Anyone fancy a driverless car?
I'm told that with new technology they will be safer than today's cars. I'd like to believe that.
My problem is that today's technology sometimes gets it wrong. From time to time my satnav sends me the wrong way up a one way street or down a barely passable dirt track. Rarely, but enough that I know that I need to keep my brain awake. Then there's that series of mini-roundabouts in Swindon which come so fast that my satnav can't keep up.
Most of the time I trust the satnav. Sometimes I overrule what it says and then plunge into a traffic jam. But I wouldn't trust it to navigate a driverless car. I guess the day will come when I do.
Proverbs 3 tells us to trust in the Lord and he will direct our paths. We are not driverless cars; we are told to listen to the heavenly satnav.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)
Sounds good, doesn't it?
Proverbs 3 says that trust in the Lord is about love and faithfulness. It's about binding them to ourselves so they become part of us. Hold on to love. Hold on to faithfulness. This is God's character. This is the direction of the heavenly satnav.
If you'd like some more practical instructions ... do good to people ... don't put it off if you can do it now ... don't plot harm against people ... don't make false accusations ... don't be envious ... don't be violent. This is what trust in the Lord looks like in practice. Every time we do these things we are trusting in him. We are letting him lead us. This is the route to intimacy with God.
Some cars drive past our church at ridiculous speeds. If it's you, please stop.
I'd like to say that I am talking about skilful drivers but a couple of recent accidents suggest otherwise.
If I could, I'd like to give these people just a little bit of fear, not enough to stop them from driving, just enough to persuade them to drive a bit more carefully.
The ancient scriptures say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Without a healthy fear of God we will be like the people who career down Mills Hill Road. There's a lot more to wisdom than fear, but fear is the healthy starting point.
The Bible is full of frightening stories: terror at an empty tomb, someone hiding his face because he was afraid to look at God, someone else talking gibberish because he was so frightened. The list of examples seems almost endless. These people move quickly through the fear but they are changed in the process. They learn to listen to God. They become wiser.
The book of Proverbs tells us to search for wisdom so that we will understand the fear of the Lord. This means that we focus on Jesus Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The one who delighted in the fear of the Lord.
More on Sunday ....