by Kathy Lay
This Week's Verse: James 1:15, "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (NIV)
There are times when I wish that my highway of life was marked by God with big, bold road signs that provided clear direction. Stop! There's nothing good down that road. No Exit; if you enter here, you'll never get out. Merge; this is a movement I'm orchestrating and you need to be a part of it. Go! My Power will be fueling you and there's nothing to fear! Yield, someone else needs to go before you, Kath.
If God did use big, bright roadsigns (and He does sometimes, I think), I wonder how many times a day I would see a caution sign. Caution: this seems harmless but it could lead you little by little, further and further away from Me and all that I have for you.
And if I did see caution signs, I wonder how many times I would disregard them. As I cruise up to the intersection of a choice (which way do I turn?), would I heed the caution sign and intentionally choose the best road? Or would I think, "Hey, caution noted, but I can handle this. It's nothing, really."
It's at that crossroads where a slow fade might begin if the caution sign is ignored.
Casting Crowns' song "Slow Fade" has been getting a lot of air play lately and it was also on the soundtrack for the movie Fireproof. The video (below) focuses on unfaithfulness to a spouse, but when I think of myself as a part of the bride of Christ, it's easy to see parallels with my own unfaithfulness to my Bridegroom.
"Be careful little eyes what you see." But I really love seeing who bombed and who shined on the red carpet and I can't help it if most of the celebrities aren't dressing with modesty in mind.
"Be careful little lips what you say." But I was FURIOUS when I let that little curse word slip out and I didn't even realize I was doing it. And when I snap or speak harshly to my family it's because I'm so tired. And that dishonorable piece of gossip? It was a prayer request, really.
See how a slow fade begins with one teeny-tiny choice? Caution signs should be popping up everywhere. I mean, when we think about our aspirations, how many of us say, "I want to be an impatient, grumpy mom and really perfect the art of nagging my husband." Or "Man, sign me up to be liar--that's where it's at!"
None of us, of course. But that slow fade--those little tiny moment-by-moment choices--can send us speeding in a wrong direction before we know it. Heed the caution signs; avoid the traps. With God's help, we can even approach the bright red stop sign smiling because we know His Power will help us bring that slow fade to a screeching halt if we ask Him.
Father, help us to not only recognize the caution signs you place in our lives, but to obey them. Thank You for the various ways You direct us and for Your leading of the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth. Increase our discernment and soften our hearts to obey so that we won't slow fade into so much less than You want us to be.
Application: Watch the "Slow Fade" video by Casting Crowns. Although it focuses on unfaithfulness in a marriage, identify areas of your life where "a price will be paid when you give yourself away..." Repent, giving those areas up to God and asking His mighty power in your life to stay faithful to Him in every little choice. Ask for help recognizing and heeding the caution signs He shows you.
Romans 6:16, "Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living." (NLT)
Romans 8:6, "So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace."(NLT)