Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Does God Give You a Map or Compass?

Does God Give You a Map or Compass?

Historically, there have been two tools to help guide us in our travels. One is a map, and the other is a compass.

They are two very different things.

A map is a drawn out picture of freeways and highways, roads and routes, that help you see how to get from point “A” to point “B.”

But as Seth Godin once noted, the map keeps getting redrawn. Technology keeps changing the routes we take to get to our destinations (and projects).

It doesn’t pay to memorize the route, because it’s going to change soon.

The compass, on the other hand, is more relevant than ever.

A compass gives a sense of direction, but not specificity. It tells us “due north,” but not which turn to take on the way. It keeps us heading in the right direction, but the actual steps taken are ours to determine.

So maps give steps, but those steps are ever-changing and often wrong; a compass gives us direction that never fails, and leaves it to us to make judgments as to how best to put one foot in front of another.

What does God promise those who follow Him?

Certainly not a map.

Just ask Abraham.

The Bible tells us that when God called him to leave his country, it was simply “to the land I will show you” (Gen. 12:1, NIV).

Actually, that’s not even a compass. That’s a personal Guide.

So perhaps the point is to form ourselves in Christ in such a way that we have an internal sense of true north, but then place our lives in the hands of the One who will guide each and every step.

Sounds like a plan to me.   

Previous article11-Year-Old Girl Leaves Family to Avoid Marriage
Next articleHow I Found Out There Was Another Woman—And Moved Forward
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.