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June 29, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | June 29

True North

 

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  ––Isaiah 43:19, ESV

Anyone who gets serious about hiking, hunting, or backpacking soon discovers that reading a compass is not as simple you might think (especially if you weren’t a Boy Scout). You quickly learn that there is true north and something called magnetic north. True north is the direction that points directly toward the geographic North Pole, and is a fixed point on the Earth’s globe. Magnetic north is the direction that a compass needle points to as it aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field. In fact, the magnetic North Pole shifts and changes over time in response to changes in the Earth’s magnetic core. It is not a fixed point.

This difference between true north and magnetic north is called magnetic declination—it is the “gap” between what is true and constant, and what is ever-changing. Say, for example, that you get dropped into the Alaskan wilderness with no cell service, no phone (so no off-line GPS maps), and only a physical map and compass to guide you. If you don’t adjust your compass to account for magnetic north, you will receive a false reading. It may only be a few degrees, but if you plot a course over fifty miles and are a few degrees off, guess what? The reality of not accounting for magnetic declination will get you lost. Grizzly food, right?

Magnetic north—which shifts over time—is like the culture we live in. It’s based on earthly things, whereas true north is constant and unchanging. Unless we adjust magnetic north—the beliefs, trends, and shifting values of the world—to line up with true north—the Word of God—we will lose our way. 

Jesus and God’s Word are our True North. As God’s men it’s critical that we diligently check our spiritual bearings to ensure that we are on the right path. We aggressively pursue the right course and like the Apostles, repeatedly invoked the Bible as our final authority. Jesus even prayed for His followers, asking the Father to “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Father, keep my path on True North; help me to stay the course. 

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https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/topics/true-north-magnetic-north-whats-difference

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