You all know what this is, right (hold up GPS)? It’s a global positioning satellite device. It’s really neat. It draws you a map of where you’re going; tells you if you’re speeding; tells you how long it takes to reach your destination; it even tells you what time you should arrive.
Here’s the deal: You can get the box. You can have the lady in the car, but that doesn’t mean that you trust her. If you trust her, what do you do? You do what she says. You go where she tells you to go. She says, “turn left,” you turn left. If she says, “Turn left,” and in your heart you think, But I want to go right, you remember, There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death, Okay?
John Ortberg tells of a time he was following a GPS system. He says, At one point when we were driving in this car, I was quite sure the lady was wrong. She said to go left, and I didn't go left. I went right, because I knew she was wrong. Then as an interesting response, she said, "Recalculating route. When safe to do so, execute a U-turn." I knew she was wrong, so I unplugged her. That's the beauty of that little box. You can unplug her.
I got lost as a goose. My wife enjoyed that immensely.
So we plugged that lady back in, and you know what she said? "I told you so, you little idiot." She said, "You think I'm going to help you now? You rejected me. You just find your way home by yourself." No—she didn't say that. She said, "Recalculating route. When safe to do so, execute a U-turn."
Now see, that's grace. As soon as you're ready to listen, as soon as you're ready to surrender, God will say, "Here is the way home. Execute a U-turn." That's repentance. "I'll bring you home." That is grace. That's Jesus. He is the only one with authoritative wisdom about how to live. He is the only one who brings about the possibility of forgiveness for your sin and mine. He is the only one to give any kind of realistic hope of conquering death, of life beyond the grave.