Detours, Dead Ends and Do Nots
This morning we will continue to discuss the Road of Life we travel, and the signs on the road. Last week we discussed the AUTHORITY that exists behind these signs.
When we changed our path/road the day we crossed that bridge of salvation, it did not mean some of the hazard signs and warnings would not be there, actually more abundance of them in some ways.
Last week we discussed the traffic signal, Red, Green, Yellow and Arrow lights and what happens when God wants us to wait, slow down and notice the warning, and move freely or only in certain directions.
Today, I want to discuss a few other signs - signs that we all shrug our shoulders when we come upon them.
- Dead End
- Do Not (Enter, Cross, Pass)
From the outset, these signs almost seem negative - but they serve some real purposes on the roads we drive, and on the ROAD OF LIFE.
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.
God knows where we are going — not just that eternal Destiny, but the stops along the way. Stay on the path HE PRESCRIBES - FOLLOW HIS GUIDANCE, treasure HIS WISDOM and reap the rewards!!!
We have all encountered DETOURS!
Usually much to our dismay. What do you mean I have to get off my desired path and go out of my way, or on a road I do not know to get to where I am going.
This is going to waste time.
This is going to be inconvenient.
I may get lost.
What if I end up somewhere I was never planning to be?
A few months ago I found myself detoured because of an accident on 119 in Longmont. I had to drive way north, to just come back way south. I was stuck driving a dirt road with a long line of traffic. It was inconvenient, out of the way, made my car dirty, and took up an extra 20 minutes.
Sometimes detours are just plain out frustrating.
Why do they exist?
On the roads we travel - often because of an accident, or often because of construction or road damage.
They are generally always to keep us from encountering a situation that could present danger to ourselves or someone else.
Detours in our lives are also often because God has something under CONSTRUCTION!!!
Often the Lord is building something in our lives and for our benefit, but in order to get to that place in our lives, there is some road work He has to accomplish.
The greatest story in the Bible that comes to my mind about detours is the story of Joseph.
The kid with the coat of many colors, the kid who was his Dad’s favorite, the kid who irked his brothers, the kid who was sold by his siblings into slavery and reckoned as dead by his father, the kid who then was elevated in Potiphar’s house only to be falsely accused of attempted rape when he did the right thing and resisted his master’s wife’s advances, the kid who then was elevated in the prison and given charge over all, but later was forgotten about after he interpreted correctly 2 other prisoners dreams.
This kid seemed that he would never get on with life!!! In fact, the promise - the dream he was given of his brothers and father and mother bowing down before him - was now buried in the pain of life, betrayal, and disappointment.
Yet, this same kid, IN DUE TIME, would be raised to a place of power, second only to the Pharoah - the most powerful man in the world at that time!!! He would be wealthy, and prosper in all he did, and HIS very life would be critical to the preservation of the people of God and the lineage for which the SAVIOR of all mankind would come from!
But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Yes, Joseph realized that the trouble in life - all of the DETOURS - were a time that God was doing construction on his life and building his road to greatness where the Lord’s plans would be accomplished not just for him, but his family, nation, generations to come AND all MANKIND!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Those detours in our lives that take us down dirt roads, out of the way, and seemingly waste time and cause pain — they may just be the Lord constructing a new road in our life to something grand that He has in store!!!
Often when traveling, we like to take little detours if we are driving to see what just may be off on the side of the road. It’s easy when you have time, but when you don’t we are tempted to not look and see.
Years ago, I remember traveling across the country, and detouring through the painted desert, seeing a rock where pioneers engraved their name as they road the Oregon trail, and seeing sights and history that makes you realize how grand our nation really is.
I say that because on every detour there is something to learn and behold — it is an opportunity to do and see something new.
Take advantage of the detours God brings into your life and learn from them and grow from them and let them enrich your life rather than just seeing them as an inconvenience.
2. Dead Ends
2. Dead Ends
If you were here last week you heard me mention that I have this habit of finding a dead end in every town we would travel into.
