Southbound

08/18/2011

Last weekend I was driving north along I-95 between Washington and Baltimore, thankful that traffic was moving along pretty well. I noticed that there was some smoke far ahead in the distance—not much smoke, but enough to capture the attention of this “distracted driver”! Soon traffic started to slow and I saw what was causing the smoke—a car had caught fire on the shoulder of the southbound lane. Fire trucks were dousing it and there were all sorts of emergency vehicles in attendance.  The northbound lanes had slowed to a crawl as people “rubbernecked” to see what was going on and the frantic pace resumed as soon as we got past the incident.

The southbound lanes weren’t faring so well. As you could imagine, traffic was at a dead stop for at least 5 miles. As I continued, cars were starting to slow down like racecars under a caution flag. Another half-mile or so up the road, everyone was doing the usual 65-80 miles per hour, unaware that their itinerary was about to change. They had no idea what was in store for them! I found myself hoping that the signs along the Baltimore Beltway would encourage people to take the B-W Parkway instead. Otherwise, how could anyone assume that their road was going to lead to disaster?

Most of the world is in a similar position—barreling along, surrounding by people who don’t realize they are on the wrong road. John Wesley writes, “If you are walking the way most walk, you are walking to the bottomless pit.” He says that if the “wise, rich, mighty or noble” are traveling with you, rest assured you are going the wrong way!

Matthew 7:13-14 reads, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

The way of the Christ-follower is a lonely, difficult way. If it was an easy way, wouldn’t the road be more crowded? Lots of people float along with the current and find themselves eventually falling off a waterfall. John Macarthur says that living in this way requires no character: it’s like a dead fish floating downstream! Conversely, “to follow Jesus is to swim against the tide of the broken world.”*

Look around you, brothers and sisters. If you have lots of company, you are driving 80 miles per hour toward a fire. If you are floating easily downstream, you might be spiritually dead and just not realize it! But if you are struggling along a narrow path filled with worldly obstacles that have caused all but a few to give up, then keep going—there is a narrow gate at the end that leads to eternal life.

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*Dodd, Brian. Empowered Church Leadership.Intervarsity Press, 2003

 

 

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There are 5 comments

If you are a committed born again christian your entire life is spent swimming up stream and full of applications just like Kent found on the highway.. Take heed people to where you're going .. Thanks Kent
that's a good one..
Jan

Janice Rainey
August 21, 2011 - 08:14

and thanks for the excellent graphic, Shawn!

kent
August 20, 2011 - 12:14

Thanks, brothers. Praise God for revealing truth as it suits His purposes!

kent
August 20, 2011 - 12:13

I agree with Rich! I really like this devotional and it's been sticking with me since I first read it a few days ago. Also, I'll be travelling on I-95 today, so it's on my mind. Fortunately it just so happens that I'll be travelling on I-95N Thanks for sharing with us all the places that you find God's truth, Kent. We appreciate it!

Shawn
August 20, 2011 - 11:47

Excellent message, I liked putting something you see into a teaching moment.

Rich Bushong
August 19, 2011 - 21:27
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