Every driver relying on GPS technology knows the occasional frustration of getting bad directions. Imperfect satellite signals and outdated maps are common reasons for GPS failure. One time I heard a funny insurance commercial. A car smashes into a building. The sound of falling bricks and shattering glass is followed by a moment of silence. And then the GPS says, “In 100 feet, turn right.”
The year 2020 is unknown territory. What will happen in the next 12 months? Will we keep our health? Will we lose a loved one? Will our job situation change for better or worse? Will a new friend brighten our days? Will the United States remain stable or suffer an unforeseen calamity? Will the church flourish or give ground to the adversary?
The coming year is unknown territory, but we have something far better than a human guide or a clever device. The prophet Jeremiah says, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). Jeremiah understands that men and women have no internal GPS to guide them in the right spiritual paths.
But the people of Judah refused to believe this. Jerusalem was in the throes of political death. The Babylonians threatened, besieged, and finally crushed the nation’s capital. At every turn, Jeremiah was there with a word of counsel from God. But his people paid no attention. They listened to every other voice – to self-serving political advisers, to false prophets, to pagan priests. But they wouldn’t listen to God, and their stubbornness brought ruin.
We can’t say what will happen in 2020. But we do know this: “It is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” If the Lord directs our steps, we’ll be blessed. We may be blessed “because of” or blessed “in spite of,” but we will be blessed. We really shouldn’t care where 2020 takes us, so long as the Lord is our guide and constant companion.