In this four part series – Signs for our Times – we’re looking for signs, or indications that the Bible still has something to offer in 2021. In part one we drew a parallel between the guidance of the Highway Code and the Bible. In part two we’re thinking about the purpose and direction of our journey with sights on the destination.
Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.Psalm 119 v 105
No one sets out on a journey without a purpose – somewhere to go
Neither would you expect the journey to be smooth without directions on how to get there.
The same is true for the journey to God’s Kingdom – planning ahead and following the signs will help us get there efficiently and safely.
For guidance, God has given us His Word (the Bible), a spiritual road map to help us on our journey through this life, preparing us for life in His Kingdom.
And so it makes sense to read the Bible on a daily basis – to keep us on track – because no matter what obstacles we meet on the way, the route never changes.
…God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever. The Scriptures say, “Humans wither like grass, and their glory fades like wild flowers. Grass dries up, and flowers fall to the ground. But what the Lord has said will stand forever.”1 Peter 1 v 23-25
And while reading the Bible regularly is a good start, we also need act on it and for it to have an effect on our behaviour. Jesus literally carried his own cross, knowing he would be crucified, even though he had done nothing wrong.
You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.Luke 14 v 27
For us, “carrying our cross” means following his example, putting our trust in God even when that feels extremely difficult or painful.
This is a challenging journey
There will be times when we struggle to stay on the right path. We may even feel lost. But God is with us:
If you honour the Lord, his angel will protect you. Discover for yourself that the Lord is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad.Psalm 34 v 7-8
It might seem strange to put our trust in a God we can’t see… but evidence of His existence is all around us. The wonders of His creation. The miracle of His chosen people Israel. The prophecies that point towards the world we’re living in now.
On a road trip, we trust that the signs are pointing us in the right direction. We’ve followed similar signs on other trips and have no reason to doubt these ones. So it is with God’s Word. We have to live it and put it to the test to have trust in it. The bigger the journeys and the further we travel the more we trust in God’s and His guidance.
You do what is right, and I ask you to guide me. Make your teaching clear because of my enemies.Psalm 5 v 8
In life we can feel very lost! We chose the wrong road, make a wrong turn and be heading completely in the wrong direction. That’s when we need the map most of all.
Spiritually, this is where we need the Bible to get us back on track… back to that “narrow” and “hard” path that few people find. The “enemies” (mentioned in that previous quote) are anyone (or anything) that draws us off God’s path. We sometimes do this to ourselves, through weakness and lack of determination and we find ourselves at a dead end.
Why would we chose the hard route?
Well, can you think of anything in your life that was truly rewarding AND easy? Like an athlete, dedicated to the ultimate prize, the path to God’s Kingdom is a marathon (with occasional sprints)… but the prize is like no other.
We’ll get more into the prize in the next chapter, but be sure that God is there to help you get there:
How great is God’s love for all who worship him?Psalm 103 v 11-12
Greater than the distance between heaven and earth!
How far has the Lord taken our sins from us?
Farther than the distance from east to west!
Therefore, our journey with God is one with purpose and direction – using the Bible as our map – arriving at His Kingdom and eternal life.
“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants”Matthew 6 v 33