July 25, 2017

Isaiah 53:6 (NLT) — 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

Most bowling alleys have retractable bumpers. When a lever is activated these bumpers come up along the lane to keep the ball from rolling into the gutter. The ball will hit the bumper and bounce back to the lane so that it can stay on course to hit some of the pins at the end of lane. The bumpers are usually put up when little children are learning to bowl. It keeps them from getting discouraged because no matter how they roll the ball they will hit some pins.

It is easy to veer off God’s path in this life. In fact it really doesn’t take much effort to do the wrong thing. If someone criticizes  us before we know it our tongue has verbally lashed back at them or our mind has conjured up a plan to get even. Or we can get caught up in the pleasure of the moment and before we know it we have gone off God’s path.

In life there are no bumpers in place to keep us from falling into the gutter of ‘own wayness’. Because of this we need to set up our own bumpers. Here are three bumpers that I have found effective in keeping in God’s lane.

  1. Regular daily reading and meditating on God’s wordGod’s word is alive and powerful enough to bounce me back onto God’s path. When I think on God’s word I am thinking His thoughts. My body goes where my mind has already been.

Psalm 119:9 (NLT) — 9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.

Psalm 119:11 (NLT) — 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:30 (NLT) — 30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.

2. Spending time in prayer. I ask the Lord to fill me with His Holy Spirit to keep me on track and nudge be back if I begin to veer off.

Matthew 26:41 (NLT) — 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Ephesians 6:18 (NLT) — 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

3. Keep company with other believers. I have found that it helps to have others encourage me to keep living for Jesus.

Psalm 101:6 (NLT) — 6 I will search for faithful people to be my companions.

Psalm 119:63 (NLT) — 63 I am a friend to anyone who fears you— anyone who obeys your commandments.

Psalm 119:1–3 (NLT) — 1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.

Just like the bowling alley these bumpers are retractable. The choice is up to me. Do I leave them up or do I think I’m grownup enough so that I don’t need them? Satan would like me to think that I don’t need them but I know better. What do some of you use for bumpers to keep you from going your own way?

Be Inspired Hilltop!