Hitting Your Waypoints Nov. 24,2019
Merriam Webster defines a waypoint as:
”an intermediate point on a route or line of travel”
A secondary usage is “a stopping place on a journey”
For our purposes today we want to embrace the first and avoid the second!
I’ve always loved maps. You can learn so much from them. When you’re planning or at least thinking about taking a trip, a map can inform you of a ton of critical information essential to your journey.
Of course, the most critical information is…the route you should take to get you from where you are to where you want to go!
Thankfully, with the advent and roll out of GPS technology, we all can utilize this great tool to get us where we want to go with great precision.
On a long or unfamiliar journey, it is comforting to have fixed points of reference along the way to confirm that you are in fact “on track”! These are known as waypoints.
Passing through these waypoints encourages us that we are going in the right direction. From time to time I have been known to “freelance” a bit, thinking that (from my perspective at least) that I have a better plan than MapQuest is laying out for me. On those occasions a fairly insistent female voice breaks into my moment of “freedom” instructing me to “return to the route,” often followed by a rather matter of fact statement that I NEED TO MAKE A “U TURN”! How incredibly rude and judgmental!
EVENTUALLY AFTER I HAVE RECOVERED FROM THAT ELECTRONIC ASSUALT ON MY MANHOOD, I may actually realize that I have been pretty much making a mess of the situation by insisting on doing things my way for too long! At that point I will begin to take notice the same unperturbed voice once again offering me an updated solution to help me “return to the route.” It’s actually pretty awesome that no matter what kind of detour I’ve taken, that the same “voice” that tried to help me avoid my bad decision in the first place, is still there tirelessly suggesting solutions that will get me back on track again!
Today my hope is to provide some waypoints that will help us all find assurance that we are on track in the ultimate journey we are all taking. For those of us who have veered off course, I at least want to raise my voice and encourage you to “return to the route!”
The book of Ephesians, in chapters 4-6 provides us with a set of waypoints that we should find ourselves passing through on the journey of faith the Lord has called us to. It is very important to note that these are not a list of behaviors that we accomplish on our own in some kind of legalistic fleshly effort. They are however decisive behaviors that are inspired and enabled by the indwelling Spirit of God!
Let me also add that in my experience, whenever I find myself agitated or challenged by situations that cause me to start plotting a detour around one of these “waypoints” a similar and equally persistent “voice” is there reminding me to “return to the route” even when I desperately want to do otherwise!
For the sake of simplicity let me suggest the following:
You’ll know your hitting your waypoints when…
…Note: verses 5-7 are a definite and urgent call for a U-turn!
You’re learning to just “suck it up and submit”…
(ch. 5:21) …to one another
(ch. 5:22-6:4) …to God’s order for the family
(ch. 6:5-8) … as both employers and employees
(ch. 6:9) … to the ultimate authority
The prophet Isaiah spoke of a “Voice” available to lead God’s people long before MapQuest was ever conceived. The voice of God has been heard since the first humans stood on planet Earth and has been offering unerring direction ever since, to all who would listen:
“Your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”
To my ear that little lady from MapQuest sounds like she got her inspiration from Isaiah! God’s call to “return to the route” has been going out since the Garden of Eden!
There is incredible news for every one of us this morning! Jesus has come to open our ears to His voice and enable us to follow Him all the way to our destination. These “waypoints” may sound challenging or even impossible to us. However, the Holy Spirit who has inspired the writing of them is at work to equip every believer to accomplish each one of them on our journey! Under His influence, you and I can do what He has called for in the verses we’ve studied today!
The MapQuest lady always says something else at the end of the trip. As I recall, it’s something really warm and fuzzy like…” arrived at destination.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s sort of an anti-climactic end for such a great accomplishment! Why not “hey, great job, you made it”! After all, arriving at your intended destination is really the whole point of the trip isn’t it? God’s version is similar however but immeasurably better…
“Well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”