Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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The best time to go to Long Beach Island is off season. It's this beautiful stretch of land off the New Jersey coast about 12 miles long, not very wide. In fact you can see the ocean on one side and the bay on the other side. It just has this one, long main street. During peak season, which of course is during the summer, it's very slow going on that street; bumper-to-bumper people, cars and red lights. I hope you're not in a hurry to get to the beach or to get back to your house. It's going to take you a while. But when you're there during the off season, which we've had the privilege to be, you see this long string of traffic lights as far as the eye can see. When you're driving you can hit this string of green lights and never stop.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How God's Green Lights Show You God's Will."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Galatians 5:18. Here's what it says, "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law." God is referring here to this incredible internal guidance system that He's given us in the person of the Holy Spirit of God, who puts inside us a steering mechanism that leads us into what God wants us to do. It's like the internal guidance system of a guided missile that guarantees that it gets to its' target. If we just listen to that leading we'll get to our target we were created for.
Verse 25 goes on to say this, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Oh, okay! Step wherever the Spirit steps. That's obviously what He's trying to say here. This tells us God is leading us, but not in quantum leaps. He's leading us in single steps. Maybe that's why the Old Testament writer said, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in His way." When you take those little steps, you'll know what God's will is for now, for today. That's what ends up making up this huge tapestry that we call "God's will for our life."
There's one way that He leads you called green lights. See, your mission is to start driving in the direction the Spirit seems to be leading. Even if you don't know where this whole road's going to take you, you start driving in that direction. And you don't wait until you have all the answers about where you're going to end up. You say, "Well, I'd like a little more information." That's not how God's will works. He goes, you take a step, you see a step. You take another step, you see another step. When you take that next step, you hit a green light. Well, then, you keep going until you see another green. If you see a green, you keep going. If there's a red, you stop.
Now, God has given us some inner green lights I guess you could say. Sometimes it's just that divine pull - an unexplainable pull - toward a certain choice. There are biblical arrows as you read in God's Word daily and then you record it in a journal so you can see a pattern of what God is saying. I've often seen that as I've gone back through my Spiritual Diary and I see God leading in a certain direction through certain verses. And then, there's the peace of Christ, which I think is what you feel most consistently when you're on your knees just talking with God about it. That's an inner green light.
There are outer green lights, too. Like circumstances can confirm what you've been feeling on the inside and what God's been saying in His Word. These things will point the same direction as the inner greens do. When God gives you a red, don't keep driving. No, you stop on the red. But as long as God is giving you green lights, don't let fear, don't let uncertainty make you stop.
A classic example in the Old Testament: when the Jews were on the edge of the swollen, flooded Jordan River, trying to figure out how to cross into Canaan land, God says, "You step in the water and then it will part." I think I'd have said, "I've got a better idea. How about the water parts and I step in?" God says, "No. You take a step and then the water will start to part."
Keeping in step with the Spirit; going where the green lights are. When He turns the light green inside you and around you, He's saying, "Now, step here." Follow God's green lights and then relax in your knowledge that anywhere your Savior is asking you to step, He will always step first and get the next step ready for you.