Getting Oriented


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Bible Reading: John 14:15-17

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.   John 14:16-17

HOW MANY DIFFERENT sports can you name? Name as many as you can.

How many can you think of? You probably named baseball, right? And football, basketball, and soccer. Maybe even tennis, hockey, or track. But there’s one sport you’d probably never guess in a hundred years. It’s called “orienteering.”

Orienteering is a sport or pastime that’s becoming more and more popular. Participants go out into a wild area (a forest, field, desert, and so on) with almost nothing except a map and a compass. Then, using the map, compass, and their “orienteering” skills, they find their way to some distant destination. People enjoy the sport because it’s sort of like solving a puzzle or finding your way through a maze.

Well, all of us are constantly doing something similar. We may not be in a forest or field, but we often find ourselves in areas we’ve never seen before: “Would it be wrong to tell Mrs. Rotgut that I liked her cake when I really didn’t?” “Would it be all right to ‘borrow’ money out of my brother’s piggy bank if I put it back later?” “Is it OK to put shaving cream on my sister’s Jell-O and tell her it’s whipped cream?”

It can get pretty hard to find our way in such strange territories. Most of the time we feel like we’re just guessing. But we don’t have to feel that way—not if we have the proper equipment.

When Jesus was telling his disciples that he would soon be leaving them and returning to heaven, he promised them that the Father would “give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (John 14:16-17). He knew his followers would sometimes feel lost. He knew that sometimes they wouldn’t know what to do. So he told them the Holy Spirit, who would live in their hearts, would lead them into all truth.

One of the keys to orienteering is learning how to use a compass to find out which way to go. One of the keys to making right choices is listening to the Holy Spirit to find out which way to go. We listen to him through prayer and Bible reading and by following his commands. And as we listen to him, we’ll find out that the territory we’re in becomes less strange as we start to see the way more clearly.

REFLECT: Do you think Christians (who have the Holy Spirit living inside them) should find it easier to know right from wrong than non-Christians do? Why or why not? How is the Holy Spirit’s guidance like a map or a compass? How is it different? Do you let the Spirit lead you in making right choices? If not, why not? If so, how?

PRAY: “Dear God, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, who lives inside every Christian. Please help me listen to his voice and follow where he leads me.”


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