true. But He continues to lead me in the path of righteousness for His sake - which is always with my best interest in mind. Always.
Psalm 139 (TLB)
139:1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. 4 You know what I am going to say before I even say it. 5 You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! 7 I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. 9 If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. 11 If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. 12 For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! 17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!