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Follow the Bible's Map to God

There is an old song called I'm Using My Bible for a Roadmap.  The idea of the song is that the Bible is a guide for negotiating through the difficult path of life with its many obstacles, turns, and detours.  The song takes some poetic license and isn't perfectly accurate, but the idea is correct.  Indeed, the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105), and we must follow it carefully.

A map is useful only for those who are travelling to a destination.  For those people whose only desired destination is this wicked world, the Bible has no appeal. They are already where they want to be, and their destiny lies with this world (2Pet. 3:7, 10).  However, it is our desire as believers in God to go to Him. We seek "a better country, that is a heavenly one" (Heb. 11:16).  "For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come" (Heb. 13:14).  We seek to go to the Father, and Christ provides the way.  Notice John 14:1-6:

1"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  2In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  3If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  4And you know the way where I am going."  5Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"  6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Truly, Jesus is the Way and the Word (John 1:1, 14), and it is by following His word like a map that we may go to the Father and have our home with Him (John 14:23).

As Jesus said, no one comes to the Father except through Him.  Therefore, it is foolish and futile to attempt to find a path to God without the gospel of Christ.  No one will arrive at that heavenly destination unguided.  Many have tried, are trying, and will continue to try, but all of them are lost without the Bible's direction.  Jeremiah recognized man's lack of self-direction when he wrote, "I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). Thankfully, God has showed us the way to go and has given us direction for our steps.  Now it is our responsibility to follow His directions.

As we follow the directions of God's word, we must be careful not to veer away from the designated path.  Wrong turns and detours abound in this world, so we must pay close attention or else be lost.  Consider Moses' words to Israel in Deuteronomy 5:32: "So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left."  Just as Israel received God's commandments in the Law of Moses, we also have His commandments for us in the gospel of Christ.  To safely arrive at our desired destination, we must keep His commandments without turning to the right or to the left.

Following the map of God's word is of no use unless we follow it until we arrive at the intended destination.  Going only part of the way and stopping short of the destination is pointless.  The map of God's word must be followed all the way to the end.  For our journey, following the map to the end means remaining faithful to God throughout the entire duration of life.  The Lord said, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).  This means that there is no time to retire from the Lord's service and cease from our travels on the way to God.  Consider Paul's words near the close of his life in 2Timothy 4:7-8:

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

As people who have loved the appearing of the Lord, we must also finish the course. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1) until we cross the finish line where "Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith" (Heb. 12:2), stands waiting for us.

God has given us a very desirable destination in heaven, and He has provided a very reliable map to guide us there.  Now it remains for us to follow His instructions.  Will we open the map and read it?  Will we follow its directions?  Will we stay on the Bible's designated course?  Will we refuse to veer off of the path or be detoured onto roads that lead away from heaven?  Will we stop short of our destination?  Will we finish the course to the end?  Now is the time to answer these questions, and eternity will tell whether we used the Bible as a roadmap to God.

Stacey E. Durham



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