Once I know what I’m taking and where I’m going I need to ask the next obvious question: “How do I get there from here?” And if the answer is “You can’t get there from here.” then I need to find a ‘here’ that I can get there from. (Don’t hurt yourself thinking about that for too long)
I’ve always been told that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so maybe I should just lay a map out and snap a chalk line. Maybe not… I think I might just make a few people upset when I attempt to drive a semi through their house. OK, so I need to find the best roads to get me to my destination. The problem I still face is that not all roads are legal for semi’s to drive on them. Ever notice those signs at some intersections that have a picture of a truck with a red circle and a diagonal line across the truck? That means that I can’t legally drive a big-rig down that road without possibly getting a ticket for my efforts.
When I’m hauling hazardous material my options become even more confined, especially in big cities. I’m not supposed to go through downtown Dallas with a load that has signs on the trailer that tells everybody that I’m hauling a substantial amount of something that could be harmful if I get in a major accident. Unless I want to contribute a substantial amount of money to the local authorities. So, you see, the choice of which roads I take to get to my destination does take a lot of consideration and planning.
The roads we travel in life are just as important. How we get where we’re going should take diligent thought. The best route is not always the shortest one. Just ask Joseph… you know, the eleventh son of Jacob; in the book of Genesis, in the Bible. If you don’t know about him then it’s worth your effort to read about him.
Joe was given some dreams by God about his future. It seems that his entire family would one day bow down to him. On top of that he was Daddy’s favorite because his Mom was Jacob’s first love, that’s why his brothers hated him so much that they sold him off to some slave traders. Joe ends up in the house of an important Egyptian named Potiphar. It seems that Mrs. Potiphar had the hots for this hunk of Hebrew who had control of all the slaves in the house. Joe knew that his shelf life would soon expire if he gave in to her demands so he decided it best to leave his clothes in her hands rather than letting her get anything else lost in that house.
You see, Joseph could have taken the easy road and had sex with someone who wasn’t his wife. I suspect he wouldn’t have been the first fling Mrs. Potiphar had, but Joe kept God in mind. Besides the dreams I’m pretty sure His Dad shared with him his own stories of wrestling with God. So, Joseph knew he wanted to stay in good standing with this God Who knew the future. I’ve kept that in mind whenever I’m deciding on what I’m doing with my life. You see, I’ve read how Joseph’s life turned out. He didn’t know he would spend the next few years in prison before God would tap him on the shoulder and place him in the position that was set aside for him, but he stayed true to God every day of his life. That’s a worthy example to try to live up to.
Self-control… it’s not a concept that is tossed around much now a days (self-gratification is more the watchword). Both Peter and Paul use it as a character trait to look for in someone to be a leader in God’s church. It sounds like something Joseph practiced quite well in his life, that’s why I hold him up as an example. I’ve never known just what God has planned for my life, but I’ve always wanted to live such a life that I won’t be disqualified from a leadership position, if it ever gets offered to me, by reason that I’m not self-controlled.
Too many people attempt to live their life by seeing how close they can live to the edge of evil without it rubbing off on them. That’s not the kind of person God wants to use. Traveling down the path of sin is walking away from God. Don’t even go there! I grew up on a dairy farm, I can tell you from experience; try as hard as you can to avoid stepping in something undesirable while walking through a pasture… and sooner or later you’ll get it on you. Best to stay out of the barnyard if you’re dressed for something important.
I’m not saying that God can’t use someone who turns away from an undesirable lifestyle, He has often used such people greatly. But, they can’t persist in that evil and be used to truly reach people for Jesus. How many people lose their standing in the ministry after their sinful life is exposed? I’m sure there are some names that popped in your head when you read that sentence. Their choice of which road they traveled was indeed an important decision for them. They were able to drive down that street for a time, but the fine was quite steep when they were found out.
Choose your roads wisely, as God-honoring Christians we are restricted from certain roads that others travel. Don’t look at that as a mean-spirited Creator who doesn’t want the best for you. See it for what it is, you are set aside for a higher calling. Don’t wallow around in the mud just to be popular with people you won’t be seeing in Heaven. Live a life pleasing to the Savior Who gave His very life so you can spend eternity with Him and His Dad.
I’ll see you later. Wade