“Life’s like a road that you travel on when there’s one day here and the next day gone…” –Tom Cochrane, Life is a Highway (Mad Mad World, 1991)
It finally dawned on me that I had made a wrong turn several miles back. I heard the voice in my ear softly telling me that I was heading in the wrong direction, but I didn’t listen. The voice became louder as I continued down the wrong road until I finally forsook my pride and listened to the revelation I had been given.
“Yes, dear, you’re right – I think I did take the wrong turn back there.”
Somehow my wife is always right (or so she tells me), and once again I had to admit my mistake and swallow my pride. Honestly, I knew that I was going the wrong way before she said anything, but I didn’t listen to that voice either. I had travelled for miles in the wrong direction and wasted precious time. I made a U-turn and got back on track to our destination.
Tom Cochrane had a song on the airwaves a few years back (okay – maybe more than a few years!) titled, Life Is A Highway. It was about all the ups and downs that you encounter as you travel the road of life. In life, as on most roads, there are intersections, forks and junctures that require decisions. Consequently, there are the opportunities to make wrong turns.
Anyone who has been driving for a while has experienced a wrong turn. When one is fortunate enough to realize their mistake, they can correct it without much consequence. But remaining on the wrong road can get one lost and confused and could cost much more than merely time and wounded pride.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were signs telling you that you were going down the wrong road? Like the ones that are on exit ramps that display in large letters, WRONG WAY! DO NOT ENTER! Or better yet, to have a little voice that speaks in your ear and tells you, “you made a wrong turn, Bubba.”
Well, praise God! As Spirit-filled Christians, we have both. We have the truth of God’s written Word and we have revelation knowledge directly from the Father. When we aren’t listening, we also have the voice of reason from our fellow believers.
God’s Word – whether written, revealed to our mind, or spoken by believers – teaches us the right way to go. It can get our attention and alert us when we make a wrong turn. It will inform us of the correct road to be travelling, and instructs us on how to get back on the right road – and how to stay there.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,2 Tim. 3:16
There have been several occasions where I made the wrong decision and was headed in the wrong direction. It was the truth that revealed I was going the wrong way. Had I continued down the wrong road the consequences would have been unfavorable at the very least.
Okay – I’ve milked this “road-life” analogy for all that it’s worth. I think the message is clear: there is a right way and a wrong way to live our lives; a right road and a wrong road to follow. There have been secular songs, religious hymns, and wise sayings throughout history attesting to this truth. Yet, people still don’t get it! In fact, some individuals keep making the same wrong turns over and over and over again. And what’s really sad is that some of these folks are Christians.
I will admit that it takes time to rid our minds of the carnal practices and habits. I’ve been working at it since 1975, and I still have work to do. To quote Joyce Meyer, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”1
I know that life is tough. It’s not easy to live our life for God when the world around us is rife with ungodliness and designed to entice us. We have an adversary that seeks to deter us from God’s intended purposes. There are times that I think Hebrews 5:12 was written to me.
For indeed, being morally obligated to be teachers due to the length of time you have been taught, instead, you need someone to teach you again the rudiments of the beginning of the words of God. Indeed, you have become ones who need milk, not solid food.Hebrews 5:12
After all these years I have learned that the only way to keep rolling down the road in the God-lane of life is to keep my mind filled with godliness. The more that I eliminate worldly things from my life that could cause me to be distracted, stumble, or make wrong choices, the more it will be well with me.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you were called,Ephesians 4:1
Therefore I say this and insist in the Lord: you must no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds. Ephesians 4:17
What is it to walk (live) like those who do not know Christ? Are you kidding me? I remember it all too well! It’s the pattern of thinking and behavior that is futile, profitless, and worthless. Before I made Jesus Christ my Lord, my heart was hard and calloused, and I can’t imagine how many people I hurt because of my insensitivity.
They are darkened in their understanding and are alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. They have lost all sensitivity and have given themselves over to unrestrained behavior to engage in every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.Ephesians 4:18, 19
Every time I think about this, I want to drop to my knees and thank God for saving me from the dead-end road I was travelling. Verse 17 of Ephesians 4 insists that we must no longer live our lives like those who do not know God. Think about that for a moment. It is possible to go back to living a life that is futile, profitless, and worthless. Salvation is not forfeited, but the blessings of God in this life and the next can be.
you are to put off the old self that belongs to your former way of life and that is being corrupted because of deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which has been created in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Our former way of life was a series of wrong turns on the road to nowhere. In Jesus Christ we found the way – the right road – to Truth and life in the age to come.
For those who find themselves continually making the same wrong turns in life – be vigilant! The enemy of your soul is looking to devour you!
Be clearheaded! Be watchful! Your opponent, the Devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8
Put off your former way of life. Don’t think that watching R-rated movies isn’t affecting you. It is. Don’t think that watching YouTube videos or looking at Facebook on your cell phone while at work isn’t stealing from your employer. It is. Don’t think that telling those off-colored jokes doesn’t reflect on you. It does. Don’t think that cussing and swearing isn’t a big deal. It is.
These are all wrong turns that get you headed in the wrong direction. Wrong turns at best delay our arrival at the destination God has purposed for us. Too often, we never fully arrive because we continue to hold on to the old self and its desires. The things of the world are unholy and defiled and will hinder your effectiveness in administering the Word of God.
This is what Yahweh of Armies says: Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with his fold touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?’” The priests answered, “No.” Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean by reason of a dead body touch any of these, will it be unclean?” The priests answered, “It will be unclean.”Haggai 2:11-13
Holy things cannot transfer their holiness to other things, but unholy things can. As it is written, “A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough.” (Gal. 5:9) If you continue in old, worldly habits they will eventually lead to unchecked sin and grow until they affect your entire life.
So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you continue to live according to the flesh, you are about to die, but if by the spirit you continue to put to death the practices of the body, you will live.Romans 8:12-13
We have an obligation to be like Christ and serve God and others by doing our function in the Body of Christ, to live life with a purpose – to live life at its fullest and best!
Well, I’ve come to the end of the road in this article. I’d like to close with a poem that I memorized years ago. It’s by John Oxenham, titled, THE WAY.
To every man there openeth a Way, and Ways, and a Way,
And the High Soul climbs the High Way, and the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats, the rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth a High Way and a Low
And every man decideth the way his soul shall go.
I thank God we have His word to direct and guide us on the High Road of life!
1Me and My Big Mouth!: Your Answer Is Right Under Your Nose , Joyce Meyer, October 1st 2002 by FaithWords