So you know how you can hear a song over and over again but then hear it that one time when you are going through something and it just speaks to you? Or how you can study or hear a bible verse or set of verses over and over again but then hear them once again and it knocks you to your knees? Well this happened to me on Sunday and I just need to share with you all.
So it’s fall and winter is just around the corner so picture with me if you will that you’re walking down a road. No houses around just the open road surrounded by land as far as you can see. Well in some places (not typically Arkansas very often) in winter the road will become snow covered. What happens when a car or plow goes down the road? It pushes the snow over to the side of the road and kind of piles it up there on the side. So as you stand in the middle of the road you have a clear road with a heap of snow over to the side and then as you look out further away from the road the snow seems to level back out. Can you see it? Ok keep that image in your mind as we go on.
Sunday’s message was Philippians 4:6-9.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9 NLT
I’ve heard these verses preached several times but this past Sunday it literally brought me to my knees. You see these past few months haven’t been the easiest, just being real with y’all, they haven’t. I have struggled with direction, confidence, and purpose in a way that just isn’t fun to talk about but in the hopes that this helps someone else I’ll share. I’ve put my relationship with God on the backburner and it has suffered. I’m not proud to say that at all but it has. Now I still read my daily devotion and would check out the verse of the day but that’s about it. I would go to church on Wednesday and Sundays but that’s about it. I have not been investing time into my relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ and that my friend is a scary place to be! You see in Matthew 7: 13-14 we read “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” So if you can go back to the scene I had you picture before place yourself in the middle of that road with snow all around you. Make sure it’s a narrow road! During our Christian walk we can easily become wayward from the road God has us on. We can stray so far off the road and end up in the leveled out snow that the road is hardly even in eyesight any longer. We can fall victim to drugs, alcohol, adultery, selfishness, and all those sins that we label as the worst and we place those far off the road. However I feel that sometimes the scariest place to be is not far off the road at all but just slightly off to the side in that heap of snow. You see to others around us we may still look as though we are on the road when in actuality we’re not. We look as though we are following the same path when in truth we are trudging along in a heap of sin and despair just trying to keep up. We want so badly to be back on the cleared off road. We want so badly for the smooth road to be back under our feet but we just can’t seem to get there. As we walk in that heap we seem to slowly drift downward to the leveled out snow that leaves us further and further away from the road.
You see over the past few months I had let myself drift just slightly off the road so that no one could really tell I wasn’t on it any longer. I wasn’t following through with the call we see in Philippians. I wasn’t dwelling on the things of God but I was dwelling on the things of this world. And above all else when I realized what was happening I didn’t stop and ask God for help. His word tells us “but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God.” Everything means just that…. in EVERYTHING! As Bro. Tyler put it Sunday no matter what you are going through God cares. I’ve been trudging along in that heap on the side of the road wanting so badly to be back on the road and not knowing how to get there. Yes I know it sounds easy….just step back over, but I tell you it is not that easy. You cannot under your own power make that step. It just will not happen. I had to hand it over to God and let Him direct that step. This is where I was brought to on Sunday, on my knees in total surrender, not rattling off a long prayer quoting scripture and sounding all perfect, no it was me on my knees, in tears, just asking God for forgiveness and for help. Not many words needed to be spoken, just a heart broken and ready to be healed.
Now please listen, I am in no way saying that once you are on the road that it will be an easy walk. No, No, No. The road still curves. It still has mountains and valleys that it treks over. You will still swerve from side to side and fight to stay in the center. However if you stay faithful in the walk, stay faithful in prayer, stay faithful in studying the Word (not just reading it! There is a difference!) you will be able to stay on the road that leads to a place like no other. Friend if you are trudging through that heap like I was or maybe if you are so far off the road you don’t even think it’s there anymore, trust me when I say God is waiting to direct you back to it. All you need to do is surrender and ask. “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7 NLT
I pray you have peace today my friend.