Summary: Signs along the highway point our practical spiritual truths we should apply to our lives. This three week series uses several signs to guide believers on their spiritual journey through life.
Lanier Christian Church
September 4, 2016
Signs of Life: A Highway for our God
Lanier Christian Church is located on the busiest highway in all of Hall County. In fact it is one of the most traveled roads in all of Northeast Georgia. Over 25,000 cars travel Dawsonville highway every day. (Gainesville Times – 10/30/15) You counted in that number as you drove to church today.
In this three week series entitled “Signs of Life,” I want to share with you messages based on signs we see everyday as we travel the roads of our community. I see this Dawsonville Highway sign every day when I leave my neighborhood. It is a well traveled road to say the least. This sign reminds me that the Bible speaks of a highway, a popular one, a needed one, an essential one. Let’s read:
Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
This was originally written as a comfort to God’s people held in captivity for 70 years in Babylon. They would soon be freed and allowed to return home to Jerusalem. There was a vast desert area and wilderness to trek through on their way home. Someone needed to prepare the way. When kings traveled from one region to another it was a big deal. They would often have men go ahead of the royal procession to prepare a highway – an elevated road bed – to make the way smoother. This involved filling in valleys and lowering hilltops. Crossing rivers and going across mountains.
We find analogies in the Bible that liken our lives to soft hearts, fertile ground, Olympic athletes, grazing sheep and so forth. Today I want us to see our lives like that of a highway. We must prepare the way…the highway of our lives…so that God can lead us through life. So let’s begin today recognizing this truth.
As we travel through life, choose the straight way over the crooked one.
The easiest roads to build are always the straight ones. The easiest to travel are always the straight ones. The straight highways are the fastest. They are the ones where you can see clearer, and you can easily pass a slow driver. The curved roads, such as those in the mountains, slow you down.
Now understand, we are preparing the highway of our lives for God. It’s about Him, not about us. And the more stable and consistent our lives are, the more He can accomplish in and through us. The problem occurs when we throw a curve in there, sometimes several. It’s easier to grow a crop if the ground is fertile and free of weeds, it’s easier to win a race, if you’re not weighed down, and it’s easier for God to work in us if we don’t throw curves at him, if we don’t make the way crooked.
Curves are when we choose a different way. Curves are when we think we know better. Curves are when we are distracted by the evil one and listen to him rather than God. Curves are what happen when we lose our focus. Curves are what happen when we choose to go around an obstacle instead of remove it.
In fact, this phrase here in Isaiah – “make straight in the desert a highway for our God” can also be translated, “make smooth.” So, let’s apply this to our lives as well.
As we travel through life, choose the smooth way over the rough way.
Originally, Dawsonville Highway was a dirt road. It was a way to travel between Dawsonville and Gainesville. It was not a smooth road. Heavy rains created ruts and pot holes, and the way became more rough. Eventually the road was paved and the highway became much smoother to travel. However, for many years the Lanier Bridge, just below the church, was a metal grid bridge. It was not paved. So, when you traveled you heard the roar of tire and metal grating as you crossed the bridge. It was only in the late 1980’s that the bridge was paved over.
Imagine driving every day over ruts and pot holes and noise filled surfaces! It would certainly slow you down and it would cause great frustration. Yet, that is exactly what we do to God when he wants to do a great work in and through our lives. We often make the way hard for him. It is sometimes not a smooth way that we prepare for him, but a challenging one filled with the pot holes of sin, the ruts of our stubbornness and the noise of our distractions.