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Points Of Reference
I am sure most of you readers realize the value of reference points and their great usefulness to us. At times this fact impresses itself on equipment installers during the course of a day on the job. Perhaps a place or position is being sought to run a plumbing or electrical line from one room or floor to another. Then a skilled workman often takes advantage of a nearby reference point in order to achieve the greatest accuracy. By careful measuring to and from this point, he will arrive at the place he desires. Very important though, is that the reference point itself be valid and true, and not misunderstood or misread. Examples of a reference point through a wall or barrier may be an existing window, a vent pipe, or even a simple nail driven through nearby.
Surveyors, airplane pilots, sea captains, hikers, or hunters all use reference points in one form or another. The stars are a basic navigational tool that have been used from very early in the history of mankind. The north pole is a point to which all magnetic compasses are referenced. And today, with the use of satellites, a highly accurate and advanced form of navigation has come, known as GPS technology.
How do I get from where I am to where I want to go, without the danger of getting lost or arriving at the wrong place ? What can I use for a guide to assist me? For the early explorers and settlers, the answer to these questions often held the consequence of life or death, and success or miserable failure.
As Christians attempting to navigate our walk through life it is even more important to have some good points of reference. Psalm 32:8 promises us, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye," or John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." Also Psalm 37:31, "The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."
Some parallels for the Christian then, become very apparent. First and foremost, our faithful Lord Jesus is our most important reference point. He has promised by His Spirit to guide the sincere seeker into truth. His Holy Word is another reference point we do well to stay close by. Ignore its doctrine and teachings and we are most surely to lose our way! God has given us fellow brethren and sisters to help us in understanding truth and to find out His will for our lives. Are we humble enough to seek out their advice?
Established truths and Biblical, time proven practices are benchmarks or landmarks that should not be taken lightly. And we should be very slow to disregard or cast aside these principles that our forefathers have used and lived by. May God help us to find and keep these important reference points. The reward is life eternal in the very presence of God!
- Darrell Martin