It’s time for college students to return to school which stirs memories of my years as a student. My first year of college, I lived in New York City. One evening, a friend and I planned to meet some people at a music store on the other side of the city. Of course, we were poor college students, so paying for a cab was out of the question. We took the subway.
Being 18 and thinking we knew it all, we didn’t take time to look at the maps posted clearly around the station. How hard could it be? Just a few stops, and we’ll be there. Of course, this was before cell phones and GPS apps, so over three hours later, the music store was closed, the people we were meeting were long gone, and we were still riding the train trying to find our way back to school. That was a long night! And it could have all been avoided if we had simply looked at the map before leaving the station.
Graduating and going out into the world can be daunting. Wouldn’t it be great if life had a mapping app? Imagine the trouble we could avoid. “Make a u-turn before you talk to that guy. He’s trouble.” “Turn right at the hallway, so you will avoid buying that candy bar in the vending machine. You don’t need it.” “Stop and study instead of going to the coffee shop with friends.” The benefits would be endless.
Unfortunately life doesn’t come with a mapping app for on-the-spot instant guidance, but we do have something even better: the Bible. I know it sounds basic, but the Bible is like a GPS from God, a map to set the coordinates of our lives.
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (ESV) tells us
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
In these two verses, we see life-guiding characteristics of God’s Word: teaching, reproof, correction, training, and equipping. In other words, Scripture is the instruction manual for our lives. If we measure our choices or deeds by the Word of God, we have a clear route.
Since God created us, He knows us best, and His path for us will never deviate from His Word. It only makes sense that God’s way is the best way. His ways are higher, and His wisdom far surpasses our understanding.
Comprehending the Bible is not always simple, but there are ways to determine if we are living our lives inside the will of God versus outside of it. If a choice or action doesn’t line up with God’s Word, then it’s not in God’s will. That part is simple. God’s will for your life will never contradict His Word. Keeping that in mind, here are
steps for using the Bible to navigate your life:
Go directly to the author, and ask God to reveal scriptures that speak to your circumstances. Pray fervently but also take time to listen for His response.
Read the Bible.
Yes, actually picking it up or listening to an audible version regularly will help you know God’s will for your life. Don’t take anyone else’s word about what the Bible says. Read it for yourself!
Attend a Bible-teaching church and Bible study group.
Bouncing ideas off of others who are also familiar with God’s Word is a great way to know the direction God would have you go.
Seek wise counsel.
Find someone with more knowledge of the Bible than you. Ask for prayer, advice, and guidance.
God wants the best for each of us. He desires for you to live in His will in order for you to have an abundant life. God sees the “big picture,” and He knows exactly how and where you fit in it. He provided the Bible as our instruction manual, so use the GPS!