Ships at sea have sophisticated electronic equipment that tells them exactly where they are. The most high-tech GPS monitors available are used to pinpoint their location anywhere in the world. Before all that was invented, sailors had to navigate with a chart and a compass.
It seems a little old-fashioned now to think about charts and compasses but I think those things help to make a good point about how God expects us to navigate life.
God has given us our own set of charts and a very reliable compass. The charts are found in His Word. He tells us everything we need to know in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him. He gives us instructions but more importantly He gives us His promises. He shows us how to live our lives in accordance with a plan that He guarantees is perfect. The promises He makes to us are watertight. A fitting word since we are talking about ships. Watertight means “unable to be disputed or questioned.” God’s promises are totally reliable. But what if we get off course somehow? What if we get distracted and stop looking at the chart? What if we have stubbornly decided that the chart isn’t taking us where we want to go? It can be pretty terrifying to be out in a large body of water and have no idea which way it is to shore.
The Lord knew that we would have times where we felt completely lost so He gave us a second way to navigate. He gave us a compass. He sent us a helper, the Holy Spirit, who will guide us back to a safe course. The Holy Spirit is never lost and in His company, we aren’t either. And when the storms come and the waves look threatening, we can be assured that He will keep us on course, keeping us safe so that one day we will step off this ship and stand on the shore, face to face with the Lord and we will be home.
Romans 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”