Summary: This is the second of a four part series on encouraging students to seek God during the summer vacation.
Text: "Come, follow me," Jesus said. Matthew 4.19
Summer Vacation. Taking trips. Doing fun things. Enjoying friendships. The motive for this series is that even though we have a summer vacation, we do not get a spiritual vacation. We feel strongly that you should take this season of time and focus on what the Lord wants to do with you and where he wants to take you. Tonight we are talking about E.T.A., not estimated time of arrive, but using that as an acronym for our trip to where God wants to take us.
Illustration: I have 3 buddies headed this way tonight for a few days with us from Orlando. They are wondering what is their ETA? How are they going to get here?
I know that each young person can arrive at the appointed destination with God by adhering to a few insights.
1. Expect Distractions: “And I am distracted at the noise of the enemy” Psalm 55.3
When you begin this journey with God you are going to discover there distractions all around.
Watch the movie clip: Planes, Trains, Automobiles
The distractions begin in two areas:
a. From without: Mark 4.19, “Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
Hebrews 12.2, “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].”
You need to be mentally prepared for the distractions that will come against you. Recognize that they either come from without (outside or ourselves) or they come from
b. Within: Luke 10.40, “But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!”
If one prepares for the uncertainties of the journey then you are prepared mentally, spiritually and in other ways to handle it. You need to know that there are times that we cause ourselves to get distracted. We at times lose focus of what is important to the Lord. When we lost focus we need to adhere to our second insight.
2. Turn to the map: “When direction from the LORD is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will determine the LORD’s will by means of sacred lots.” Numbers 27.21
When the Israelites needed direction they sought the man of God. Well the bible tells us that Jesus is the current and living way to God. You don’t need to go to a priest any longer, but you go to God yourself. Often times we turn to God by turning to his word. The book is living and active. It is not dead and stationary, it is living and active. Which means it will work it’s way into our thinking and into our attitudes.
There are times when you are driving that you get lost and need directions and often times it’s the map that we should look to. When Darlene and I planned to moved here, we plotted our journey. We looked at the map to see what was the route we were going to take. If we got lost, we would look at the map rather than guess and try to make it ourselves. If we traveled towards our destinations the way we travel spiritually, we would never make it. You are not going to aimlessly discover all that God has for you, you need direction and guidance.
“I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your statutes.” Psalm 119.59
“So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors.” Proverbs 24.6
I would like all of our leaders to stand. These are voices of direction for your life and people who will agree with you in God’s word for the direction of your life to be known. Seek the Lord about direction. He will give it to you. Turn to the map of God’s word and thirdly
3. Arrive Safely: “He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” 2 Sam. 22.20
If you follow God you will arrive safely in the destiny that God has for you.
Sister Taylor took out her Bible and decided she would let the Lord show her the specific verse she needed for the day. She closed her eyes, opened her Bible, and placed her finger on a verse. Opening her eyes, she read, "So Judas went away and hanged himself." She quickly closed the Bible again, and, shutting her eyes, she flipped through its pages, and once again put her finger on the specific spot. This time she was disappointed to read, "Go and do likewise." But sister Taylor was unfazed. A THIRD time, she followed the same procedure. This time she read: "What you are about to do, do quickly!"