Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Today’s Topic: Character’s Compass
Today’s Text: Proverbs 11:3 (ESV) The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
This morning I was cleaning up my inbox in my email account. I was shocked to discover that in all of my email folders that help me manage information I have over 500 megabytes of emails. That is a literal ocean of information. How in the world do I intend to ever navigate my way through it all? I know I filed every email into a specific folder for a reason, but I wonder what the reason was. How will I ever get through it all?
As I was sorting through just the inbox, I found an email that I saved from November 11, 2013. It’s only two months old, but I chose to leave it in my inbox because I knew that would guarantee me to look at it again. As I read it again I knew that today was the day for which it was intended.
Every Sunday morning, Calvary’s Pastor of Worship and Media, James Alan Hall, leads a Bible Study for all members of his worship and technical ministries. They meet in the Upper Room, a room chosen for them in our new facility because of its significance for their Levitical ministry. On Sunday, November 10th, 2013, they read the following paragraph from the book they are studying:
When men first learned to navigate the open seas using the stars as their “road map” a whole new world opened up to them. Until the development of state-of-the-art Satellite positioning technology, the compass was the primary instrument of navigation at sea. It was said, “He who is a slave to the compass enjoys the freedom of the open sea”.
One of the members of the Bible Study wrote this email to me the next day.
The last line really hit me and has stuck with me (which is rare). I started thinking about the freedoms that we have in Christ. What we watch, say, drink, eat, do, etc. Often times Christians will argue or judge what is right and wrong…..which is a form of legalism. We do have freedoms but if we are just roaming about at sea going wherever the wind takes us, looking for the next big thing and paying no attention to the compass we are bound to get hurt and find ourselves in a storm not knowing which way to turn.
But if we are a slave to the compass, we can truly enjoy the freedom of the open sea, but with direction and purpose. This does not mean there will not be storms because a compass cannot predict that, but when we are in a storm we will have a clear direction to go for safety. If we are truly focused on the compass I would think that a lot of the areas of the sea that we are free to roam around in just will not seem that appealing because all they will do is take us off course and slow us down from getting to our purpose and destination.
Purpose = share the Good News
Destination = Heaven
Compass = Holy Spirit
The world is a sea of opportunity which we are trying to navigate. The only way to stay on course – to maintain integrity of character – is to trust the Compass provided to us by Jesus Christ when He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We who are in Christ have a resident Compass; a Guide to show us the way through the ocean of life. Whether or not we are on course is totally our responsibility – we are either gazing at the Compass and staying true to God’s course or we are peering over the railing at the ocean of potential piers that appear to be desirable ports in which dock the ship of our life.
As we sail across the sea of life, it is tempting to look around at all the beautiful islands where we could stop for a while. There is an Island of Pleasure, and an Island of Prosperity. There are Islands of Power and a Port of Prestige. But none of these places is worthy of our consideration – never once should we shift the rudder to steer towards them unless the Compass directs us and the Wind of the Holy Spirit shifts to move us there. Resist the allure of the tropical islands when the Compass is pointing towards the eternal shore.
Stay on course. Let integrity be your guide. Character never cuts corners nor does it change direction.