That Familiar Strip of Road

This is one of the posts from a series I did a couple of years ago called “31 Days to a Planted Mind.” Within the next month or so, it’s going to be published as an e-book Bible study and I wanted to give you all a little taste of what’s inside. This particular post is a reminder of how important it is for us to let God’s word be constantly fresh in our lives. Hope it speaks to you as it did to me this morning…

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Several months ago I got a speeding ticket. In a school zone. Ouch.

I was just minding my own business driving along a very familiar strip of road, when all of a sudden I saw a state patrolman coming up behind me in the rear view mirror. With his lights flashing. As I tried to find a place to pull over, my mind raced. I had no idea what I had done wrong!

By the time I pulled over and waited for him, I was distraught… tears streaming down my face. See, I don’t like to break rules. I don’t like to get in trouble. I’m a perfectionist.

Apparently I had been going 47 in a 35, without realizing it. The school zone was still in effect, even though all I noticed was that the kids were in school and there were hardly any cars on the road. I was in shock and proceeded to tell him that it was an honest mistake. That I had no idea it was still school zone time. I tried to think back and remember if I had seen flashing yellow lights. Hmmm… couldn’t remember. As I tried to plead my case, I accepted the truth that I was, in fact, going to get a ticket. Since the sign was there, I couldn’t plead ignorance. But the sign… it had become just another part of the scenery to me.

It’s like that with our walk as Christ-followers, isn’t it? He’s given us this big book that tells us how He wants us to live. And it’s not just a big book of rules, my friends. God wrote the Bible out of pure, unquestionable, unchangeable, unconditional LOVE for us! We cannot claim ignorance when we sin. It’s right there in black and white! Unfortunately, the Bible can become that familiar strip of road to us. We take it to church. We have one on a shelf (or two or three). We talk about it. But do we really know the Bible and do more with it than just let it become a part of the scenery?

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:1-11

Jesus tells us that we can do NOTHING apart from Him. He is THE true vine. We can’t begin to {unconsciously} think so highly of ourselves that we dismiss the need to be in the Word constantly. We’ve got to stay connected. And we can’t let Christianity and the Bible and our Christian bubble become so “familiar” that we think we don’t need to be consuming ourselves daily in prayer and study. There is always something new to learn from the Bible. We never arrive at our perfect Christian selves. God is always there ready to teach us something new if we will let Him be more than just part of the scenery. So my prayer is that we will not let the Bible {or our Christianity} become that familiar strip of road. I pray that we will always be seeking to allow God to guide our steps… and our thoughts.

To Make You Think:

  1. Are you guilty of allowing the Bible to become just a part of the scenery in your life?
  2. Do you spend time every day with Christ? If not, do you now recognize a need to keep that relationship in constant connection?
  3. Do you see how this fits in with our “too big” thinking? We can get to a point where we {unconsciously} think we don’t need God in our everyday lives.

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