Derek Prince - Do You Want The Map Or The Guide?
This excerpt is from: The Holy Spirit As Guide
Now let me give you just a little parable which I’ve used to try and make this vivid to people. I want to say I’m sharing out of my experience. These things are real to me because I’ve been through them. I’ve struggled. I’ve tried. I’ve tried to be more religious, I’ve worked harder at it. I’ve felt so frustrated I didn’t know what to do. But I learned that this is part of the process that makes a Christian. So I want to give you this little parable. The parable is this. You’re in a certain place and you need to find the way to a distant destination over country that you’ve never traveled. And you have two options. You can have a map or you can have a personal guide. You understand the parable?
The map is the law. It’s perfect. Every detail is exactly right. Every single item in the geography is correctly marked. Or, you can say I won’t take the map, I’ll take a personal guide. Who is the personal guide? The Holy Spirit, that’s right. So, what happens? You’ve got this young man graduated from university, he’s strong, he’s clever, he’s pretty self-reliant. God says what do you want, the map or the guide? He says I’m good at reading maps, I’ll take the map. He sets off down the road, knowing the right direction to go. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and he feels happy. He says this is a piece of cake.
About three days later he’s in the middle of a jungle, it’s midnight, it’s raining hard and he’s on the edge of a precipice. He doesn’t know whether he’s facing north, south, east or west. And a gentle voice says to him, Can I help you? And he says, Oh, Holy Spirit! I need you! I need you! The Holy Spirit says, Give me your hand and I’ll get you out of this. A little while later they’re out on the road again and walking along side by side. Then it occurs to him, I was pretty silly to get so panicky just about being in that jungle. I could have made it on my own. So he turns around, the guide isn’t there any longer. So he says, I can make it on my own. Off he sets.
About two days later he’s in the middle of a bog and every step he takes he sinks a little deeper. And he doesn’t know what to do. He says, I can’t ask for help again. The last time I got it and I didn’t do the right thing. The Holy Spirit says, Let me help you. And out he comes onto the road again, setting off. They’re making fine progress and then he thinks, Well, I’ve still got the map. And he pulls the map out and says to the Holy Spirit, Maybe you’d like the map. And the Holy Spirit says, Thanks, I know the way, I don’t need the map. He said, As a matter of fact, I made the map.
So, my question to you and me is how often does that have to happen? How many times will we go back to trusting our own wisdom and our own cleverness and snubbing the Holy Spirit? There’s one other picture which is taken from the 24th chapter of Genesis. It’s very, very simple. It’s the story of how Abraham got a bride for his son Isaac. You remember the story, he sent his steward back to the land of Mesopotamia to find a relative of his own family. This is a parable, you understand. It’s history but it’s a parable. Abraham is a type of God the Father. Isaac is a type of Jesus Christ the only Son.
The bride, the chosen bride, whose name was Rebekah, is a type of what? The church, that’s right. There’s one other main character who’s nameless and that’s the steward. He’s never named. What’s the steward a type of? The Holy Spirit. Do you see that? This is the Holy Spirit’s self-portrait in Genesis 24. And the characteristic thing is he doesn’t even name Himself. So, out goes the steward and he takes ten camels with him with all sorts of equipment and laden with gifts because he’s going to choose a bride.
And in the Middle East, whenever you make a significant choice and build a relationship, I mean in the Middle East, you always give a gift. And if you receive the gift you’ve received the person. If you refuse the gift you’ve refused the person. It’s absolutely a critical moment. I’ve lived in that part of the world and I tell you, camels carry a lot. I mean, they can carry an immense amount of luggage. So there’s ten camels. He arrives at the place where the well is and he prays and now he says I’m going to ask one of the young women that come out for water. And let the one that’s the chosen women say to me, I’ll draw water for you and for your camels. And bear in mind, a camel can drink forty gallons of water.
So, ten camels is four hundred gallons of water. Well, along comes Rebekah and the steward says, Give me some drink. And she says, Certainly. And I’ll draw for your camels. And he says this is the girl. And let me tell you, that’s faith with works. It takes a lot of strength to draw water for ten camels. And then he pulls out this beautiful jewel, places it on her forehead and what happens? The moment she wears the jewel it marks her out as the appointed bride. What would have happened if she’d refused the jewel? She would never have become the bride.
What will happen to a church that refuses the gifts of the Holy Spirit? It cannot be the bride. And then you know the rest of the story. But what I want to point out to you is Rebekah never had a map. She’d never been where she was going. But she had a guide. She’d never seen the man she was to marry, she’s never seen his father. She only had one source of information, the steward. That’s like you and me. We can’t make it with a map but we can have a guide. We will never see heaven, we’ll never see the Lord in person, we’ll never see God the Father in this life. But the Holy Spirit will tell us what to expect. Can you say thank you God for the Holy Spirit?