None of us want to waste time travelling in the wrong direction in our spiritual lives. So how do we avoid inadvertently veering off course?
After leaving school, I spent a few years working on farms. My favourite job was working the fields with a tractor. One of the first things we were taught was how to drive in a straight line. You may say, “Surely that’s simple enough?” Surprisingly, it’s not.
Have you ever seen a field that has been ploughed with perfect straight lines? It didn’t just happen. On his first run, the driver had to set the line straight so that all the other lines followed suit. He had to find a fixed point on the far side of the field and aim for it. Using a point on his tractor, and his focus on the field edge, he would drive across the field measuring his direction by the fixed point and the tractor. If the driver looked only into the cab of the tractor, or continuously looked around the field, he went off course. It was only when he measured his direction by the fixed marker and aimed for it that he kept his course true.
This is a perfect analogy for how we ought to plot our course in our Christian Adventure.
The fixed point on the field edge is God Himself. God has revealed to us His truth and it’s fixed and sure. He is the measure of our direction. We learn through moving forward in our relationship with the Father and Jesus. Holy Spirit instructs us, counsels us, leads us, and empowers us. The Word of God declares the truth of who God is and who we are in His sight.
The tractor cab mirrors our life. What we feel and how we see ourselves risks being tinted by what other people have said about us, what our past experience has taught us, or our negative beliefs. If we only look at ourselves we can go off course because we haven’t amended our direction with the truth of what God says about us.
The field is all the distractions that life throws at us. If we spend all our time focused on all this other stuff, again, we eventually head off course. Now, let me make something clear: Naturally I believe that our lives have to interact with the world around us, so being separate doesn’t mean living separate. I spent too long in my early years as a Christian withdrawing from the world. It took me a long time to realise that life was not supposed to be lived that way. However, the only way to keep on a straight course while interacting with the world is by living in relationship with God and measuring your direction by Him.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
For us to be able to head in a straight line, we must line ourselves up with God’s truth. Our thoughts need to be taken captive to obey Christ. Victory comes as we renew our mind. Faith is simply lining up our thoughts with who He is, and what He thinks about us and the world around us.
So today, I encourage you to take hold of your thoughts and measure them with what God says about you. Whatever we believe plots the course of our thoughts, and turns them into actions.
When God’s truth is our focus, it becomes our destination.
How do you develop your relationship with God? I would love to know your thoughts. You can comment below.
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