I could be in a town for just minutes and discover their only Dead End!
The worst time I experienced a Dead End was in a 27 ft UHaul with a car in tow. I got stuck! For over 15 minutes (I was in my 20’s) I tried to figure out what to do as I had jackknifed the trailer. I could not see my way out and was pretty nerved up.
Then a helpful trucker came along and asked if he could get me out - of course my answer was yes, and within minutes I was off and on my way - turned around never to do that again.
Ohhhhh - there is so much in that statement!!!
Dead Ends are those places of BONDAGE and ADDICTION and entrapment by sin in yes - even a believer’s life. It is when we turned off the road we were traveling thinking we found something fun to discover, or something we could try exploring just to find out it would get us STUCK!
There at the end of the road, we discover that we cannot get out! There is nowhere to turn or noway to go through - WE MUST TURN AROUND TO GET OUT!!!!
We may not be capable of doing that alone!!!
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
Wrong choices lead to DEAD ENDS!!!!
HERE IS THE SUMMARY of a dead end. IF YOU DON’T REPENT (TURN AROUND) and GET OUT - YOU will be stuck there and prevented from reaching the ETERNAL Destiny God has planned for you!
What do you do?? You find someone who knows what their doing to help!
AND those of us not stuck - need to be willing to help!
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
That is right - cry out for help until someone comes alongside you to assist you out of that DEAD END!!!
Also remember that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate HELPER! We need to call upon Him in our time of need.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
The reality is - there IS a way out of a dead end, but it requires the decision to TURN AROUND and GET OUT!
That is the pure definition of REPENTANCE - BE SORRY and TURN AROUND!!!!
At some point in our lives we have to change direction if we are headed the wrong way, we have to realize we are going nowhere!!!
“Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
Make that DEAD END the beginning of VICTORY - TURN AROUND and CARRY ON!
3. Do Nots
3. Do Nots
Do Not ENTER, Do not CROSS, Do not TURN, Do NOT PASS
For years I have heard people say how much they don’t want religion because of the DOS and DO NOTS!!!
The ROAD is FILLED WITH SIGNS saying DO NOT!
I guess the reality is - when we choose this new road - some things are no longer permissible or WISE.
There are places, people, behaviors, actions, entertainment and a whole host of other things that our destructive to our spirit man.
I am so thankful for grace!!! That does not mean I sin so grace may abound!
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!
Sometimes we bring restriction into our life as believers for our benefit and for the benefit of others, especially the generations to come in our lives!!! What are they observing that may lead them astray???
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
this was referring to the fact that sexual immorality is never good
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
Talking about food offered to idols, drink, etc.
I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
Our lives as a witness of the Gospel
It is not because God is trying to steal our fun, pleasure, enjoyment - but HE KNOWS that though His grace is powerful --- many things we try to find freedom for end up leading to bondage, destruction, and defeat.
I want to live a VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE - I want to walk PATHWAYS TO VICTORY for me and my family --- sometimes a DO NOT ENTER, CROSS OR PASS is really just there to remind me that - you may be able to physically do that
BUT it may just lead to disaster or defeat!!!!
Its time we start living VICTORIOUS LIVES AS CHRISTIANS AGAIN - lives that see our families saved, delivered, healed and prospering in the Kingdom of God.
He gives us road signs to help us make wise choices, but ultimately that CHOICE is up to you!
SO, along the road of our lives - Detours will come - times of God’s construction in our lives to bring us down new paths and opportunities to accomplish His plans for us and others
Dead Ends are there to warn us - this road has no way out! It does not lead to anything but being stuck! If your on one - its time to repent and turn around and get out
DO NOTS are not there to spoil your fun, but warn you of danger --- as a Christian there are somethings that are just not good, permissible or wise to do any longer. You can ignore the signs - but in so doing you risk defeat!
What will you do with the signs on your road!!!???