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

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Recent postings: Lycoming Christian Church in Linden, Pa., is seeking a minister of children, youth, and young adults. Michigan City (Ind.) Christian Church needs a senior minister. Impact Christian Church (Moon Township, Pa.) looks to hire an executive pastor. The Christian Campus Foundation (CCF) at the University of Illinois is seeking a full-time director of campus ministry. And more . . .


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.