A compass is an instrument used for direction. It helps determine where you are and how to get where you want to go. Hopefully the Bible is your compass.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
In an article entitled, “How to Read a Compass,” the Compass Dude shares the benefits of owning one, “from telling which way is North to finding hidden treasure or following an unmarked path over wilderness terrain” (http://www.compassdude.com/compass-reading.shtml). But to reap those benefits, you have to know how to accurately read a compass.
1. Know Your Basic Compass Reading
The Compass Dude explains the essential basics of how to read a compass:
- “Hold the compass steadily in your hand…” The compass will be no use at all if we don’t pull it out and use it. If it stays in our pocket or gets left at home, it will offer no direction whatsoever. If we want the Bible to direct our lives, we must hold it steadily in our hands. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17). To reap the guiding benefits of the Word, we will study it daily before taking our steps.
- “Look down at the compass and see where the needle points.” Sometimes we feel sure we’re going the right way or facing a certain direction only to pull out the compass and discover we’re way off course. We must look at the Bible often to see how we’re doing and where we’re headed.
- “Turn your body while keeping the compass right in front of you.” In addition to studying God’s Word to know His direction for us, we need to follow through with our actions (James 1:22,25).
- “Hold the compass level” and “read the correct end of the needle.” These simple instructions make all the difference in accurately reading a compass. In the same way, we must “accurately handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
- “Use common sense.” Regardless of what the compass shows, some will continue going the wrong way or make choices based on their own misguided sense of direction. We have the common sense to know and understand God’s Word. We mustn’t twist it in order to try to conform it to our own feelings or to justify what we would like to believe is right (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).
2. Check Your Bearing
“By simply moving your compass with your body and using the N-E-S-W markings, you can get a good idea which way you are going…The direction you are going is called your heading.” Since we are constantly on the move, changing, and being influenced, we need to continually look to the Word to check our bearing to see which way we are heading.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8).
Heaven is where we want to go! Let’s keep pulling out our Compass to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.