‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (v11) Jeremiah 29:4–14

Words that sound so comforting were spoken at a time of Judah’s greatest pain and confusion. Exiled to Babylon, defeated, humbled and apparently abandoned by God.

Prosperity, hope and a future seemed far from assured. Yet, God promised this was simply a staging post on the essential course of their God experience.

On any journey, we require a compass to ensure we are headed in the right direction. When natural landmarks like the stars and planets are obscured, we need to place our confidence in a little magnetised needle, probably first invented by the Chinese.

We too are in exile. We await the return of Jesus and the restoration of God’s kingdom on earth. Our compass is the Holy Spirit, and He will always draw us back towards Jesus.

For this to happen, we need discernment, to pay attention to the Spirit’s leading, and to avoid the rocks that can shipwreck our lives.

And if we feel we are already marooned on a desert isle, that same Holy Spirit will rescue those of us who call out for help and surrender to His leading. 

The compass is given by God to enable us to live every day with Jesus in confidence. It alone offers the framework that ensures our steps lead us ever closer towards God’s heart.

Such a compass is an essential part of any pilgrim’s equipment if they intend safely to navigate their way along God’s narrow path through life.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 32:6–11; Isa. 11:1–5; John 5:31–44; 16:12–15.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: If we want to travel consistently in God’s direction we must discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us. Are we ready to enter upon unfamiliar paths and place our confidence in God’s leading?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, I want to walk on Your path for my life, guided by Your Holy Spirit. Help me to discern where Your Spirit leads me. Amen.’

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.