Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give To Our God Immortal Praise"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (ESV)
When people like me live to be aged, we have been through a myriad of peaks and valleys in our faith journey. When I was 32, I was finding my way out of a difficult spot in life and learning to take care of myself in the world. I suppose that I thought that I was in control of my life, and, in the decision-making parts of it, I was. I had made decisions that allowed me to get through college to earn my state teacher's credentials and to get a job. I was grateful to be at that point, even with very low teacher's pay, but I was in need of encouragement.
I found a lovely poster with a sailing vessel reeling through stormy waters. The ship's captain seemed unaware of the danger as he navigated the seas. The text underneath the picture read, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
An agnostic co-worker came into my classroom, looked over the rim of her glasses, and peered at my poster. Then, she looked at me with her piercing blue eyes. With a satisfied tone of voice, she commented, "You say that you are a Christian, but I think that you are a humanist." I was shocked to realize exactly what the poster reflected about me. A siren wailed a warning to my soul.
I was catapulted into action to adjust my thinking in a big way, because I was veering in the wrong direction. I removed the poster from the wall and placed it in the trash. That Sunday, I returned to church.
What a joy it was to return to Christian fellowship and to refresh what I really believed. Only God is the Lord of my life. My Father had wisely used my unsaved friend to sound a siren's wail of caution.
Our precious Lord can use anyone or anything to prompt us through the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful for His warnings, which can be as quiet as a whisper or as loud as a siren's wail to protect His children from going against His will.
Let us think about the ways that God has protected us by using warnings that vary from subtle to glaring. What happens when we pay attention — or ignore them? We can pray, asking God to lead us to safer ground and then to teach us to change our behaviour as we are prompted. We can turn to mature Christians for counsel and talk with our pastor when needed. We must not ignore the warnings. Focus on — and heed — the roadblocks that give a siren's wail, so that we don't go outside of God's will.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for Your protection as, for each of us, You light our pathways and guide us into obedience to You, our loving Father. You know that we can easily be deceived, and You have given us Your holy Word to teach us Your ways. Guide us into obedience with love. Amen.