Friday, January 11, 2019

Quench that stench

If you have ever had your eyes diverted for just a moment or two while driving, then realized how dangerously close you were to heading into the tail-end of another car or swerving into someone else's lane, then you probably also know the 'immediacy' of your reaction to 'correct' your course. You immediately brake, bringing the car back into a safe distance behind the one in front of you, or you get back into the lane you were to be in and then remain vigilant to remain there! With all the texting while driving I see these days, it is easy to see how accidents can be on the rise - for diverted eyes only take a moment to allow the catastrophic to occur. The same is true in our spiritual lives - diversions are dangerous to us - they change our course, put us in harm's way, and can take a little bit more 'over-correction' than we might first imagine.

God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway
! (Psalm 119:33-35)

God doesn't go about 'teaching us' stuff from his Word - things about the way he works, what to expect of his careful attentiveness over our lives - just so we can live as we please. He expects us to use these truths to guide us into 'carefully lived' lives ourselves. This means we have to guard against the diversions that come our way. Back in the days when warfare was a little less 'scientific' than it is today, one of the tactics utilized was to 'divert' the supply of water, food, and needed supplies away from the place you were attempting to 'take over'. They did this to cut them off - so they'd get desperate and let their guard down. Desperate people do desperate things - not always all that carefully thought out or purposeful!

If they diverted the flow of water coming into the township, there would arise a panic because water was a necessary part of daily life. If it wasn't available any longer, the chances of survival were significantly reduced. Yes, they could look for alternatives, but eventually they'd need the water. The  body isn't made to survive without it. Similarly, the spirit of man isn't meant to be cut-off from God - although one may survive for a while, the vitality of life soon fades and you begin to experience a sense of being 'dry' on the inside. The human spirit needs connection with God's Spirit - continual and uninterrupted. Only then do we sense the 'fullness of grace' that God desires for each of us.

Diversions also lead to chaos in our lives. If you have ever been diverted from doing something that needs to be done, but you chose something else in place of that action, you know what I am referring to with this thought. Leave the laundry just a few days beyond when you should have addressed those piles and you will become desperate for clean underwear at some point! Sure, it could be as simple as 'buying new' to further avoid the needed task, but eventually the piles will require some action on your part. Eventually the stench of dirty laundry will reach your nostrils! Diversions can lead us away from the course we should be on and take us down ones we might find add a little bit of a 'stench' to our lives. When this happens, the stench can only be avoided for so long! Eventually we will desire to 'quench the stench'!

Divert your attention away from God long enough and you will find your living a very barren and dry life filled with all manner of not so 'sweet' a scent to it! The connection we maintain is one of attentive and purposeful choice to stay on course - to not be enticed by diversionary tactics used by the enemy of our soul. I choose not to text and drive. I choose to pay attention to the road. If we can make this purposeful choice in our driving habits, why can't w make similar choices when it comes to our spiritual focus and purposeful connection with a loving God who cares for us so deeply? Just asking!