Awesome audio link just below :)
We were chatting away as we made the long trek home from a job in the city approximately two or more hours away, and while my husband was driving, something interesting turned our attention outside to our left...but it took only seconds to be alerted that we were about to drive off the side of the road and into a cement median! “Watch where you’re going, honey!”, I pronounced rather loudly... He whipped his face forward, jerked the steering wheel and the vehicle back towards where it belonged, and all was well again. 🙃
My husband and I both took Driver’s Education and have been driving for years, but all it takes is distraction...I am sure we, as drivers of cars, or bicycles, have all done this - look off to the side, and next thing you know, you start to drive in that direction. Actually, even while walking, you end up turning towards wherever you are facing. You go where you are looking. It’s just natural.
Well, it is the same with life - if you are always looking back, in regret, in longing... you will not move forward or ahead. If you are looking sideways, at someone or something else, you will be distracted, maybe discouraged, slowed down on your route, or even lost.
My mind brings me to the story of Gideon, in Judges 6:
“One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”
Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”
But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
Gideon said to him, “ Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”
God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe Me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6:11-16 MSG
Gideon had the driver’s course - the knowledge of God’s power and proof of His help. But, he also saw the troubles for the past seven years of his life. Gideon had forgotten that God was with him. And so, his focus being on the present troubles instead of looking forward, his eyes on the overwhelm of the past seven years, he was stuck, heading straight for a wreck with his “God has nothing to do with us” mentality. He was discouraged, and literally hiding in his present circumstances. Looking backwards, focusing on his weakness in the moment, listening to the negativity of others instead of paying attention to what really mattered...forgetting that God promised to be with his people, with him.
This also reminds me of some others I have read about in Matthew 28:
The disciples had just spent time with the Son of God, Jesus - had basically spent three years with Him, had witnessed His death AND resurrection, and had time with Jesus AFTER He was brought back to life. They had seen a LOT of troubles, and even the horrible death of their Teacher. BUT they had the driver’s course first hand from the Master! And yet, when they had a reunion with Jesus before He went to be with His Father in Heaven, the moment they saw Him, “they worshiped Him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.” Eyes off the road ahead, maybe?? I am not judging! These are Jesus’ disciples I am talking of!
What did God do with Gideon? He faced him directly! Like a parent that wants their child to look at them because they want him to get the point directly. “Go in this strength that is yours... Haven’t I just sent you?” Remember Me? I am the One who saved your people... Still, Gideon wasn’t quite ready to focus ahead because he was still stuck looking down at the present. Gideon thought he needed to remind God how weak he himself was. But God wanted Gideon’s future! “I’ll be with you...”, God reassured him. And God was! Gideon followed God’s road (eventually), and defeated the enemy!
What did Jesus tell the disciples? “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:17-20
Go! Follow the road I prepared for you. I am with you always!
If you are looking at your past, or even your present, feeling like you couldn’t possibly be the example for God... You have the driving course, God’s Word, the Bible. You are on the road. You have the assurance that God is with you ALWAYS. Keep your eyes straight ahead, on Him. Watch where you are going. 💖
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