Despite how your GPS led you down a dead ended dirt road, the day is coming when cars will know how to take you from Albuquerque to Alberta. Or to the store to pick up milk. But automated controls on cars will be no substitute for what happens when you go for a drive in the country. Computers won’t be able to spontaneously pull over at an ice cream stand, or slow down to enjoy a view. That kind of driving takes a real person behind the wheel, one who can think and feel and decide.
That’s what makes God’s decision to change how He directs our paths so exciting. He began by telling us His laws, His rules.. But rules are clumsy guides. Think of the toy car that heads in some random directon until it runs into an obstacle, turns and heads out in another direction. A life lived by rules resembles that. You crash into some “thou shalt not,” dust yourself off and change course. But God’s new arrangement is to come live within us and interactively steer us.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone [i.e. a dead, unresponsive heart] from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh [one that is alive and responsive]. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezkiel 36:26-27 with my explanations added)
When God’s Spirit is behind the wheel, instead of robotically going from point A to point B in life, we can stop for ice cream, so to speak. We can spontaneously enjoy the ride while safely remaining in the center of His will. As Paul wrote in Galatians 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under [you don’t need to be controlled by] the law.”
How did God accomplish this new system of control? Through Jesus. He came and did everything necessary to install God’s Spirit in us. Trust Him and enjoy the ride!