If you want to know how to get to the Father, ask the Son!
“Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get to Alameda Court?” I had stopped at a gas station when I could not make sense of the map I was using. Who says guys don’t ask for directions?
It was the summer of 1976, long before GPS systems were even a remote thought in some inventor’s mind. I had reconnected with my natural father two years earlier when my younger brother Sandy had been tragically murdered. The following year I had visited him in San Francisco during a port call while on an amphibious exercise. Now I was taking Lynne and my son Chris to meet him. He had left my mother when we were about five years old, and Sandy was only one. Sandy felt compelled to reconnect, but Roger and I did not share that desire.
There have been times when, as a Christian, I was uncertain about the “direction” I should go. Scripture gives us a great deal of guidance with regard to living our lives in a way that pleases God, but there will always remain questions about the direction of our lives.
What career should I pursue? Whom shall I marry? Where should I live? There are questions that Scripture cannot answer, and I believe that is by design.
Paul tells us, “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4, ESV). The New Testament had not been written, so Paul is referring to the Old Testament scriptures. Abraham was told by God to go to a place He would show him (Genesis 12:1). He did not give him detailed directions — Abraham just started walking. The children of Israel were led by God through the wilderness for 40 years, God leading the way by a cloud during the day and a fire by night.
The New Testament gives us examples as well. Initially, the disciples are told to “wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, ‘you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5). In Acts 8, Philip is told to head toward Gaza where he meets the Ethiopian eunuch who is saved and baptized. In Acts 9, Ananias was told to go and lay hands on Saul, soon to be Paul, and heal him. In Acts 13, the disciples are praying and fasting when the Holy Spirit directed that Barnabas and Saul be sent out. They went as commanded and the Spirit directed them.
So, how do we hear the direction of the Holy Spirit? First, we must “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Why? Because Jesus said: “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). Second, we must ask believing He will answer. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:5-7). And third, be confident in knowing that God will honor any request to operate in His will. “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
God often leads me like my GPS app. It is only as I start moving that it can give me the next turn or road to follow until I arrive at my destination.
The young man standing at the pump replied: “I live on that street. Who are you looking for?” I replied, “Ted Huber.” The young man immediately replied, “That’s my father!” If you want to know how to get to the Father, ask the Son!
What say ye, Man of Valor?
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