GET BACK ON TRACK
(Pro 4:25-27) Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.
Have you ever gotten lost while hiking? It’s a creepy feeling and you can’t wait until you figure things out and get back to the point of origination. One time at a Young Adult camp we were hosting in the mountains, a woman wandered off by herself and got disoriented and couldn’t make her way back. Then the sun set. Eventually we had to call Search and Rescue. We prayed all night that she would be safe. She was found in the middle of the night absolutely worn and disheveled but by God’s grace she was unhurt. She said it was unimaginably frightening and she told us she almost went off a cliff in the dark! It all started when she got off track.
That can be so like the Christian life. God tells you to do something and everything is going good. Then you veer off course a little and get involved in something else. Next thing you know you’re way off course and can’t find your way back.
1 Kings 13 shares a story of a man of God who was told by God to go to Bethel and speak against the altar of idolatry right before king Jeroboam himself. The king stretched out his arm to have him arrested but his arm withered. He asked the prophet to heal him and he did. The king wanted to have him come to his house and reward him, but he told the king the Lord had said no to any hospitality and to leave a different way he came. Now an old prophets’ sons saw what had happened and they went home to tell their father. The man went after the man of God on his donkey and found him sitting under an oak tree. He told the younger prophet an angel had spoken to him that he was to come home with him, so he went with him. When they were eating at the table the older prophet spoke the Word of the Lord to him and said he had been disobedient and that he would die and not be buried in the tomb of his fathers. When the young prophet left for home a young lion met him and killed him. When the older prophet heard it he came and picked up his body and buried him.
That story scares me. In fact, both stories alarm me! Why is it so easy to stray off track? It might be we get bored and another path looks more fun than the one we are on. Or it may be that our course is getting difficult and we want an easier one. But we must keep to the task whether bored or tired! (Mat 7:13-14) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Here’s a good prayer to pray along the path of life: (Psa 25:4-5) Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. And if we go off in another direction we have the Lord to remind us of where we need to be: (Isa 30:21) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “ This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
I like the example of Jesus who was so set on His course: (Luke 9:51) Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Paul too is a good example when he was told he would be bound and arrested in Jerusalem: (Acts 21:13) Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Is it time for you to get back on track and to stay there?