Living in a large city has a lot of advantages, but it does come at a price… traffic! That means that I have to use my GPS a lot. Even when I know where I’m going, I often plug my unit in just to make sure I don’t need to take an alternate route to avoid an unforeseen traffic tangle. And though it has been ‘generally’ reliable, not too long ago I decided it was time to finally heed the persistent reminder that said it was time for a map update.
But after I finished the download and plugged my unit in again, I realized that along with the updated maps came a new warning feature. Whenever I exceeded the posted speed limit, the number indicating my current speed flashed red. This new function quickly became distracting, and eventually annoying, as my attention was frequently drawn to the pulsating red section of the screen whenever I was even going one mile over the legal limit.
But you know, that upgrade was installed a few months ago and the ‘red light’ doesn’t bother me anymore. What was once highly noticeable and even irritating, no longer even registers.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. – Hebrews 4:7
You know, when believers exceed the limits of God’s laws, the Holy Spirit sends a warning signal called conviction. That prick in our spirits alerts us that we’re speeding into in a dangerous situation. But rather than acknowledge our error and reduce speed or change our course, unfortunately, our tendency is to continue at the pace we’re going and treat the Spirit’s warnings in a similar fashion as I did with the alert on my GPS. But when we repeatedly ignore His warnings and press forward, we’ll eventually find ourselves unmoved by His promptings at all.
That’s why we need to pay close attention when God speaks and throttle back on our pursuit of worldly pleasures and self-centered desires. Because how we respond to truth will map the course -and ultimate destination- of our lives, both now and eternally.
So… next time you are tempted to write that angry email, invite an unhealthy relationship, choose an edgy book or movie, or fold your arms in unforgiveness, remember, that even if others are recklessly speeding ahead, it’s always wise to slow down and heed the Spirit’s warning signal. God has a better way and will redirect you around potential hazards, if you will listen and obey.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ~ Isaiah 30:21