Detour = Dead Ends

Psalm 119:1
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.

Us silly Christians sometimes think we have God all figured out.  Often we read the Bible and know it’s promises and still we walk right out of God’s plan for our life.  How many times have we thought we had a much better idea than God about what should happen?  We enter upon the road God has set before us the minute we answer His knocking  and then for some odd reason we get distracted and end up taking a detour into something not of God.  How does this happen?  Why on earth would we want to wander away from God’s goodness?  Do I really need to list the hows and whys?  I don’t think so but just in case:  hurts, rejection, misleadings, lost love, broken hearts, selfishness, pride, depression, guilt, sins, inadequacy, distrust, not enough faith…okay you get the picture.

There are a multitude of things which can take us away from God be it for a moment, a year or a life time.  Sadly some take detours that end up in dead ends and never return to God.  Some find themselves at the dead end and bolt full force back to the path where they find God’s protection once more.  If we lack direction in our life, we end up going nowhere fast and visit places we really did not wish to go to in the first place.  We get so caught up in what everyone else is doing that we forget we have a purpose and a path to stay on.  Believe me God puts signs every where for those who are lost.  For me it was church signs.  During the time when I was backslid and was not seeking God in my life, He was looking for me and He spoke to me with church signs.  Every where I went the signs spoke to me, not making me feel guilty but a gentle reminder that He cared and He was calling me home to His safe place of refuge.  Now I see those types of signs and giggle a little because I know they aren’t for me any more but God loves someone else and wants them back too.

How do we avoid the detours?  Read the Word for good direction.  Stay in a church body to keep you motivated and accountable.  Trust God even in the storms.  Often in the storms of our lives we get turned around and confused, which can put us somewhere out of the realm of the path.  Being of the world and participating in all it has to offer.  God says we reside in the world but we are not to be conformed to its’ ways.  Boy is that hard!  Television.  Newspapers.  Magazines.  Radio stations.  So many distractions and optional rulers of our lives.  At some point as a Christian we just have to say no to these things and begin to live a life worthy of saying we follow Jesus.  I gave up television two years ago for Lent and I have not picked up that habit again. I let TV shows dictate my life.  I would rush home from church or work just to watch a show and get angry when I missed the beginning of some shows.  Not the life I wanted.

Now I am not saying giving up TV is the answer, however I am urging that we reduce the amount of the world we let into our daily living.  As I am growing stronger in the things of the Lord I have CHOSEN (not saying you should or condemning anyone who does) to step away from as much worldly pleasures as I can.  I quit smoking after 23 years, I quit drinking all the time, I stopped watching television, I only listen to Christian music and I try hard not to participate in gossip or hang with persons who could be leading me on a detour.  I guess what I am trying to say, as I know this is a hard pill to swallow, we have to learn how to balance our lives and this is just how I am doing it.  Do I still take detours?  Sure do, I am human and NOT at all perfect.  Do I still wander away from God in some areas of my life?  Yup!  But I seem to be lost for less amounts of time because once you sense that God’s presence is not surrounding you, you want to quickly return to His protective side.

So many more blessings are available to you if you stay on the path God has for you.  The more I stay focused on God, the more doors He opens for me.  The more doors He opens for me, the more my faith increases.  The more my faith increases, the less I even want to see of the world any more.  So, are you on a detour?  Is God showing you church sign after church sign trying to show you the way back?  My detour was about 10 years long; how many hours, days, weeks or years have you been on yours?  God seeks for the lost not just the ones who have not come to Him yet, He looks for us who have wandered off the path and are about to end up at the end of our journey, not is the promise land but a dead end.

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