Portrait of Alice Manfield (Guide Alice) (1878...

Portrait of Alice Manfield (Guide Alice) (1878-1960), mountain guide, naturalist, chalet owner, photographer, and early feminist figure based at Mt Buffalo, Victoria, Australia. In this image Alice is wearing custom made woollen clothing for hiking in the mountains and holding a long walking staff. Written on image lower left: “Guide Alice, Mt. Buffalo”. Converted to digital from transparency: glass lantern slide, 8.5 cm x 8.5 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives” (Galatians 5:16a, NLT).

When a mountain climber hires a guide, he or she is acknowledging the need for help. It’s implied for the guide to be effective, the climber will listen to instructions and follow them. A guide can’t keep a climber from making mistakes or going off the trail.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t control us, as some translations put it. He is our guide, mentor and teacher. He wants us to acknowledge our need for help and follow him. But at times, we are like the climber who takes his or her eyes off the guide, or stops to pick flowers or slips on a rock and lands in a ditch. His guidance is perfect, but we are not. We need reminders to keep our eyes on Jesus, to let him guide us, to help us be diligent followers and stay on the trail. He’s a caring guide, who helps us stay focused and headed in the right direction—toward him.