Take another look | That may not be what you think it is | This Journey Through Life
Have you ever driven on an Arizona desert highway? If so, you may have noticed the distant mountains surrounding various areas.
As we drove along on a recent road trip, I noticed a color change in one large area of the mountains. Normally brown in color, this mountain had a distinctively sand-colored front, with very pretty striations. It was a lovely change from the normal, ubiquitous, boring desert brown.
My heart sang at the beauty of the light colors against the darker background. We must have discovered some little-known treasure!
What could it be?
My excitement rose.
Should we go check it out?
As we got closer, however, signs warned that this was not a treasure at all.
The signs indicated that this pretty view was the opposite of what most people consider a treasure.
It was stinky.
It was rotten on the inside.
Most people would not want to be anywhere near there.
It was people’s discarded, no-longer-wanted refuse. It was trash.
My delightful view was a landfill.
A landfill?!? Yuck! What a disappointment.
“Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)
How many times does something shiny and pretty catch our eye, and later on we realize that it wasn’t good for us, after all?
Don’t be discouraged. Even people in the Bible, whom we look up to, were tempted in this.
Let’s learn from them.
Remember the Old Testament account of when the Lord sent Samuel to choose the next king who would take over after King Saul?
Samuel went to Jesse’s home, was impressed by the outward appearance of Eliab, the oldest of Jesse’s sons, and thought, “he must be the one!”
However, Samuel had tuned-in his spirit to listen to the Lord and did not choose Eliab.
Can you imagine how history would have been rewritten had Samuel not listened to God that day?
God’s purposes still would have been fulfilled, but I imagine Samuel would have lost an opportunity for a blessing.
Friends, God wants to protect us. He can see the inside when all we can see is the pretty, shiny outside beckoning us to come closer.
Tune in to Him. Listen to Him. Spend time with Him, so you are sensitive to His promptings.
Listen to Him. Spend time with Him, so you are sensitive to His promptings.
Spend time with Him, so you are sensitive to His promptings.
If you sense that something isn’t right about a situation or a person, listen to that urging.
I have been in situations where I didn’t listen and then realized it right in the middle, after it was too late. I was caught up and didn’t know how to get out. I wasn’t even sure I wanted out.
I preferred to satisfy my own selfishness, but I could also feel my closeness with God slipping away simultaneously. That bothered me. A lot.
What did I do?
I told God all about it: “Lord, this doesn’t seem right, and I don’t even think I want out, but please get me out. I want to honor You.”
That was a very hard prayer to pray, and His getting me out caused pain for both me and another person. More pain than having the guts, self-control, or wisdom to say no in the first place.
His faithfulness shone through. He has been faithful to get me out when I have gotten myself into things I shouldn’t have.
He will be faithful to you, too. Call on Him.
Have I made any more bad decisions since then?
You will, too.
However, God is ALWAYS faithful and merciful.
He wants to protect us.
He’s just a prayer away, waiting for you to talk to Him.