I remember being dropped in an unfamiliar location with only a map and compass, along with instructions to find my way back to the assembly area. Needless to say, it was a challenge, but all part of the learning experience. I had signed on to become an Army Cavalry Scout, but before I could lead others, I needed to gain trust in my map and compass…and I did.
In our daily journey following Christ, we also have an incredible map (the scriptures) and compass (the Holy Spirit). The Master Guide has given us tools and landmarks to see our progress. If we are to reach the summit of maturity, I think there are 4 landmarks we’ll all pass by on the way:
Landmark 1: Embracing God’s Authority – Do I really view God as sovereign? He is totally free to do as He pleases. In the beginning God made everything (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3). There simply isn’t any escaping the fact that God is in control. He not only created everything, but defeated the evil that came afterwards (Matthew 28:18). He’s the mountain in the distance standing taller than the clouds.
Landmark 2: Attitude Correction – Just like catching a glimpse of a water tower along a ridge, Philippians 2:5-11 helps me to see something specific on the map (the nature of Christ). I may have been traveling for miles in the wrong direction, but seeing a known object restores my bearing. Without stopping to look, I may assume everything is great and be headed for trouble. The standard of Jesus never changes and the compass of the Holy Spirit always points north to Him.
Landmark 3: The Big Picture – Sometimes walking into a clearing to get a good view helps me see the overall scale of things. I can spot rain coming or look back over the ground just covered and know why the trail had to go the direction it did. Like Joseph in Genesis 45, we don’t always understand what’s happening in the grander scale, but trusting God in the smaller sections of the trail (climb this rock, cross this creek) leads to eventually seeing. Focusing on the truths I do know helps me deal with what I don’t know.
Landmark 4: Dealing with People – As we go, encountering others is going to be part of it. This one tends to be moss-covered and slippery, so watch your step! James 3:13-18 tells us wisdom from above in dealing with others involves purity, peace, mercy, and authenticity.
Hopefully you’ve seen some of these already. If not…trust your Guide. The Bible says for those of us who’ve placed our trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). So, if you’ve found these landmarks, help point others. That’s called making disciples and what a privilege it is to do so!