Thursday, April 1, 2010

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I was scheduled to speak at an Easter Sunrise Service not far from the home where we were staying. Since I was leaving before anyone else in the house, my hostess gave me verbal directions to the park; directions which really weren't all that complicated for most people. I shot out of the driveway in a big hurry to get where I was going. I turned in exactly the wrong direction. Later, our hostess told me; actually, she also told everyone at the service where she introduced me, that I was driving all around this complex of buildings near their home instead of heading down the road to my destination. Meanwhile, she was in her yard, waving her arms frantically, trying to get my attention as I, in my obsession with figuring out where I was going and getting there, blew right through a stop sign and kept right on driving in the wrong direction.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Full Speed Ahead in the Wrong Direction."

Oh, our hostess tried to stop me. She tried to redirect me, but she said I was so determined, so focused that I totally didn't see the person who was trying to get me on the right road. So I just kept going on the wrong road.

I hate to say it, but I think I've done that with God sometimes. Probably you have, too. God has some stern words for those of us who tend to be pretty strong-willed, determined-to-get there kind of people. Being determined, goal-oriented, full of drive can be a great, even God-given, thing. But it's all too easy for us to go darting out of the driveway and proceeding full speed ahead in the wrong direction.

God gave this warning in Isaiah 30:1, our word for today from the Word of God, "'Woe to the obstinate children,' declares the Lord, 'to those who carry out plans that are not Mine, forming an alliance, but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin." God describes those who are obstinately pursuing goals and plans - pushing yourself, pushing others, determined to make it happen. And all the while God is waving His arms, trying to get your attention, trying to slow you down, trying to get you going the right way. But you're at the wheel, so focused on this thing you insist on that you're blowing right past God's stop signs and God's warnings.

Maybe it's a relationship that you're just determined to pursue no matter who may be warning you against it - no matter what even God says. You may be determined to get married no matter what, or divorced no matter what. It could be there's a business venture, a career move that you're so focused on you can't hear God's voice trying to redirect you, trying to stop you. Maybe it's a way that you're determined to make money or even a ministry dream that you're going to make happen, no matter what anyone thinks - even God.

Every day that you ignore God's attempts to stop you or redirect you is another day wasted outside the will of God. No matter how noble your goal, it is a sin to keep pursuing it if God doesn't want you to. For any of us who are driving full speed ahead in any direction, we need to make sure on a daily basis that we are, in fact, driving in the direction that God wants us to go. Life is just too short to waste one more day driving in a direction that God doesn't want us to go.