Troublesome Topic: Which Guidance System Are You Using?

By Audry Eberhard

What beauty our eyes would behold as we travel the road of life if we were totally committed to following the ultimate guidance systems of God’s Word and Prayer. We would have unlimited opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ. All of life’s difficulties, including emotional struggles, would be accepted with joy in the Spirit because they bring character and add maturity to our lives. We would constantly be “under construction” as we travel the road because obedience often means change and growth. As we humbly go to God as our source of strength and wisdom, He will strengthen the weak areas of our lives and give us spiritually strong weapons with which to fight off the enemy’s attacks.

Remember that there are many wanna-be guidance systems available in our world today that would love the opportunity to guide you onto a path of ease and comfort. The guidance system of satisfying self is very prevalent in our society.  It says, “My needs, my rights, my feelings, my desires, and my hopes are all-important over everybody else’s needs, rights, feelings, desires and hopes. My opinion is the only right one; if you don’t agree, you are wrong.” This is an easy-belief system that is hard to fight against because it is the natural way our sinful minds are wired. Beware of anything that is easy to follow, because unhappiness will be the end result. God’s Word presents a much different picture. Romans 12 speaks to this in these verses:

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10) (NIV). Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:13-18)(NIV).

So, as you can see, God’s Word presents a much different picture. We need to be honoring others above ourselves. It even paints a picture of what that looks like: sharing, being hospitable, being kind to friends and enemies, living harmoniously with others, being friends with those that are different than we are, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and lastly living at peace with everyone. This type of lifestyle does not come naturally for us, nor is it easy to put into practice.

This is where God-focused living (being in His vehicle) is so important. Jesus, when asked by religious leaders what the most important commandment was, answered this way in Mark 12:30, 31,

Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (NIV).

This is the beauty of Holy Spirit cruise control. God has given us all we need for life and godliness,

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3) (NIV).

We are powerless on our own to live this way but as we spend time with our guidance control systems and are living in obedience to God’s leading and guiding in our lives, He gives us His love for those around us. We see others through His eyes and hear their cries with His ears. The Holy Spirit control system will give us a nudge of guidance and we need to follow through with obedience. As we do our lives will be characterized by the things listed in Romans 12. We are not placed here in this time to live only for ourselves and our pleasures, rather we are to be the hands, feet and mouthpiece of our Creator God and impact as many lives as we can with the Spirit’s guidance. So, when others are being characterized by selfishness, Christ-followers should be characterized by love for God that is poured out of our lives to everyone around us. Here are a few more verses that show us what this should look like in our lives:

Love one another as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9b, 10) (NIV).

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up (Romans 15: 1, 2) (NIV). Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom 15:7) (NIV).

Jesus says in John 15:12 and 13, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (NIV).

When others threaten to harm us, we respond with Christ’s love. When others are tearing others down to pridefully make themselves look better, we should be looking for ways to lift others up and be accepting of people because they are made for a specific purpose and God wants to love them through us. When others are fearfully trying to protect their lives and possessions, we should be ready to follow Christ’s example by laying down our lives for those that Christ calls us to protect. Does this sound the opposite of the way our society says is the politically correct way to live?

Remember that I said our culture and its current mantra are being used powerfully by the enemy to draw Christ-followers away from what is truly important. Self-love is very prevalent within the church today. Take these phrases: “You are important; you are created with purpose; you are valuable; you can achieve great things; you are an important part of God’s body; you are blessed, you are special; there is no one like you; God wants you to be happy.” The problem with these statements is that there is one word that is common in all of them “you”. The mindset of Christ-followers should be God-focused. God has created each person for a specific purpose. We must allow Him to be a very visible part of our lives (everything we do should point to Him and glorify Him); without Christ in our lives our only purpose will be to satisfy self and the impact of our lives will accomplish nothing of eternal value. God has chosen us for a specific purpose which is a huge blessing. There is nothing special in me apart from Christ. God’s desire is not for my happiness but my becoming more like Him every day.

Allow the Spirit use His spotlight to search every hidden place in your life. Allow uninterrupted time and uncluttered space for that to happen. Be ready to hear His still small voice and take action-steps of obedience. It will look different for each person and the outcome will look different for each person, but confession will be the common response when we see ourselves in the spotlight of Christ’s sacrifice. For life to have true meaning and purpose, and for us to have positive emotional health, we must be very purposeful about keeping Christ as our focal point.

Satan is very subtle in the ways he attempts to infiltrate our lives with the message of self-importance. Here is a good verse to memorize regarding that issue;

Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them! For these are the kind who do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites (Romans 16:17, 18a) (NET).

The next lesson is: The Importance of Focus