Weekly Sabbath Survey
Red Flags In The Mirror — 7-23-2016
All Believers begin to grow and develop within the confines of where we first heard the Word of Jesus. Some people stay right there. But some of us will see, sooner or later, that the ‘womb’ where we started has grown too small. So we seek out another venue where we can learn and grow some more. This outgrowing our situation experience can happen many times in one life. We shouldn’t stop growing and changing as long as we live. Several times I arrived at some real truth and more power in God. I have come to realize there is always going to be more truth to be learned and more strength to be gained by those who keep leaving the old spiritual things to go forward into the new in God. Sort of being Born Again over and over. We stop growing when we are satisfied and/or do not relish a change or a challenge. When confronted with a ‘new to us’ thing in our faith, we may balk at first, but as time goes along the Lord opens our understanding, and we go forward. But for some, fear of change or something they don’t quite understand or anything ‘different’, will ensure they will be right where they are now, 50 years from now.
BUT, we must consider, it is true there is a risk we might get into something that is not of God. It happens. We may be fooled by others or our own heart that “wants what it wants.” There are people who get disappointed with what God did or didn’t do. They prayed and prayed, but He didn’t obey them! So they ran away. Whatever,sooner or later, we must apply the brakes, ‘abort’ the mission as it were. The Lord will show us the way out so we can go on with what He really has for us. I have not enjoyed so much those “side trips” the Lord allowed me in my ignorance or zeal. It was usually hurtful to myself and sometimes others, and may have had an element of face-reddening embarrassment and/or gut-wrenching repentance. I can say, I learned things on those journeys I would not have seen in much of any other way. I guess God doesn’t let anything be completely for naught. Even our worst time in the pig pen like the prodigal son teaches a valuable lesson and becomes something we can warn others about.
One thing I have observed: If we listen carefully instead of praying so loud we can’t hear the Lord speaking to us, we might notice the Red Flags He put out along the path. Then, it is still possible to turn around and RUN!! By the time we see the flags in the rear view mirror it’s just about too late. We don’t know what to do but keep going. It’s a journey that will be walked out in difficulties that could have been avoided. I have known some people who kept going in some alternative universe that never was part of their destiny in God.
Some of my worst trips to the Island of Lost Boys (where we turn into braying donkeys—see story of Pinocchio) I made excuses for other people. I wanted to have mercy on them and not see them as a schemer or out of God’s will or even an enemy in disguise. I wanted to HELP them. Or, I wanted to keep going in a situation I enjoyed rather than face the fact that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s quitting too soon and there’s staying too long. I am convinced staying too long is the BEST way to miss God’s plan for me. Leaving too soon can be fixed easier than the damage done in delaying the inevitable.
This kind of a thing is our choice. “The Devil Made Me Do It” just doesn’t cut it. Blaming others like Adam blamed Eve, doesn’t work either. We still have our free will choice down here on Earth. If we keep choosing the wrong thing, step by step, we will wind up in a situation with the red flags in the rearview mirror disappearing into the distance. Hindsight being 20-20, we know we did the wrong thing. But we think we are in too deep to turn around. That is an enemy lie. We still have our CHOICE and can make a change at any time. It’s just the further we go, the more difficult to turn around. We believe the lie, and then a painful experience must be played out. Only after we have exhausted ourselves out with efforts to make a hog slop situation into a Kosher corned beef sandwich, will we finally give up.
The most truthful thing I can say about this is, we are some strange critters. Peter told us we have been given EVERYTHING that will make us have ‘life and Godliness.’ So when something goes wrong, we are without excuse. It may take YEARS but we must come to the point of seeing the utter misery of living ‘out from under God’s umbrella of care’, and return like the prodigal son in the sure and certain hope we can be a servant in our Father’s house. There, we will find mercy and forgiveness and grace and restoration from a Father God who loves us more than we can possibly understand.
The rich and wasteful son said, I will arise and go to my father, and I will say, “I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no more worthy to be called your son: make me like one of your hired servants.” He went back to his father, but while he was still far off, his father saw him and had compassion for him. His father ran and hugged his neck and kissed him. Luke 15:18-20