Is God Like a GPS System?

by Steve Ray on September 8, 2013

There are a million reasons why God is NOT like a GPS system but I am in Australia and I made a wrong turn and my GPS started reprimanding me and saying “Recalculating!”

GPS.jpgFor those who don’t know, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a nifty little device that links up with positional satellites above the earth. The satellites pinpoint exactly where you are and the micro computer inside the GPS calculates the shortest or fastest route to get to your destination.

The GPS sits on the dashboard of your car and verbally and visually directs you to your location. Mine is a Garmin and it covers the whole of the USA, Canada and Mexico. I will soon be buying one that covers the Middle East and Europe.

I thought of three ways, at least, that the GPS is like God–relatively and figuratively speaking. First, it knows everything: every address, street, city and business in the USA. It knows every gas station, hotel, church, post office, restaurant, airport, school, grocery store, intersection, hospital, freeway, etc. God knows everything.

Second, you can turn it on or shut it off. Now of course you can’t shut God off, but you can practically say NO to him and shut him out of your life. If I shut off my GPS I am the loser since it knows “everything” and knows exactly where I am at any time and how to get to where I want to go. God knows exactly where I am eternally and how to get me to my location. I can turn him on if I want to get his advice and enjoy his knowledge.

Third, every time I screw up he can get me back on track. For example, the other day I made a wrong turn and the GPS politely said, “Recalculating! Make a u-turn.” After I failed to make a u-turn, making a left turn instead, the GPS said, “Recalculating, turn right at Main Street.”

USA.bmpIn other words, even though I ignore or disobey the GPS it does not condemn me. It just says, “OK, I had this planned the very best way for you get to your final destination, but you didn’t listen, so I will start over. From where you are now I can STILL get you there — but I have to recalculate first.”

God does the same. He forgives. We screw up and go on the wrong path (sin, disobedience, pride, etc.) and once we repent and confess our sins and decide to listen to God again, he starts over in our life and says “Recalculating! Now that you’ve made a wrong turn and are willing to correct it — don’t worry, I can still get you to heaven from here.” And then he gives us the new directions from our wrong location.

Oh, one other thing, the GPS is ready for me to listen any time day or night. It can get me places in daylight or in pitch darkness, when I know where I’m going and when I don’t — and can’t God do all of that too?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Brent April 2, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Steve:

You’re going to buy a new GPS for the Middle East and Europe? I may be wrong, but I think you can just upgrade your current GPS system with the Garmin system, hence the digital drive on the side.

Dan Weedin April 2, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Great article, Steve. I use GPS, too and never made the connection. Now we just need God telling us (out loud), “Recalculating…!” ;-]

Michelle April 4, 2008 at 11:28 PM

My favorite was my brother’s GPS telling him to make a “legal U-TURN”, because he had done something wrong. Of course GOD would want us to make it legal too. GPS could stand for God Said Pray!!! Great tool for evangelizing.

Holly April 6, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Hi Ray!
I love your website. My parents (Stropki’s) are with you on this pilgrimage. I am their daughter (a fallen away Catholic — now revert!!! and my husband just joined this past Easter Vigil. Hope my dad is not pulling any practical jokes on you! Thanks for all the hard work you do to make these trips possible and also for all your great articles.
A big “hello” to everyone (especially mom and dad!)

Matt & Mindy February 22, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Hi Mom, Dad, Valerie and Rick, Hope you are enjoying the trip so far. Who would have thought you all would have ended up on the internet. Haha! Like Jennifer said, you missed snowmaggedon, as did everyone else. Somehow everyone missed the fact that there was a huge storm coming and no one was prepared. We are enjoying following your travels online and look forward to seeing all of the pictures when you get back. Miss you, love you all. Love, Matt & Mindy.

Dawn Palin February 22, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Hi Judy and Bev,

The churches and country side are beautiful. Wish I was there especially now that you have gone shopping!!

Dawn Palin

Alicja August 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

You’re in Australia? Will you be doing any speaking tours?

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