I consider myself a law-abiding citizen. I go the speed limit, obey traffic lights and come to a complete stop at all stop signs. That said, I came face to face this spring with a decision that required me to skirt around the law…just a bit.
On my way to work one day I saw a sign that said, Road Closed to Thru Traffic. What?!? I always go this way! This is the fastest way to work! I hesitated for a moment then followed the rest of the traffic and ignored the sign. Bye-bye law abider! I rationalized, how did the road crew know if I lived in that area or not? I smiled and waved at them as they signaled me to pass on through the road construction.
This little plan was working wonderfully until…the work became more intense and the road grew more difficult to navigate. I became more irritated. Finally, one particular day (and every day since) I relented and grudgingly followed the detour signs. This added an extra 10-15 minutes to my commute.
Do you know what happened the moment I decided to take the recommend route? The road was smooth. There were no delays. There was no guilt heaped on my law-breaking soul. The irritation of bumpy roads and waiting was gone. As I drove along on the smooth road, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me if I had been obedient to the warning sign in the first place, my road would have been much smoother, and the longer distance would not have been an irritation. And just like that I was reminded what happens when we choose “selective obedience.”
Our Pastor preached on this very thing not too long ago. The repercussion of disobeying any of God’s commands is exactly what I experienced; a rougher road and irritating delays. God’s commands and the boundaries He sets for us through His Word are for our own safety and well-being. Not only does our disobedience affect us, it can also affect the lives of those around us. When I disobeyed the road sign, I was putting the construction workers at risk as well as delaying work because I didn’t belong there.
A very familiar verse and one of my favorites seems to be appropriate to yet another lesson learned on my journey. The words that are in bold print spoke to me loud and clear.
Proverbs 3:5-7 (MSG)
"Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to GOD!"
When was the last time you assumed your way was better than obedience? There can still be a happy ending. When you listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit and follow His leading, He will put you back on the right track and give you a right heart.