Summary: To help the believer naviagate through life safely by paying attention to the "road signs" God lays out in his word.
God’s road signs Part 3 Jeremiah 31:21-22
This week we have been talking about signs. The 70s singing group, The Five Man Electrical Band were prophetic when they sang,
Signs, Signs, everywhere there’s signs
Because signs are everywhere. I walked around my church last Saturday afternoon…and you know what I found? Our church contains 93 signs. 93!! We have signs telling you how to get to restrooms on each floor of our church…and which rest rooms are the men’s and which are the ladies’. We have signs indicating visitor parking spots….handicapped parking spots…two lighted church signs… and a sign advertising our year round VBS type Bible school for kids. We have a sign for our nursery…a sign for our clothes closet…and signs for each room we use for cancer, infertility and finance support groups. We have exit signs…fire door signs…emergency exit signs…and even signs showing where each classroom should go in the event of a fire or tornado. We have a sign for the church office…a sign for my personal office…and a sign for the janitor’s and the trustee room where we keep all the church tools. Every room in our church has a sign with a room number. We have “please be quiet” and “knock before entering” signs at our nursery door…signs showing the location of fire extinguishers and telephones. In our small church in Pekin, signs seem to be hanging everywhere.
And that is true of most public places we go to. Think of all the signs that hang in Walmart…or in your school. Think about the hundreds and hundreds of signs on this campus…providing you with information or direction with just a glance. I’m convinced, we life would not only be more complicated but also more frustrating, if there were no signs.
This week we have been talking about the road signs God gives us in life to keep us on “the straight and narrow path” of following Him. Throughout the Old Testament, the nation of Israel had wandered away from God. And God told them through the prophet Jeremiah
"Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns. 22 How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?…(Jeremiah 31:21-22a)
One of the best ways in life not to get lost driving is to pay attention to and follow the road signs. And in the same way, one of the best ways to keep from wandering away from God is to heed the road signs He places in His word.
Now we have talked this week about heeding God’s STOP signs (post Stop sign) by controlling our tongue and repenting of sinful actions. We have talked about obeying God’s YIELD signs (post Yield sign) and yielding to His will and the working of the Holy Spirit in our life…as well as God’s MERGE sign (post MERGE RIGHT sign) and surrendering our wants so we can merge with God’s will.
And we have talked about being alert to and beware of those things that cause us to (post a Beware of falling objects sign) turn from God and slide into sinfulness. And we have mentioned the importance of slowing down in life (post Slow sign), so we can not only wait on God but also minister to those who God puts in our path. God wants us to realize that the needs of people are important to Him…and must be more important to us. And yesterday we also talked about The One Way sign (post a one way directional sign)…that there is only one way to salvation and abundant life…and that is through Jesus Christ.
And tonight (post Jeremiah 31:21-22a) I want you to take note of three more road signs you need to follow to prevent spiritual wandering in your own life. And the first is this
I. THE KEEP RIGHT SIGN.
(post a keep right directional sign)
It is one thing to “get right” with God through Jesus Christ. It is quite another thing to “keep right”. In fact, it is harder to keep right. That’s the frontline, where the battle of the flesh and the spirit wages. But we need to understand that “keep right” in your walk with God and before the eyes of the world is more important than you will ever realize. It is what keeps us “salty” and our light shining. And it only takes one or two slips for our witness to be neutralized before others.
As a pastor I hear people talk about the “hypocrites” down at the church. In the eyes of many people, all they see are our faults, which can be frustrating. We all know none of us are ever going to be perfect this side of heaven. We all sin and still fall short of God’s glory. But we can’t use that to develop a Brittany Spears approach to our failures and sin. You know what a Brittany Spears approach to our failures and sin is?