Tag Archives: stop

Wrong Turn

I took my normal route to Cartersville tonight, but the drive did not go as it normally does.  It was the same road, but it had been rerouted for construction.  So instead of seeing the usual landmarks and coming out at the expected corner, I had been rerouted to a block down.  But I did not know this.  So I missed my turn and kept going straight.

 

Straight in the wrong direction.  And it only took me a few seconds to realize it.

Wrong Turn.jpg 

Then my mission became to turn around and find the right direction.  Once I did, I turned where I assumed I should.  And I found myself headed in the right direction on the road I knew.

 

And of course God spoke to me.  He showed me that this wrong turn was a metaphor for life and faith.  How often do we go the direction WE want to go, even though we know it is wrong or not the best choice?  How often do we find ourselves lost because we refused to stop?  How often do our choices make us feel hopeless, desperate, and lonely?  How often do we keep going without asking for help, checking a map, or turning around?

 

When the answer starts with two simple decisions.  The first is stop.  Stop moving forward in the wrong direction.  Stop turning back to that wrong behavior.  Stop relying on that choice to fill the empty spaces of your heart.  The second is trust God.  Because sometimes we just can’t stop in our own free will.  Because sometimes we have been consumed and overwhelmed by the consequences of our choices.  Because we all need grace to be able to stop completely and turn willingly.  Because our Creator who designed us knows exactly what we need to do to make better choices.

 

Solomon sums it up in Proverbs 3:5-7a – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.  7 Do not be wise in your own eyes …”

 

There is good news.  No matter where we are, God sees us.  He knows our exact location.  And God has a plan to turn us in the right direction.  Back toward Him so we walk with Him.  And even better? He redeems every wrong turn for our good and His glory. No experience, right or wrong, goes wasted with God. He makes all things beautiful.

 

So stop and turn around today.  God is waiting for you.

 

Marie Fremin, 4/16 and 4/17/16

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Move

Move

I heard myself saying this repeatedly on Saturday when my sister literally kept getting in my way. I couldn’t turn around without bumping into her, and it annoyed me. I was sharper than I intended in saying the word, but she kept boxing me in. And once she realized she was the problem, she didn’t move. She didn’t try to make it better or move out the way. She just stood there, making it impossible to maneuver around her. I know she wasn’t intentionally doing it, but she kept me from getting where I wanted to be.

And tonight I realized God is probably saying the same thing to all of us. He’s looking at us and lovingly saying “move”.

He’s waiting for us to get out of His way. To stop speaking for Him and over Him. To stop interfering. To stop bailing that person out. To literally step back, let go, and be quiet.

Because when we’re in His way, we’re keeping Him from breaking through (down) the walls. We’re stopping people from hearing His voice. We’re preventing Him from impacting circumstances for His glory. We’re hindering progress and growth that could come from the pain and trails that person needs to go through.

Sure, we have good intentions. No, we don’t mean any harm. But we literally become the thing standing between the change we want (to see) and God being able to make that happen.

Peter was there one day, and Jesus had to straighten him out. In Matthew 16:21, Jesus was telling the disciples about what would happen to Him in His final days. Peter, with his natural thinking, couldn’t think of His friend having to go through all that. So Peter rebuked Him. Yes, Peter tried to correct Him, the same guy he had called the Christ just a few minutes before (Matthew 16:16). Peter tried to talk Him out of such a ridiculous notion. Peter thought he was helping, but he was so far from right. And Jesus quickly corrected Peter. Because if Peter had his way, the Cross would never have happened. And if the Cross never happened to reconnect us intimately with God, where we would be today? Would we have any access to God at all, or would we still be limited to ritualistic sacrifices?

Peter should have paused before speaking. He got it so right one minute and so wrong the next. And so do we. Sometimes we’re supportive in the way God needs us to be, and other time we are just a giant interference to God’s purposes and plans. What we think to be the right direction is the opposite of God’s best way. So we need to stop and allow God to lead us in our interactions and relationships. We need to pause and pray so we know when God is telling us to stop – stop talking, stop pushing, stop prying, stop wishing, stop influencing, stop gossiping, stop annoying. Stop getting in the way of His master plan and giving Him space to weave His grace into someone’s life.

So take a minute now and evaluate your relationships. Where do you need to speak up, because your silence is keeping someone from getting to God? Where do you need to shut up, because your advice and opinions are keeping someone from getting to God?

So get out of God’s way and let your actions be the magnetic factor that draws people to God. “Let your gentleness be known to all men” (Philippians 4:5). How? “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8). Be kind, be supportive, be compassionate – within God’s purposes and according to His plans and not according to your agenda and intentions. And then you will be able to move with God instead of against Him, causing blessings and grace to flow freely in and around you.

Marie Fremin, 10/14-15/15