“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."
Ever since I started using a GPS, traveling to unfamiliar places has become a lot easier for me. When using the GPS, it’s been my experience that any time I don’t follow its instructions to the letter, missing a turn or taking the wrong exit, I get this voice alert: “Recalculating!” That alert simply means I am getting off the path to my intended destination, and therefore need to follow the subsequent instruction to get back on track. To my surprise, following the new directions does really work. I may get to my destination a bit later, but I do get there.
Christians are called to shun sin and evil, to walk in Christ’s footsteps, allowing the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to direct us. However, every now and then, we get off course, the result of our sin nature, and need to be redirected. The Holy Spirit directs us, and quite often redirects us when we are not walking in obedience to the word of God. Do you ever hear the Holy Spirit’s alert -“Recalculating”? If so, how do you respond to Him? Do you continue down the path He is steering you away from, or do you take the redirected path to continue sweet fellowship with your Lord and Master?
What are some of the wrong paths we may find ourselves on, requiring His redirection? Consider these: have you ever been on the path of un-forgiveness, envy, jealousy, laziness, procrastination, lust, fornication, adultery, greed, evil desires, or the like? See Colossians 3:5. If we are honest, we’ll admit to at least one of the aforementioned behaviors. Now, how have you responded to the Holy Spirit’s nudging? Have you allowed Him to redirect you, or you are still on the path that will lead you farther away from God? The Word says God’s wrath is coming because of these sins (see Colossians 3:6), and Paul admonishes, “Now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:8-10 NIV84).
Obedience to the Word of God is proof that we love Him! See John 14:23. We cannot claim to love Him while deliberately living in disobedience; if we do, the Bible says we are liars (see 1 John 2:4). Stop doing wrong and return to the path of submission. The Scripture says, “The Father disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as son” (Hebrews 12:6 NIV84). Also, in Revelation, God warns the church in Laodicea, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Revelation 3:19 NIV84). Don’t make Him bring hardship or calamity into your life; He is patient with us, but He loves us too much to sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. Don’t continue to live in sin with the attitude that “God forgives.” It is disrespectful to intentionally do things we know break His heart or offend Him.
No matter where you got off course in your Christian walk, the process to get back on track is the same. When the Spirit convicts you of something, you need to agree with Him, repent, and ask for forgiveness. Don’t stop there; go on and remedy the situation. You might need toapologize to others, return or pay back what you borrowed. In short, you need to make restitution as needed. Let’s allow ourselves to be redirected by the Holy Spirit so we can continue to grow in our Christian walk, and have unbroken fellowship with God. Let’s be attentive, so we don’t miss hearing the Spirit’s alert: “Recalculating.”