Monday, July 16, 2018

Follow Directions - Martin Wiles

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT
“Well, you told me to call if we got lost.”
My mom and stepdad were the recipients of a free time-share week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Their friend who owned the timeshare was in the hospital and couldn’t use it, so she offered it to them for free. Not having been anywhere recently, they jumped at the offer.
But Mom and my stepdad had been having problems each time they went out of town: they would get lost. I sent her step-by-step directions. She printed them. My wife sent her turn-by-turn directions from Cherokee, North Carolina, to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We thought we had the bases covered. Surely, they wouldn’t get lost.
When she called, they were going the wrong way on Interstate 40. When they got to Cherokee, they got lost again. My wife stayed on the phone with my stepdad until she got them on the road to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They finally arrived—one hour past check-in time—which meant they had to find another place to get the key. As I write this, I’m wondering if they’re going to make it home without getting lost again.
Mom and my stepdad listened to the directions we gave, but somehow something was lost in the translation when it came to actually doing what we said. First-century Christians must have had the same issue. James warned them not to merely hear God’s Word but to obey and do it.
God’s directions have purpose. He didn’t give them to make our lives miserable, but enjoyable. Knowing what’s best for us—whether we think so or not—God instructs us to follow His directions. I don’t always do a good job at that, but every time I go awry of them unfavorable consequences follow.
Although God doesn’t enjoy disciplining His children—as a parent doesn’t enjoy disciplining theirs—He will when He knows it’s in my interest. His disciplinary measures are designed to get me back on the right road—the road I’ve veered from.
As my wife and I were willing to help when Mom called, so God is eager to help us get back on the right road when we’ve taken a wrong one. All we have to do is ask. He’s never too busy to answer our cries for help.
Don’t risk traveling the wrong road in life. Turn to God for directions.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us directions that will always get us to Your desired destination. 

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