When I was growing up, I wasn’t a Boy Scout. (Obviously.) Or a Girl Scout, for that matter. I grew up in a poor county, out in the country. There were no chapters of Scouts of any kind there. But some of those scouting skills were what a lot of us kids knew as simple everyday living. I suppose if I had been in Scouts, I might have been taught how to use a compass to find my way. Luckily, I was blessed with higher-than-average navigational skills. But I’m digressing…

The thing that makes a compass so handy and so trustworthy is that it doesn’t ever change its criteria for direction. Magnetic north pole and magnetic south pole attract their counterparts on the compass. North will always be north and south will always be south. And if you need to know which way to go, it’s as simple as checking the compass for your direction.

That’s also one of the things I love about God. He doesn’t ever change His criteria. He created us—that doesn’t change. He loves us—that doesn’t change. And when we have a healthy relationship with Him, He’s going to help us to stay pointed in the right direction.

Compasses can break. When they do break, they don’t point the right way anymore. And then, we end up lost in the woods—sometimes, worse.

When we don’t have a healthy relationship with God, our compasses get broken. We forget what’s important and what’s not. Our priorities shift and change, according to our mood. We can get confused and not know where to go or what to do. We get lost in the woods. Or worse.

In today’s chapter of AW Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God,” he says, “We are right when and only when we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.” (Tozer, 55)

I’ve never been a fan of being lost. In fact, I have a tendency to panic when I get lost. But I’m slowly learning that if I just stand still, take a deep breath, and look at my compass (okay, my GPS), I’ll find my way again. And believe it or not, it’s just that easy with God, too. Stand still. Take a deep breath. Take a look at Him. You’ll find your way again.

Today’s post is part of a weekly book discussion that a group of us (including my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen and I) are having on AW Tozer’s classic, “The Pursuit of God.” Feel free to stick around and chat, even if you aren’t reading the book! If you did write a response to this chapter, please link up at the widget below. And make sure to drop by my co-facilitator’s place to see what he has to say!


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  1. I liked that same quote a lot. Many think that right doctrine or right group of people or even right parents/family justifies them to God, but it’s our position of dependence and humility that makes us right and puts us in position. Abraham believed God’s promise and it was credited to him as righteousness. That believing and trust is still the same thing that brings us into relationship, only now we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside us that transforms us in unfathomable ways. Good stuff, Sarah! Thank you.

  2. I really like the compass analogy. It never changes and you can trust it. Jason nailed it, it isn’t the name on the door or the family who raised you that will ultimately lead you to a right relationship with God- it is the dependence of the heart.

    But oh, how we like to ignore the compass and wander in the woods! Thankfully God sent his Park Ranger to rescue us.

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, it took some years for me to realize that the relationship is what it’s all about. It’s not about beliefs or doctrines or dogmas or liturgy. When we give God our heart, He changes most of that anyway. At least, in my experience. 🙂

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Frank, I love the reference to the Park Ranger! Awesome! But it also made me giggle because I thought about Yogi Bear. And then, I found myself trying to fit Yogi Bear into the analogy. And that’s just silly. 🙂

    But really, thanks! Great input!

  5. carolyn salter says:

    MY LITTLE GIRL!!! We are SO proud of you and I KNOW my MAMA and DADDY are too!

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