By Josh Gores
Have you ever been in a canoe out in the middle of a lake? If it’s a still day, the canoe sits placidly, at the beck and call of your paddle. With relative ease you are able to drive and direct the watercraft where you want it to go. Compare that with a windy day and suddenly you feel like you’re in the middle of the North Atlantic battling for life and limb. You are left at the mercy of this invisible force as it batters and directs you, moving you where it wants you to go and it takes every ounce of strength to hold the craft steady or press against it and get to your destination.
Can we just take a minute and admit that life is often like the second experience? Often it can feel like we are at the mercy of outside forces and circumstances pressing into us, keeping us from where we are supposed to go, or sapping every ounce of strength that we might have. And so we often drift aimlessly, setting the paddle into the boat and just try to ride it out or hope we don’t overturn. But it doesn’t have to be this way; our perspective doesn’t have to be so distressed. In the middle of the most buffeting winds and storms of life the Christian can experience the calm. In the midst of the howling forces that cyclone around them, the believer in Christ can stand fast and arrive at the destination to which they have been called. How do we keep from drifting? How do we keep from getting off course?
That’s the question Pastor Wilfredo de Jesus posed almost two years ago at the annual Global Leadership Summit. In a culture that is constantly in flux and filled with uncertainty, how can we make sure that we stay the course? For the believer in Christ, the Word of God is the only thing that can do this. “Even if culture is changing, the Word of God doesn’t” Pastor Wilfredo said, “the Word of God must be your true north.”
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” – Psalm 119:15-16
Only the Word can anchor our hearts and our lives in the most dangerous of moments. Only the Word can center and steady us when the busyness and calamity and distress of life hits us. Only the Word of God can refocus us when the joys and pleasantries and blessings of life begin to build idols and obsessions. The Word must be the foundation by which all else flows. The Word must be the weapon that we wield in the danger of battle and the light by which we walk in the darkest of night. The Word must permeate and shape our very core.
But often, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I think often we assume that attending a Sunday service, getting a quick 32 minute course correction, is enough to keep us mostly on course until the following Sunday. And as such, many of us drift and wander and are beaten and bruised by the storms of life to the point of exhaustion and hopelessness. Brothers and sisters may we hold fast to the very Word which is our life source. May we cling to the Word that empower and equips and strengthens. May we meditate on it day and night not turning to the left or to the right that we may be careful to do all that it says. May we hide it in our heart and joyously sing songs of it. May the Word be our true north, a compass and an anchor by which we navigate all things.