Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5–6
Coming to terms with my fallenness wasn’t fun, but it was needful. That I might cross the line of faith from death to life began with the Holy Spirit repairing my broken navigational system so that I might recognize that the road I traveled was not only wrong, but fatal — a road leading to divine justice — something I deserved but did not want.
Even after receiving life, however, wrong turns still found me depressingly off course and wondering why. I discovered that the process of sanctification — like any navigational system — requires receiving regular updates to stay on track. The source of those spiritual updates is Scripture and the church.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD…” — Isaiah 1:18
This verse is an invitation to know God more fully, to recognize his plans and purposes in our redemption. Contemplating the value of Scripture, Jeremiah writes:
Your words were found, wand I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts.
— Jeremiah 15:16
No less joyful and needful is the encouraging direction we find through the church. Honestly, I find it disturbing to hear someone say attending church is unnecessary. I disagree. God did not design us to grow in seclusion. I need that weekly instruction that keeps my moral compass calibrated. The author of Hebrews tells us:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
— Hebrews 10:24-25