Apr 07, 2021 • Written by Heidi Scott
The Compass and the Lantern
A few years ago, I felt a nudge. My husband and I were coming out of a hard season with a renewed commitment to follow God wholeheartedly. We felt God moving us in a new direction, but we didn’t know where He was leading. So, we prayed for God to show us His will for us. What I really wanted was GPS, turn-by-turn directions. Yes God, I want to follow You, but please show me exactly where and how we are supposed to get there.
Instead of GPS coordinates, God gave us something else: a compass. Pretty old-school, right? But the thing about a compass is that it’s never wrong: it always points to true north. Rather than being spoon-fed one turn or step at a time, God wants us to trust Him to take steps of faith. Most of us don’t get a dramatic unveiling or grand reveal of His plan for us. By trusting Him with the process, our focus is less on the destination and more on our True North—our powerful and trustworthy Father. Only by facing Him can we step forward with confidence.
Maybe you’ve been there, asking God what His plan is for you. The answer to that question is actually quite simple: His plan for you is to follow the compass. His plan for you is more of Himself. When we keep facing Him, He promises us assurance in each step, even when we don’t know the arrival details.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him,” Psalm 37:23
A compass seems basic, even rudimentary. But it’s trustworthy. Scientists have conducted experiments where they placed blindfolded people in a field, pointed them in the right direction, and asked them to walk forward. The results? Without fail, even trained, experienced survivalists veered off course. Way off. Following the compass requires undivided attention. Take your eyes off it and you will go off course. The beautiful thing about God’s compass is that when we get off course, all it takes is us calling out to our heavenly Father and He helps us get back on track!
“Though she may stumble, she will not fall, for the Lord upholds her with his hand,” Psalm 37:24, paraphrase mine
As we walk with the Lord, with Him as our compass and guide, He gives us another essential tool for our way: a lantern. Like my desire for GPS turn-by-turn directions, I want my way lit up like a runway. I would love to see each curve and boulder on my path clearly. Instead, God’s perfect and precious gift to us is His Word. The Bible is the lantern that lights each step, the only light we need.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
Notice it’s not a floodlight. We don’t get to see every potential obstacle or turn in our story. God wants us to keep Him close and rely on Him… one step at a time. If we keep facing God (He is our compass) and hold tight to the lamp He gives us (the Word), we can take bold steps forward in faith.
God has a unique plan for each of His daughters and sons. His nudge for my husband and me led us in a surprising direction: global missions. Keep facing True North, holding the light of His word close and He will show you the next steps. You might be surprised where He leads!