Since the pandemic I have gotten in the habit of sleeping in on Sundays, our services have been at 2pm for the last ten weeks. All of my life I have been in Sunday school by 10am. So it has been an adjustment. I will admit I like to be on the go, go, go and go. When I am sitting I am constantly thinking of what I need to get done, or thinking of new things I can try. My poor brain works overtime most of the time. So needless to say, I have been forced to slow down.
Saturday night I told myself I would get up and take my mother a skirt that she wanted. She was leaving town around 10am, so I would need to be out of my house at 9:30. Well, needless to say I stayed up till about 1:30am, so I was not up and at em’. I woke up and realized I needed to go, I called her and she was heading out. I rushed to get dressed, grabbed the skirt and out the door I went.
There is this road in Ohio that I know I should not speed on. I know from experience that there is always a cop lurking somewhere. Now, let me get something straight before I continue, I appreciate the badge. I typically do not drive over the speed limit, anyhow. My friends will get behind me on that, with an “Uncle Frank” story to back it up.
However, I was in a hurry to meet my mother before she left, so I was speeding. I knew I was going over the limit, I knew I was doing something I should not do but I was doing it any ways because I wanted to get to the place I felt like I needed to be in time. Let’s just admit, speeding, at times is fun. There is a rush you feel when you are on that straight stretch, pushing the limits of the road. I would look in my side view mirrors, my rear view mirrors, to my left and to my right. I would look as far ahead as I could and watch my back all at the same time, always watching for that cop car, knowing this could cost but I kept going.
I got behind these two vehicles that were going slow. I was frustrated because I felt like they were messing up my plans. I actually was kind of driving too close to them as well, trying to rush them along. But, they did not waiver in their speed, just steadily obeying the law…imagine that. Then BOOM, there he was, the man in blue, the car lurking on the side of the road just waiting to get ya. However, because of the two vehicles in front of me driving the way the should : ) I had now slowed down to the correct speed. I did not get pulled over this day and boy was I thankful.
I got to thinking about how God will put things in our path when we are heading in the wrong direction to slow our roll, to prevent us from devastation. Sometimes the things that we so desperately want are the very thing that will detour our lives that could bring destruction that can bring costly consequences. God knows what lies ahead. We may be just moving in a direction knowing that we should not be but we do it anyhow because it seems right in our own eyes. We look to our left, right, front and back constantly always watching, never living in true peace. (Proverbs 14:12) “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” It could be a career path that will keep you from pursuing God’s will for your life, or a relationship that is outside parameters of God’s plan, maybe it is just an action or reaction or even a vice that binds you up all of which can feel good, can be fun, may seem right but can take you down a path that will lead to costly consequences.
It is not God’s will to just let you go without a fight. He will place road blocks in that path to warn you to slow down, get back on track, there is danger ahead. All throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelations you will find God warns His people before destruction. Some warnings come from angels, some from prophets; some from God himself and some warning come through signs sent directly from God. Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” From Adam to Eve to you and me, he loves us.
He loves us enough to chastise us. He is a good Father; His ways are sure and right. Just as I was frustrated by the vehicles that were in front of me, God places roadblocks in front of us. He uses men of God, dreams, his still small voice, the quickening in your gut etc… To give us the opportunity to move in another direction. To follow the speed limits, the directives, He has for our lives. Hebrews 12:6-7 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Sometimes what we may feel like is a roadblock, is a blessing in disguise. That very thing that kept you from getting what you wanted at the time may have been the very thing that kept you from destruction. If you feel like you are in a situation in life and you are constantly forcing, pushing and battling, running in to road block after road block, stop and listen to the voice of God in your life. Maybe just maybe He is trying to save you from something down the road that will destroy you. God does not directly remove your will but He will send you signs that will help you align your will with His, if we listen.
The greatest way to preserve your life is to live in total submission to God. We often hear we should pray “not my will but yours.” Those words are easy to share with others; it is great advice and a true way of praying. However, there is a difference in praying directive prayers than sincere prayers. I can pray not my will Lord but yours and all the while be forcing my will. To live in total submission to God we must be broken. Brokenness brings submission. My heart, your heart may become broken by the WAMMY God just allowed to show up on that road you were speeding down. Your frustration today will be your victory tomorrow. DO NOT let that brokenness turn to bitterness but rather allow it to turn into submission, you will experience the greatest victories in your life. Psalms 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” Do not fear submission or lack of control. 1 Samuel 2:9 “He guards the steps of His faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness; for by his own strength shall no man prevail.” Rather trust in the Lord. He will guard the steps of a righteous man. No need to fret, no need to worry and no need to control. Jesus take the wheel.
Receive the Word when God sends someone to speak into your life, listen to that still small voice or pulling in your gut, do not resent the roadblocks rather embrace that you have a Heavenly Father that cares for you. He has mapped out a plan for your life and desires you to reach the potential He has set before you. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Do not be dismayed when you are stopped in your tracks, rather be joyful there are greater plans around the corner. Stop speeding ahead and take the time to slow down and listen. I am learning to appreciate those heavenly provisions in my life. We have a good poppa.