Saturday, January 23, 2010

Upward Devotion

Today at our Upward Basketball games, I took a turn doing a half time devotion.

I also have to preface it with this. I first read the verse used in this devotion when I read another blog post by Lysa Terkeurst. From the moment I read the verse in her post I was unable to get it out of my head. Eventually I sat down with my bible and began reading and study a little.

The following devotion is what came out of it.

I'd like to share a scripture with you that has recenly become one of my favorites.
“ You have circled this mountain long enough, turn north.” Deuteronomy 2:3

When God spoke these words to Moses, he was giving the Isrealites direction. They had wandered the desert for close to 40 years and it was time for them to go into the land that God had set aside for them, the “Promised Land.” It was a land described as “flowing with milk and honey”. It was a land full of everything they needed that would satisfy them. But they did not follow God's instructions.

And so they wandered.

Even though this happened hundreds of years ago, the story is still relevant today. How many of us here today are wandering? How many of us are going around and around a mountain, with no real focus or direction? Or you're doing the same thing over and over again. You're stuck on the same old path and you feel helpless to go in any other direction. Maybe you feel lost. You might even feel frustrated, sad or angry about whatever situation you are in. You may even be questioning “Why is everything so messed up in my life?

That's how it was for me for many years. I was completely lost. Going about my life on my own terms, doing what felt good at the time and all the while wondering why things were so bad. I was going in the wrong direction and it almost cost me everything. Yet I wasn't sure what do do. Until a friend invited me to church and I finally found the right path through Jesus.

I love the way God phrases the scripture. “You have circled this mountain long enough, turn north.” He could have just said, “Go right” or “Go left”, or “Stop going east and go north” No he didn't say it that way. He said “You've circled this mountain long enough, turn north.”

As I was reading the verse and got to the last part, I immediately thought of a map. When you are looking on a map which direction is north?


And in my mind “up” is where God is.

In a sense, what God is saying is “enough is enough” of what you are currently doing, now I'm going to send you in the right direction, towards where you should be, to what I have for you.

How many of us woke up January 1st and said “That's it I'm done with this”, “
This is the year that I do things differently.” “Things aren't working, time for something different.”

All of that sounds well and good, but the problem is, we still try to rely on ourselves to find the new direction. Even if we decide we are going to change direction, what good is it if we are still following our own instincts and going about it on our own? When we decide it is up to us to fix what is wrong with our life, we will ultimately end up wandering again.

The truth is we need someone else to give us direction. We need someone else to guide us.

Once we turn towards God and follow Him, he will lead us the right way. He will bring us our the Promised Land or more specifically the promised Life he has for us. A life with what we need, focus and direction. And more importantly a life free from the guilt of sin. Because it is the sin in our life that keeps us going down the wrong path.
Turning toward God, means turning toward Jesus. In the bible, Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth and the life, no comes to the father except through me” Jesus went to the cross and died to pay for our sins. And it is through that free gift of grace, that we are able to live the life God intended for us.

Are you wandering today?
Are you tired of doing the same old thing? Do you feel like you have no direction?
Turn to Jesus
Follow his direction …... and enter your Promised Land.

I welcome your comments!

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