With all the technical navigation aids of our time, local knowledge is still perhaps the best. Mind you. I recall when trying to find a Methodist Church in the West Devon area of the county stopping a local and asking directions. i was met with the reply, “If I was going there, I wouldn’t start from here!”
On the other hand, there is nothing like someone with that local knowledge who can lead you to where you need to go. Right through the bible we find signposts, whether the children of Israel passing through the wilderness, shepherds with angelic direction and even the Magi’s starlight guidance.
In the Acts of the Apostles we read of an angel pointing Philip in a direction toward an Ethiopian Eunuch in need. Philip in turn finds himself in the right place at the right time as he explains the scriptures to this North African seeker.
The Old Testament has some advice for us, “If ... you will seek the Lord your God, then you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and soul. In your distress, when all these things happen to you in days to come and you return to the Lord your God, then you will hear his voice. For God is compassionate. The Lord your God won’t fail you. He won’t destroy you or forget the covenant that he confirmed with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:29-31
It is all very well receiving directions, but they are only of use if we follow them through to the intended destination. The pivotal word is always ‘if’, and another Old Testament ‘if’ statement for our times could be, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Lord, help me to constantly look for ways to point those in my life to You. Help me to be selfless and sacrificial at all times. Help me to realise that love is all about You and is all about helping others come to know You and follow You. When that requires sacrifice on my part, help me to embrace that sacrifice with wholehearted joy and zeal. Amen