While our children were growing up, our summer vacation was a trip to Nebraska visiting grandparents. My dad was a retired farmer who was always eager to take his grandchildren to the farm. If he wanted to get there quickly, he went a direct route that took approximately 15 minutes. If he wanted to show us the scenery and look at the crops, he would drive country roads for almost half an hour. He would point out where there formerly was a house on a particular corner. He might comment about who used to farm a specific field. My dad knew every mile of the countryside.
As a teen, our son thought it would be fun to visit Grandpa by himself and explore Nebraska farmland. My husband asked Greg how he would know the route to the farm. His response, “I will take Grandpa, the human map, with me!”
My dad was a living physical map who knew how to get everywhere in Polk County. Sometimes he took a direct route. Other times, he took indirect roads. However, he always got where he wanted to go – and he never got lost.
I believe Jesus is our spiritual map who knows how to get everywhere. Sometimes He leads us by a direct route. Other times, He takes us multiple miles out of the way. However, His goal is always to get us where He wants us to go spiritually – and He never gets lost. According to John 14:6, Jesus is the way.
As believers, we are on a journey physically and spiritually. It began the day we were born and it will end the day we step into eternity. II Corinthians 5:6-7 says, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” We must rely upon Jesus, our spiritual map.
John 4:1-42 gives us an example of the type of roads we might travel according to Jesus’ map. Jesus and His disciples were walking from Judea to Galilee. The most direct route took them through Samaria. Not a region the disciples wanted to visit because the Samaritans hated the Jews – and the Jews had similar feelings towards the Samaritans. The travelers could have taken a longer route and avoided Samaria. However, that was not the plan according to Jesus’s map.
I want to borrow terminology used by Steve Furtick of Elevation Church. He uses a play on words and refers to Samaria as “some area”.
My Reader, is there “some area” where Jesus wants to take you that you do not want to go? You may be dragging your feet to travel a specific direction. You would prefer to avoid “some area” of hurt or difficulty or misunderstanding. However, your route may not follow the Lord’s map. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” You must remember that the Lord assures you in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for you. His plans are for good and not evil.
According to Hebrews 13:5, you have the assurance that the Lord will never leave or forsake you. You need not be afraid to travel “some area” of Samaria because the Lord travels with you. Declare the words of Psalm 25:4-5. “Make me know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. For You I wait all the day.”
Your Samaria may not be the easiest road you ever travel. The disciples did not want to go through Samaria but Jesus included it as part of their itinerary. Romans 8:18 says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.” With Jesus by your side, your will not linger longer than necessary in “some area”. The destination will be good. Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” This promise includes “some areas” of your life you would like to avoid.
There will be days when you feel like your journey through “some area” will never end. Remember the words of Isaiah 30:21. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Continue to listen to the voice of God on your GPS. Your Samaria will not last forever. Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
You know your Samaria – “some area” where the Lord wants to meet with you. He wants to travel through this region with you so you can continue your journey. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” According to Ephesians 3:20 NKJV, the Lord who is traveling with you is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ask or think, according to the power that works in you.
So, grab hold of Jesus, your spiritual map. Be willing to go through your Samaria!