#iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of our past—my wife and I—drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Group—an online mentorship platform for young adults across the world that provides an avenue to learn practical life lessons across geographical barriers. If you will like to be a part, just click here and/or get added to the Telegram group here.
The other day, I saw a video message on YouTube of a sermon by an African-American preacher, Robert Madu. The message was titled “Can You Hear Me Now”
It’s a message about hearing God and I liked a particular illustration he used in driving home the point that a believer must know both THE WORD and THE VOICE of God! To know His Word without knowing His voice is to be another Pharisee…while to know “His Voice” without knowing His Word is to be another spooky Christian that’s always going about telling people “The Lord told me to tell you this and that” (when in fact, hardly is it ever The Lord Who really told you anything).
He illustrated the point thus:
God’s Word is like a road map; God’s Voice is like a GPS (God’s Positioning System).
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to use Google Maps to navigate your way from one point to another either by walking or driving. There’s always a voice coming from your device telling you which turn to take and on which lane to stay. (If you haven’t, you can give it a try. Even before I traveled to the UK last year, I was able to use it in Nigeria).
While a road map (God’s Word) shows you the entire map including roads and routes that are not even your concern for the particular trip you are on, the GPS concerns itself basically with moving you from your current location to your specific destination.
How does this represent how God’s voice leads us? (I got points 1 and 3 from the message but came up with points 2, 4, 5 and 6 from my personal meditation on the subject).
1. The GPS never tells you all the turns and details of your trip at once. It tells you in bits.
Likewise God! He reveals His counsel to you as He orders your steps bit by bit.
“At the roundabout, take the first exit… After 100 meters, turn right… Your destination is on the left… You have reached your destination” … That’s what it sounds like. Bit by bit. One instruction per time.
2. The GPS respects your personal choices. You absolutely can choose to ignore the voice of the GPS and go in your preferred route rather than follow the prescribed route from the GPS.
Isn’t that what many of us do with God’s voice a times? We ignore…and that’s okay. Why?
3. The GPS incorporates our choices into its program such that at the end of the day, it’s still going to talk us into reaching our intended destination. When you make a wrong turn, the GPS immediately starts recalculating to get you new sets of instructions for an alternative route (based on your wrong choice) that will still get you to your destination.
Isn’t that like God? Our mistakes are never fatal as long as we are alive and Christ is still on the throne. God will still guide you to His intended destination for your life if you will submit to the leading of His voice.
4. The GPS never condemns you for your wrong turns. I remember sometimes in 2015 when I first came to the UK, my wife (then, my fiancée) came to visit over the weekend while I was still at my brother’s place in London. On the day she was to return, my brother decided to drive us to the train station. While trying to meet up with her departure time, we missed our turn following the sat-nav GPS on two different occasions. The GPS never for once condemned the driver, rather it paused in silence immediately after the wrong turn. Then reroutes and gets you back on track with an alternative. Eventually we met the train just at the nick of time.
All that to say this: God’s voice never condemns! He simply guides you from that point onwards to still reach your destination. So GUILT or CONDEMNATION is not the voice of God!
5. The silence of the GPS doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. I drove with my pastor from Cheltenham to Liverpool and back sometimes in July 2016. For a long time while we were on the motorway, the GPS said nothing. It said nothing because we were on the right track and there was no need for a new set of instructions. When we approached our destination and had to branch off the motorway, it resumed dishing out its instructions…
Very much like God! It’s not every time you will feel like You are hearing Him—and that’s okay. As long as you’re still connected, that’s absolutely fine. You only miss the people you love, right? Same thing! You miss His voice because you love Him and that alone should keep you going . (Of course, there are other times when He’s silent because you have been repeatedly disobedient. Come clean with Him and let the journey continue…)
6. For your GPS to keep functioning, you need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY in some areas. You endeavour to charge your device. You download and install all Google Maps updates to have the latest maps with all the most current details (e.g. of ongoing road construction , accidents , one-ways etc) with which the GPS plans your best routes.
Likewise, to keep hearing the voice of God, you need to also TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your spirit man. You want to make sure you “guard your heart ♥ with all diligence for out of it flows the rivers of life!” (Proverbs 4:23).
I hope that reaches out to one or two of us today.
Here’s today’s #askJesus2day question:
“Jesus, what’s Your next instruction to me ” (He just told me mine and it’s very funny )
Lord, may I never be out of the reach of Your voice IJN.