Weyburn and I were at our favorite church campground recently and had quite the discussion about what to do at the new STOP signs. During family camp the roads are busy with thousands of pedestrians and hundreds of vehicles. The children run and play on their own enjoying the security of this private campground. The teens and adults also enjoy the carefree living of camp. A couple of years ago, the camp board wisely placed STOP signs at the busiest intersections.
As I mentioned, Weyburn and I were at the campground, but family camp is still a few weeks away and not many others were on the grounds. So, what to do when we come to one of the new STOP signs? We stop of course, or so I thought. Yes I understand there was no one else coming down the road, but the sign says to stop.
There are times in my life when it would be so much easier if there was a huge STOP sign, or WRONG WAY sign, or a big sign that said, THIS WAY ONLY. These signs might help me to stay out of trouble. They might help me from making the wrong decision. But I don’t have those signs…or do I?
My choices reflect who I really am. My choices will eventually determine my effectiveness as a follower of Christ. I believe that my personal choices of activities and entertainment speak loudly about the person I really am.
No matter how strong a Christian I am, Satan will use a seemingly harmless choice to gain a small inroad into my life. He will use his small successes of leading me into spiritually unhealthy choices to lead me into deeper sin. One only needs to look at the life of David to realize that even “a man after God’s own heart” can fall into devastating sin that affects the lives of many. Instead of turning quickly away from the sight of Bathsheba, David kept his eyes fixed on her. He yielded to his human passion and ignored the still small voice warning him that it was wrong. His lingering look led to a string of destructive behavior. It seems that the first sin clouded his judgment and made him completely blind to the sins that followed. He only saw his sin for what it was after the prophet Nathan strongly confronted him.
The next time you sit down to read a book, go to a movie, choose a television program, listen to music, or accept an invitation for a night out, or for coffee, consider these questions:
• Does this decision support my values, or is it leading me into wrong areas of thought?
• Will it help me to accomplish my purpose?
• Will it help or hinder my walk with the Lord?
• Will it promote healthy relationships?
• Does it keep my mind thinking on the things God speaks of in Philippians 4:8?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ESV
After David’s sin with Bathsheba was revealed, he wrote the powerful Psalm 51. As I read this Psalm recently I noticed four things David did so that he could “Make a Right Turn after Going the Wrong Way”. They are five things I need to do when I have failed in my walk with Christ.
Take a few minutes to read that Psalm right now. You will find a link to the scripture at the right.
• Recognize My Rebellion (The whole chapter)
• Repent of My Sin (vs 16 – 18)
• Renew My Joy (vs 10)
• Rejoice in My Lord (vs 8)
• Reveal My God to Others (vs 13)
Let’s do our best to pay close attention to the traffic signs God gives to keep us from sin and temptation. When we do fail, let’s be like David and follow the steps to a restored relationship with our Saviour.