Proverbs 3:6, NIV
“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Colin and I were driving up the motorway in a direction we don’t normally go, and we didn’t know the area very well. The motorway was congested and I was in the left hand lane, wanting to go straight on. Suddenly there was a sign saying ‘exit only’, and I had to come off where I didn`t want to. I got on to a side road and started looking for a way to get back on the motorway. Horror of horrors at that exit I couldn`t get back on! So I thought of taking a detour to try to get back.
I took another turn without really knowing where I was going. The signs were all places I hadn`t heard of, hadn`t been to, and didn`t want. Then, as I took another turn, I found it was a ‘no through road’. As I came to the farm gate and looked at the field of cows, I realised it was a ‘dead end’.
Actually in my car I have something called SmartNav and I can press a button and go on to a call centre. They can see exactly where I am, as my car is trackable by satellite. I can tell them what destination I want, and they’ll guide me through.
Why didn’t I do that as soon as I came off the motorway? I got completely lost, because I thought I knew a better way. Then God spoke. He said, ‘It’s so easy to take a wrong turn. It’s so easy to get on a wrong road. But you can be sure taking wrong turns will end up in a dead end.’
Taking wrong turns in our life causes us to take a wrong road, and it leads to a dead end. ‘I will direct your path’, says God, ‘submit your way to me and I will direct the way you should go’.
In 1 Samuel 15, Samuel confronts Saul over his disobedience. Saul had enjoyed the blessing of God, but then he failed to carry out His instructions concerning the Amalekites. God had said to destroy all the Amalekites and their possessions. Saul had allowed Agag the king to live and the soldiers to loot their possessions. When he was confronted by Samuel he lied about what he’d done and blamed his team! From this time on, his life was marked with fear and paranoia. He continued to make wrong turns and go down wrong roads. Finally he faced an absolute dead end. He fell on his sword in the battlefield. He and his sons died altogether on the same day. What a terrible end to a king who started so well. Dead ends lead to death.
What do we do when someone personally confronts us about our sin? I believe we should respond by pausing, and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us through that person. God’s the only One who can help when we’re lost, we’ve done it our own way, and we’ve made a mess. The only thing to do then is to submit ourselves to God, and ask Him to navigate our way back on to the sure road that leads to life.
Prayer: Father God, You’re all wise and ever faithful. We can be confident that when we make a mess of our lives, having taken the wrong turn, we can turn back to You and You’ll help us to find our way back. Help us Lord to repent, be obedient, and be willing to submit to Your lordship in every area of our lives. We want to turn away from doing it our way to doing it Your way. Thank You, Jesus, for You’re the way, the truth and the life. Amen.