19 April, 2024

Headed in the Right Direction

by | 15 January, 2024 | 1 comment

By Doug Redford 

Dallas Willard was a deeply respected theologian and scholar. He wrote extensively about discipleship, and his books challenged followers of Jesus to take their relationship with him more seriously. Here’s an excerpt from Willard’s book The Divine Conspiracy. Though first published in 1998, its relevance to today (some 25 years later) is obvious. 

Human life is not about human life. Nothing will go right in it until the greatness and goodness of its source and governor is adequately grasped. . . . Until that is so, the human compass will always be pointing in the wrong direction, and individual lives as well as history as a whole will suffer from constant and fluctuating disorientation. Candidly, that is exactly the condition we find ourselves in. 

How ironic that we live in a time that includes various devices (like our Global Positioning System, or GPS) that are designed to provide us with the directions we need to get where we want, yet the “human compass” spiritually and morally has clearly lost its bearings. Willard went to be with the Lord in 2013, but, like Abel, he “still speaks, even though he is dead” (Hebrews 11:4). 

Most of us have heard the advice, “When all else fails, read the directions.” Our creator has provided us with his GPS, “God’s Powerful Scripture”—a compass that will never lead us astray. Countless individuals over the years can testify to its trustworthiness and reliability in every circumstance encountered in this broken world. 

Communion provides another means of getting our bearings, of reminding ourselves of “the greatness and goodness of [life’s] source and governor.” Paul wrote, “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Followers of Jesus are firmly positioned between two historic, earth-changing events: the first coming of Jesus, highlighted by his cross and empty tomb, and the second coming of Jesus, which will mark the consummation of history and usher in eternity. 

Our lives are not marked by “constant and fluctuating disorientation.” Our spiritual GPS is clearly set; like Abraham, we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Communion is another form of GPS, the Lord’s Graciously Provided Supper, reminding us who we are, whose we are, and where we are going. 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Now retired, he continues to write and speak as opportunities come. 

1 Comment

  1. Albert

    Thank you for your meditation. Used the GPS theme in my meditation last week. I added GPS Gets me Plenty Screwed up and God’s Plan of Salvation. Enjoy your meditations thanks for sharing

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