Wonder where you are in life? Try the ‘Gospel GPS.’

15 03 2016

Disciples frequently need direction in life. We often desire to know what God is seeking to accomplish, especially when our experiences are confusing. The four markers along the Jesus way help us locate our position on the trail. I call this the gospel GPS. We can now return to the three questions posed in the introduction of the trail guide.

Doc - Jan 30, 2016, 2-12 PM - p1Where am I on the trail? Because you know Jesus’ experience, and because you know that God guides you repeatedly through that same pattern of experiences, you therefore know that if God is asking that you surrender to Him, that you are in Gethsemane, as Jesus was. You know that if He is asking you to give something up to Him as a sacrifice, then you have come to a kind of Golgotha. If you are in a season of grieving, loss, or waiting, then you are in a kind of burial. And, perhaps unbeknownst to you, if Jesus is manifesting His life through you, God is granting you a resurrection-like experience. Knowing where you are on the trail helps you to rejoice over where you have been, where you are, and where you are headed.

What does Jesus want from me in this current experience? Understanding this pattern, you now know how you can cooperate with God in each of the four aspects. Gethsemane will only be satisfied as you surrender, declaring “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Golgotha is the time of sacrifice, in which you say, “Into Your hands I commit my spirit.” Your season in the tomb asks that you abide in Christ, waiting with Him for as long as is required. And resurrection liberates you to rejoice that Jesus is being displayed in your life, and through you to others.

Where is the trail ultimately leading? Because of the consistency of the pattern, you can anticipate what is ahead. You know that if you are at a Gethsemane, in which God is asking you to surrender your will to His, that He will next ask you to follow through and sacrifice that which He has required. Following that, an expression of burial will come, which will yield finally to the risen Jesus Christ being manifested through you more fully because you have gone through yet another rendition of the pattern of the Jesus way.

Another way to think of this is to work backward. Doing so helps to review and better understand what God has done in your past. If you want to know where the risen Jesus is manifesting Himself in your life, look for the ways God has asked you to grieve a loss, or wait for the fulfillment of a dream. Look for the ways you have sought to abide with Christ. Your resurrection-like experiences will appear where you have experienced a kind of burial. Similarly, if you want to know where God is asking you to abide in Christ, look for the way in which He has asked you to sacrifice for Him. What has God asked you to lay down at the foot of the cross? That is your call to Golgotha. And should you wonder what that sacrifice was, look further back for a time and place when God found you in your Gethsemane and asked you to surrender to Him, yielding your will to His will for your life.

Here is a summary of the historical event in Jesus’ life, the way Jesus led in each aspect, and our task as those who follow Him.

Gethsemane Surrender Surrender
Golgotha Death Sacrifice
Tomb Burial Abiding
Empty Tomb Resurrection Manifestation

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