“I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—even the Spirit of Truth…”
John 14:16-17 (NKJV)
The wonders of the modern age include the Sat Nav – that small electronic device that uses satellites to navigate me to any place I want to drive to in Britain. I call my Sat Nav “Serena” – after the name given by the manufacturer to the voice that gives me directions. Why I do that, I’m not really sure – perhaps it adds a touch of humanity to something that in reality is just another lifeless computer.
Well, Serena and I have an interesting relationship. For various reasons, I often divert from the route that Serena has set-up for me. This could be due to me knowing that there are bad road works ahead or just because I’ve decided to stop for a rest in a nearby town.
At first, Serena counsels me to get back to the chosen route. “She” highlights how I can use the next roundabout to get back on track, or plots a route that effectively creates a U-turn. But if I persist in pursuing a different direction, Serena will recalibrate and plot a new journey from my current location to my desired journey’s end. Serena does this all so patiently, but of course, Serena is just a machine fulfilling a task. “She” doesn’t get frustrated or annoyed at my disobedience – thankfully!.
One day, during a particularly long diversion, a thought crossed my mind of how the Holy Spirit works with us in the same patient way. Sometimes, we decide to divert off God’s path for our lives. The Holy Spirit will seek to turn us around, perhaps through the wisdom of others or the words of a recent sermon at church. On some occasions we listen to the Counsellor’s “voice” and get back on track, but alas, there are times when we feel that we know better and carry on regardless. And we can end up in a right pickle!
But the Holy Spirit doesn’t abandon us. Instead, God plots us a new route, bringing us out of our diversion and sending us back towards God’s desire for us. Unfortunately our pig-headedness may bring us pain, difficulty and regret, but God is patient with us. He doesn’t want us to go off on our own way, but if we do he will show us a new way forward. For the Holy Spirit’s desire is to always “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13) and “teach you all things” (John 14:26).
Sometimes our waywardness gets us into big trouble. But God is still with us. As Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is with us forever (John 14:16), through thick and thin. And he will always recalibrate a new route for us.
Father, we are so grateful for your good gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Enlighten our hearts to always listen to the Spirit’s prompting. When we do stray from your way, help us to see your great love and patience and to trust in the new path you are plotting for us. In Jesus’ name we give you praise.
By Ian Woodley, from Day By Day on 28 February 2015. For more daily articles go to: