When our family moved from Indiana to San Diego, California, several decades ago, navigating on that road trip was a two-person affair: one driver and one navigator in the passenger seat. The navigator had a large paper roadmap unfolded, resting on the dashboard, from which directions were called out to the driver. Remember those days?
How things have changed! Today, one person can drive coast to coast or border to border with nothing but a smartphone or a car’s built-in navigation system. It’s all due to the government-run technology known as GPS—a few dozen satellites circling the earth sending out radio signals. GPS can tell us where we are within a few feet of our actual location and our phone’s computer can create a path to our destination. Brilliant!
Here’s the thing about GPS: We don’t have to know how to get to where we’re going. We set out in our car and just follow the directions we’re given. In spite of the rare misdirection, we have come to trust GPS implicitly to direct us. Our job is to begin; the GPS’ job is to get us where we’d like to go. We are free to enjoy the trip and not worry about the directions.
Can you guess where I’m headed with this analogy? Why are we so willing to trust an imperfect, man-made technology to guide our steps when we don’t always put that same kind of faith in God? I know what you’ll say: GPS gives us specific, moment-by-moment steps to take us to our destination. You’re right—God doesn’t audibly speak to us that way. But we still have biblical reasons to believe that He knows exactly where we are and the directions we need to get where He wants us to go.
Be honest: Which makes you more nervous? Leaving on a five-hundred-mile road trip with only your phone to guide you, or trusting God with a major life event (or crisis) you are facing? Most of us are pretty good at trusting God, but we need to move from good to great when it comes to living by faith.
I have a friend who, when his five children were small, would always lead a time of family prayer in the car before backing out of the driveway—prayers for safety, for “happy hearts,” for good driving weather. Your family has probably done the same thing. When his children were teens, one of his sons was leaving on a trip with a friend, and the son prayed for their trip before leaving. The friend was amazed: “You pray about trips?” My friend’s son answered, “Sure—we always did when I was growing up.”
And why not? Isn’t God interested in every aspect of our life—our daily bread, the hairs on our head, the steps we take? Of course, He is! When we stop to pray, it’s an act of faith, an act of trust. We are to live every moment of our life by faith, which is why Paul writes, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That’s simply another way of saying, “Trust God with everything. Keep God involved in every dimension of your life.”
The apostle James gives us an illustration of how not to do that—by living a life of faith in human reasoning instead of faith in God. In his example, some men made plans to go to another city and start a business and make a profit—without involving God. James said, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that'” (see James 4:13-17). In other words, involve God in your business (and vacations and neighborhood and children’s activities and hobbies and healthcare and finances—in everything!) as well as in your spiritual life because all of life with God is spiritual.
What does Proverbs 3:5-6 say? Trust in God; don’t depend on your own understanding; involve Him in all your ways and He will direct your path. That’s what it means to live a life of faith. Even when the way looks fuzzy and unclear? Yes. Because, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
How would your life be different if you lived a life of great faith instead of average faith? There’s one way to find out.
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point’s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than fifty books.