Stay in Your Lane…
Posted on March 19, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
What causes you to change directions or veer off course? Maybe you feel it’s time to turn back from where God has led you… the journey is too hard, it’s not going the way you planned, or you believe you are lost and God was wrong somehow. Maybe you believe you don’t have what it takes, but according to the wisdom of Pooh, ‘you are much stronger than you think you are,’ so stay in your lane.
Paul reminds us of others who traveled this way before, those who enjoyed God’s guidance by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. All of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water; for they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them; even though they ‘all’ enjoyed God’s provision, they did not believe He would do what He promises… and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.’ ‘And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So, because of their unbelief, they were not able to enter his rest.” (Hebrews 3:18-19 NLT)
These deeds happened as a warning to us, so we would not crave evil things; these are all the choices we make that leave no room for God in our lives. These events happened to warn us not to go beyond the guardrails of His Word to indulge in grumbling, self-centered desires, sensuality, and worship of what God has given us, instead of living in gratitude towards Him who provides everything.
These guardrails of truth and history mark — DANGER! We are reminded of them, so we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions are parallel—they at the beginning and us at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face, climbing over the guardrails as quickly as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence… And stay in your lane!’
The promise of resting in Christ, which is ‘no longer striving to reach contentment without God’, is still offered, but we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We have received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive them with faith… they didn’t take God at His Word. But if we believe Him, we’ll experience the rest Jesus invites us to enter when He said, ‘Come all who are weary and tired of doing this on their own, and I will give you rest’ (Math 11:28).
If we don’t have faith that takes God at His word, we need to remember what God said to those who did not believe, “I vow, ‘They’ll never get where they’re going, or able to sit down and rest in My presence.'” This is not because God didn’t want them there, but because they decided to not stay in the lane of God’s perfect plan.
“God made that vow, even though He had finished His part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed His work,” but in this other text, he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God set another time for entering His rest, and that time is now. He announced this through David when he wrote much later, ‘Today when you hear God’s voice, through His Word, don’t harden your hearts… don’t turn a deaf ear… stay in your lane. (Adapted from 1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Hebrews 4:1-7 MSG/NLT)
God has established a way into His presence, and it is through faith in the completed salvation work of Jesus Christ. Along that path are many circumstances designed to empty us of the stuff we don’t need and keep us from resting in Christ. These things are bitterness, jealousy, envy, stubbornness, pride, sensuality, impurity, quarrels, anger, selfish ambition, division, drunkenness, and other sins like these. When these take up less room in our lives, The Spirit pours in with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal 5:16-24)This journey is hard at times, but on the other side of fully trusting God, there is a joy that cannot be known in convenience, fear, selfishness, or ease.
One of the biggest reasons we veer from our lane is boredom and a loss of wonder for God. We lose sight of the wonderful and matchless grace of Jesus, by which we are saved. Can you imagine how awestruck those who walked through the sea on dry land were? Or, how about the magnificent glory they saw leading them day and night, the food of angels providing daily nourishment, and the rock supplying water satisfying their thirst throughout the journey. It is easy to start taking things for granted and lose the wonder of it all. Jesus put off all divine status and privilege to take on our human form and being. He did this because He knew the holiness required for a relationship with God was not possible to obtain on our own. In His obedience to God, Christ was made perfect in His suffering, and His sacrifice was, therefore, acceptable to declare everyone who rests in His work, justified in God’s sight. Through Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life, all who believe can enter boldly into the presence of our Heavenly Father! Wow, how can we lose sight of something so amazing as that..?
Joshua and Caleb, two of the men who searched out the land God had led the nation to, said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is wonderful! And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb!” It was here God vowed all who have seen His glorious presence and enjoyed His miraculous signs, but again and again, test Him by refusing to listen to His voice; He vowed they will never even see the land I swore to give them. None of those who have treated My good things with contempt will ever see it! (Numbers 14) It was not because God didn’t want them; look at all He has done to get them to this point. No! It was because they chose to change lanes. And out of love, God gave them over to the desires of their heart.
God’s plans are good and not for our grief. Those who stay in His lane, loving Him by obeying His Word, will enjoy His blessing and gifts. God’s lane leads to a future and a hope in His presence. When we stay within the guardrails of prayer, listening to His Word, and looking wholeheartedly to God, we will find our way to Him. No longer captive to our fears and anxiety, but knowing the rest, Jesus invites us to enter through Him. (Jeremiah 28:11-13, John 14:6)
Don’t ever quit, don’t turn around, Don’t look back, ‘you are much stronger than you think you are; when you pray and seek God with all your heart… so stay in your lane.
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer – His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable.” – John Newton
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the [b]beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. –Psalm 27:4
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.