“The angel said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true….'” — Revelation 22:6
When it comes to all matters of life and faith, this AnGeL testifies that God’s Word is absolutely trustworthy and true. Paul encouraged Timothy, who was living in a wicked and idolatrous empire, that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) God’s Word serves as a spiritual compass, guiding us through this life’s journey until we are safely Home. (Psalm 73:24)
If you spend much time outdoors, either on the open sea, or in the desert, or in the mountains, I’m sure you appreciate the value of a compass. Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, I have always enjoyed hiking. One fourteen-mile hike as a teenager in particular stands out in my mind because somewhere along the way, my companion and I got completely lost in a huge laurel thicket! So my friend took a compass out of his pocket, noted the needle pointing north, and as a result adjusted our direction. We chose the right way out, and eventually emerged where we needed to be, and then finally returned home.1
What has struck me is that just as I need a compass when hiking in the mountains, I also need a spiritual compass with me as I walk through life if I want to stay on the right path. My parents encouraged me to set my spiritual compass so that the “needle” of my faith always pointed to the Bible, God’s Word. In fact, my mother inscribed my first Bible with these words, This is your one sure guide in an unsure world. Read it, study it, love it, live it. In it you will find a verse for every occasion.
My parents then taught me to use my “compass” by their own example. My father’s faith in God’s Word was made visible by the large banner that hung over his pulpit whenever he preached anywhere in the world. The banner proclaimed, Jesus said…I am the way, the truth and the life…. God used my father’s spiritual compass to help many a lost person find the way Home. My mother intentionally refreshed the setting on her compass every morning as she spent any spare moment she could at her large, flat-topped desk in her bedroom, pouring through her Bible.
The result was that regardless of any looming “laurel thicket”…any crisis or confusion… that took place in the world or in our family, my parents knew the next steps to take. Their lives are a testimony to the effectiveness of the “compass” to lead them, and many others, on the right path.
I now use daily the compass they passed on to me and taught me how to use. While my life has had its share of problems and pain, I can honestly say that I’m going in the right direction…one that will lead me safely to my heavenly Home.
So as we look ahead to a New Year that holds a lot of uncertainty personally, nationally, and internationally, I want to give others…and you …The Compass. Read the Bible. Don’t forget to set the needle…place your faith in its Truth. And remember my mother’s words: This is your one sure guide in an unsure world.
For His Glory,
1 Adapted from the introduction to Anne’s new devotional book, Fixing My Eyes on Jesus, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 2012
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