Detours

Occasionally I find that a road I intended to take is closed because of construction.  Signs point me to a detour.  Typically it requires more time and greater concentration to navigate a detour correctly. Other detours I take are self-directed. I may decide to take an alternate route to avoid traffic and enjoy nicer scenery.

God has a road for me to take in life.  This route is not marked with the street signs and speed limits that accompany my automobile travel.  God’s path for me is spiritual in nature.  The road is chosen by the Lord.

God’s sign to the Israelites who had left Egypt on a journey to the Promised Land was clearly marked and posted.  “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.  Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:32-33) We’re to avoid detours of our own choosing.  The route is not for us to decide.  Jesus described the road of life as narrow.  “‘But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’”(Matthew 7:14)

God’s road is a moral road.  “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18)  This road will be increasingly visible as we faithfully obey God’s word.  In order to properly travel God’s road we must learn His teachings.  They are not abstract, but practical commands for how we live and make choices each day.

God’s road is a relationship road.  We’re travelling alongside others.  We’re also encountering others on our journey.  “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all sin.”  (I John 1:7) The road we travel is not a solitary highway but one of fellowship.

God’s road is a service road.  In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus described a man who was on a road from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. After being stripped and beaten, the man was left, “half dead.”  What follows is reminder that some will choose to walk past a person in need.  “A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”  (Luke 10:31-32) We read that a Samaritan stopped to help.  He bandaged the man’s wounds and then took him to safety. God’s road for him was to an inn where the wounded man would stay until the Samaritan returned to settle the bill. Our Lord’s story shows us that some are on the road of service and others are not.

God’s road requires faith.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)  While God’s route may not make sense to me in the beginning of the journey, I’m to place my confidence in His judgment.  I’m to walk by faith and not by sight. (II Cor. 5:7)

Today let’s avoid detours, and stay on the road that God has planned for us to travel.

Pastor Ken Atchison

 

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.

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