The Adult Sabbath School Class

The help you need to teach Adventist adults

My Photo

Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

GPS with Attitude

Given a choice between the Holy Spirit and the Global Positioning System (GPS), I’d probably go with GPS.

That’s because the GPS provides the guidance you want. Install it in your car, for instance, and all you need to do is feed in your destination – the system takes it from there.

“Turn left.”

“Turn right.”

“Swing around the block and try again” – no, GPS takes you exactly where you want to go with no fuss and no backtalk.

But you can’t say that about the Holy Spirit. Read the story of Christ’s baptism in Mark 1:9ff – no sooner does the Spirit descend upon Jesus then what happens?

“At once the Spirit sent [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan.”

Now if a GPS system took me on that kind of trip, I’d send it back to the factory.

But read the Bible, and we’ll find that the Holy Spirit does this all the time.

It leads Jesus into the desert (where he is tempted by Satan).

It directs Peter to a Roman soldier (and gets him in all kinds of trouble with the church).

It blocks Paul from entering Bithynia (but sends him to Macedonia instead).

In short, the Holy Spirit is just not a reliable way to make sure you get where you want to go. No, it has its own agenda. It has a mind of its own. And no matter how hard we try to make it do anything else, it insists on taking us where it thinks we need to be.

Even if we don’t much want to be there at the time.

And now you know why Jesus had to rely on the Holy Spirit. Just like us, Jesus had to trust the Holy Spirit – to believe that it knew what it was doing (even if this wasn’t exactly what Jesus himself really wanted to do).

Think of Jesus in the desert.

Think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Think of Jesus, dying on a cross he’d hoped there was some way to avoid . . . if only the Spirit had led him someplace else.

No, there’s no question that the Holy Spirit is a lot more trouble than the GPS – that the GPS is a much better way to get where you want to go.

Always assuming, of course, that you really do know where you want to go.

And it’s someplace you really need to be.


Post a Comment

<< Home