This is a repost of a message from 2011 because sometimes we need a reminder!
by Sharman J. Monroe
I decided to break the routine in my daily exercise and do cycling on Wii© Fit Plus. Although this is a video game, it simulates the real deal of bicycling and is a lower body cardio workout. To do cycling, you stand on the Wii board and pedal, lifting your feet up and down, just like you are riding a bicycle. You ride your bicycle around Wii Island on a course you chose. The course can be timed or not, simple or difficult; you pedal uphill (yeah, you have to work to get uphill!) and downhill (cruise!), navigate curves (you have brakes) and pedal through sand (ah yeah, you have to work to get through sand!). You must locate flags along the course and pick them up. When you have picked up all the flags for your course, you pedal to the finish line.
Since I wanted a 30 minutes plus cardio routine, I selected the Expert course which is not timed and difficult. Oh I forgot to tell you…you don’t where the flags are located until you are cycling the course. There is a small round map at the bottom right of the screen showing you where you are on the island and the flag locations. You press 1 on the Wii controller to see what is around you. But the map doesn’t show everything; it only shows a small area at a time. You have to keep pedaling in a direction and keep pressing 1 so you can navigate the island, avoiding cliffs, lava pits and lakes, and find the flags. You can pedal in a direction for a while only to discover there are no flags nearby.
As I was playing the game, I heard this scripture:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (AMP)
This game was a reflection of this scripture! As I played I received a new and deeper understanding of God’s Word.
While I knew there was a course, knew I had to collect 20 flags and knew I would reach the finish line, I didn’t know the terrain of the island, didn’t know where the flags were located and didn’t know how long it would take me to reach the finish line. Nevertheless, I kept pedaling, kept pressing 1 and referring to the small round map. The small round map was my lifeline. The small round map was “a lamp to my feet”. Many times I pedaled in a direction (one time I pedaled up the mountain) only to discover there were no flags to be found.
Likewise, as Christians, we know we are in, but not of, the world, know we are here to bring glory to God, know God is trustworthy, know He blesses abundantly, know He has good plans for us, and know we will see Him face-to-face one day. However, we don’t know where the obstacles of life are located, don’t know when the opportunities to be a blessing or receive a blessing will arise and don’t know how God will use us to bring glory to Himself and don’t know how long our journey will be. But we, too, have a “small round map”, a lifeline, for reference. It is called the Bible or, as I have heard it called, Book of Instruction Before Leaving Earth.
I find it interesting that God’s Word is called a lamp. While a floodlight brightens large areas so you can see far, a lamp brightens only a small, limited area. With a lamp, you can’t move too fast when you are traveling in unfamiliar territory since you only have a small amount of light to help you along. Do you remember a time when you were somewhere unfamiliar and it was dark and the only light you had was a flashlight? Did you rush ahead? No, you moved slowly and gingerly and regularly checked out your surroundings.
God is famous for giving lamp-like instruction to someone entering unfamiliar territory. Take Abram. His instructions from God were merely, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you…” Genesis 12:1 (NLT). Talk about cryptic. Yet, Abram left because he knew God and since he followed the lamp-like instructions, his name was changed, he is called righteous and we all are blessed. (Galatians 3:6, Hebrews 11:8-12).
On the spiritual side, we know God’s lamp-like instructions to us are designed to test our faith in Him (will I take a step?) and to increase our faith in Him (I know He has everything already worked out). But our humanity, our flesh, is uncomfortable with lamp-like instructions. It asks questions and reasons, and from these questions and reasonings, fear and doubt arise. Then we stop, or maybe, never start. Although we know fear does not come from God. (2 Tim 1:6-7). Although we know it is sin to disregard God’s instructions, lamp-like or not.
Our response to God’s lamp-like instructions should be just like my response in the Wii bicycle game. Without question, I completely trusted that small round map, a device that is part of a man-made computer program (and we know computer programs can sometimes have bugs), to get me around the island and to show me the location of all the flags. Yet, isn’t our God much more trustworthy than a man-made computer program? Isn’t our God bug-free? He has declared:
If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. Deuteronomy 28:1 (AMP)
I will not leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NJKV)
God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good? Numbers 23:19 (AMP)
Therefore, don’t ignore or question God’s lamp-like instructions. Take what you know (I am in, but not of, the world, I am to bring glory to God, God is trustworthy, God blesses abundantly, God has good plans for me and I will see God face-to-face one day) and keep pedaling along and keep pressing 1, looking for further instructions!
Question for Comment: Have you ever received a deeper understanding of God’s Word through an ordinary, uneventful activity?
Sharman worships at Shechem Covenant Outreach Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Tommy Terrell, III. Shechem currently meets at Samuel P. Massie Elementary School in Forestville, Maryland.