Romans 12:1-2 says,“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.“
These are some convicting words. When I hear this, I think of a compass. A compass is used to help someone navigate. A compass always points to true north; you always have a reference point, something to let you know which way you are heading.
These verses are the compass for our Christian life. If we follow these words we will always know which way we are going, either towards God or away from God. God stays the same, we are the ones that change and move.
In everything we do we are either moving closer or further away from God. As a follower of Christ everything you do should be moving you closer to Him.
Things happen in our life that we deem trying, painful, unfortunate, disastrous, cataclysmic, or whatever other adjective you choose to use. I have heard most of these and more when speaking with others and used quite a few myself. Anyways, when these horrible things happen our first reaction is to ask, “Why would God do this to me?” or “Why did God allow this to happen?” maybe even my personal favorite, “Where is God?”
My answer is, “Look at the compass.” Is our tragedy a result of our behavior or decisions? Is what is happening because we were seeking selfish, temporary happiness? If the answer is ‘yes,’ we need to look at the compass and change our direction.
As Christians we are not supposed to conform to this world. We are supposed to be different. If we are not seeking Christ in what we are doing and assorted horrible things happen, we cannot place the blame on God.
This is pure and simple discipline. Some of us need just a whisper from God saying, “Check your compass.” You look and see you are heading in the wrong direction and adjust course. Others, I am talking about me, need a hurricane. Some of us need God to hit us hard and rattle our teeth to get our attention. How I wish I was in the first group.
Some things in life are just part of life, like older people that we love passing away. Some things are natural consequences, such as you drink and drive you go to jail. We need to learn to tell the difference and not blame God for every little thing that goes wrong. If we are quick to blame God then it’s probably our fault.
If our compass is pointing to true north we will probably still stumble on the path. God, fortunately, will either whisper or send a hurricane, depending on the type of person you are, to correct your path.
J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Darkness must pass, a new day will come and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer." Our trials and tribulations are temporary and fleeting but the love of God lasts forever. If things are going bad, check your compass.
Maybe you don’t have a compass. I would tell you where you can find one. Maybe your compass is pointing in the wrong direction, I know someone who can fix it. Just ask. Stop me on the street or in the grocery store or send me an email. I love talking about my journey and the man that fixed my compass. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, just in case you need to talk. Anyone that knows me knows I love meeting new friends and chatting, especially if there is food involved.