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Return to His Ways

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I love driving. There’s a sense of freedom in going farther and faster than I can on my own steam. I even enjoy driving to the grocery store! I think often of dream family vacations; routes we could take, sights we could see, mileage we could add to our travel log.

In all of that, one thing I don’t think about is my driver’s license ceremony. Yes, there was a ceremony. Not every state does this, but I could not get licensed until I appeared before a judge. It was a solemn occasion. I’m not sure I ever drove with greater care or anxiety than I did going home from City Hall that day!

Even though I hardly ever recall that ceremony and I certainly can’t remember exactly what the judge said, I would not be able to drive today if not for that day. The same can be true for marriage, military service, or even being awarded a ceremonious honor. These occasions are important and even sometimes necessary, but much of what happens afterward does not cause us to relive such events. They’re just entryways through which we exist in a new state.

Sometimes, though, it’s good to return to those entryways.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the same driver now that I was after my licensing ceremony. I’m certainly not careless, but I have far greater comfort and confidence than I did that day. There are positives to this: I don’t drive with the anxiety I used to. I have better reflexes and understanding. But there are times when I don’t observe everything that’s around me. There are times when I’m distracted. During times like that, it would be good to remember how the judge impressed upon us that while driving could be enjoyable and exciting, it was still a great and serious responsibility.

In the book of Deuteronomy, we read how the Israelites finally arrived near the entryway to the Promised Land. Soon they would find enjoyment and excitement in living in towns they did not build and eating crops they did not plant. But before they could exist in that new place, they experienced a solemn ceremony. Toward the end of it, Moses said this:

“Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly. You have declared today that the Lord is your God. And you have promised to walk in his ways, and to obey his decrees, commands, and regulations, and to do everything he tells you.” (Deuteronomy 26:16-17 NLT)

In the time following that ceremony, the Israelites conducted themselves probably with greater care than they did before or since. But as the years rolled on, they got lost. They did not clearly observe everything around them. They were distracted. So prophets were sent with directions to return Israelites to the entryway of their declaration that the Lord alone is God.

On the straight and narrow road paved by Jesus, we now live in the new state of redemption. And what freedom and love we enjoy there, especially the more miles we log! We have more comfort with the Spirit; we have more confidence in speaking to and about God, and less anxiety about “Am I doing this right?”

But if we grow unobservant or distracted or unsure where to go, Paul gives us directions that hearken back to our first declaration of faith:

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

Those witnesses are on this road with us. And through our witness, many can do a U-turn and join us, too.


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. 

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About The Author

Ben Ledger

Ben has worked at CBN since 2014. He's the sort who will watch historical or geographical videos just for fun. He especially enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three young boys.

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