Watch Out!

Stop HandI enjoy being outdoors and walking around in the woods. I am not a fan of snakes at all. I usually kill the snake and then see what kind it is. I apologize to any “snake lovers” who make take offense but they simply freak me out. I remember being in Zambia, Africa when I was a sophomore in college and two deadly snakes where killed near the church where we spent a lot of time. One of the snakes was killed on near the path leading to the bathroom, which you can imagine didn’t involve running water or electricity. I have learned to be very careful and attentive when walking in the woods or simply walking outside in the yard.

Paul was warning about people who were a bit less obvious than a snake. There are people who appear helpful, genuine and kind, but they may be looking for an opportunity to pounce and bring harm. I think it’s important to watch carefully where we walk, who we walk with and where we go. Check this out…

17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them,18 because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.

19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore, I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:17-20 CSB)

I simply want to walk with the Lord. I want Him to help me watch every step I take and every move I make. I don’t always see the obstacles or the dangers in the path ahead, but He does. He will crush the enemy on my behalf. He will make me aware of people who are self-centered and deceptive.  I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing, good, and honorable to the Lord. I want to be well-spoken but not deceptive or manipulative in any way. I want be persuasive and passionate but not naïve to the enemies schemes. I should also stay aware and alert to every situation. I want to listen to the prompting of the Lord when He gives me a signal. I need my spiritual eyesight to be enhanced by His Presence.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Watch My Step

watch your stepI sometimes actually watch where I’m going. I don’t usually stare at my feet when I’m walking, however, if I’m hiking in the woods or in the mountains and the terrain is unsteady, I would be wise to watch where I put my feet. I also would be wise to watch the direction of my steps. There is usually a trail that I should follow. If I get off the trail, then I must watch not only my steps, but I should watch several steps ahead or I might accidently walk off into a ravine.

The older I get the less for granted I take walking. My heart goes out to people who can no longer walk. I want to stay as active as I can for as long as I can. Watching my step also applies in a spiritual way. I must watch my spiritual steps as well. The road map for my life is found in the Word of God. I also need to consult the Author & Creator of Life about my spiritual path. Check this out…

5 My steps have held to your paths;

    my feet have not stumbled.

6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;

    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

7 Show me the wonders of your great love,

    you who save by your right hand

    those who take refuge in you from their foes. (Psalm 17:5-7 NIV)

I want to follow the Lord and walk in His steps each day of my life. I need to make the right choices daily to stay in step with Him. He’s clear in His Word what my path should look like. My choices either honor Him or dishonor Him. I know what it’s like to feel His Presence near me and I know what it’s like for Him to seem far away. The choices I make today often determine the closeness I feel to God. I must choose His way for my steps. I must choose His way for my thoughts. I want to rest in the wonders of His great love for me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Stop

Stop HandI’ve grown up knowing exactly what a Stop sign means. I also learned the silly phrase that makes the word STOP an acronym after I started driving. Someone told me the word “Stop” on the sign meant “Step Toe On Pedal” or “Squeal Tires On Pavement”. The dictionary says, “Stop means to cause an action or activity to end”. I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing and be present when one of my agents/friends needs me. I also need to learn to stop and notice things that if I’m going too fast, I might miss. Mac Davis, a singer songwriter back in the 70’s had a song that I learned as a kid called: “Stop and Smell The Roses”. The song reminded me to notice things around me every day and do not take life for granted.

Balaam was a character in the Old Testament that on one hand seemed to follow the Lord’s leading. He also liked the prestige of being sought out by kings and princes. The Lord spared him by using a donkey to stop him. Check this out.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’

29 Balaam answered the donkey, ‘You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you here and now.’

30 The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?’

‘No,’ he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell face down. (Numbers 22:26-31 NIV)

There are times that The Lord says, “Stop”. He doesn’t always give an explanation to His instruction. I have learned over the years that He’s looking out for my best interest and me when He tells me to stop. I remember a friend of mine who barely missed a flight that he was trying to make only to learn later that the flight had crashed and everyone on board died. I think that there are times when the Lord closes a door for my protection. I need to notice when the Lord is saying “stop” or “slow down”. There could very well be a reason why He’s directing my path. I don’t want to be so “hard headed” or “hard-of-hearing” that He has to use a donkey to speak to me.

My journey with the Lord really requires me to listen to His Spirit speaking into my heart and prompting to do or not do certain things. His Spirit will actually shape my words and my activity if I will learn to listen and let The Lord lead. Today I want to listen to the Lord today as He directs my path and also guards my steps.

Pressing On!

Dwayne