Sidetracked

August 12, 2019
by Martin Wiles

Isaiah 30:21 – Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. (NLT)

Getting shoppers sidetracked is a retailer's dream come true.

Moving isn't fun, but we had no choice. After a long day of sweating in the hot, humid temperatures of a South Carolina August, my wife and I showered and readied ourselves to go to church.

Afterwards, we stopped by the local Walmart for a few necessities: curtain rods and a gallon of milk. Tired from a day of moving, I said, "Now, we're just going to get those two things and leave, right?"

"That's all," my wife remarked.

As we entered the store, we began walking in the wrong direction: the garden center. "Your mom said that they had chair cushions on sale."

And so went our visit. Though we came out with only four instead of two items, I had to keep my wife continually pointed in the direction of what we had come to get. My recliner was calling my name, but the retailer's reputation for putting in my wife's path things that attracted her kept getting her sidetracked.

God did His best to keep the nation of Israel on track. He sent prophets, priests, and judges who kept His ways before them, but they kept getting sidetracked. The pagan nations around them put more attractive things in their path.

I'm not much different than God's people of old. In fact, I've been known to get sidetracked in Walmart myself — just not over the same things that my wife does. That's how the enemy of my soul works. Through experience, he learns what attracts each individual. He won't try to sidetrack me with clothes or shoes because he knows that they don't interest me. But he will throw up a few tech gadgets, a fancy calendar, or a recently released DVD movie.

I had to continue telling my wife not to get sidetracked. "Keep your eyes focused on what we came for," I reminded her.

I have to do the same for myself. If I don't, Satan will lead me in sinful or unhealthy directions, and like a puppy on a leash, I'll follow if I'm not clothed in my spiritual armour. By the power of God's Spirit, I can say no, get what I came to get, and go home.

Don't get sidetracked by Satan's attempt to convince you that you need things that you don't.

Prayer: Father, give us the power to say no to Satan's attempts to sidetrack us. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true.


    So true, Martin!


    Amen Martin. You men and your recliners! Really!


    Thanks, Martin, for this appropriate devotional. Can I ever identify! Blessings.


    Oh Martin, as usual, a priceless story – so very sadly true!! Thank you so much.


    An insightful devotional on the lures of being sidetracked, Martin!
    Blessings.


    Really liked this devotional. I too struggle with getting sidetracked. The trip to Walmart was a great analogy.


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Such necessary admonition! Thank you.
    Keep writing.


    A very good and oh so true devotional today Martin. Getting sidetracked – so very easy to do. Thanks for bringing this to our attention through your wonderful devotional.


    Hello Martin,
    Thank you for this devotional in which you deliver an important message, reminding us that we must ever be aware of Satan at work wanting to “sidetrack” us.
    Blessings to you for submitting devotionals.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you for writing this devotional — and I find the verse cited quite interesting, and for me problematic. I have so often asked the Lord for guidance, hoping to hear that voice and the direction to take. Regrettably, for me, my prayers for guidance have been met with thunderous silence. Leaving me to choose to go to the left or to the right of my own accord. Wanting to know where God wants me to go has been the intent. Floundering on my own has been the outcome. I hope when I reach Heaven the Good Lord will answer my question, “How come this verse was not fulfilled in my situations?” Oh, and getting lost in Walmart with shopping — your example fit perfectly!

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