Don’t Go That Way, 2016 Go For It and Follow Wisdom
On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In that game a young man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for UCLA. Picking up the loose ball, and he ran 65 yards toward the goal line. Unfortunately… he had gotten confused… it was the wrong goal line.
One of his teammates Benny Lom ran him down and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team.
From that day on, Roy Riegels was branded “Wrong way” Riegels
There are many people that live their lives that way.
They go the wrong way, because they’ve lost sight of, or never had a goal.
Andy Stanley once noted: “Many people are what you might call directionally challenged; They don’t know where they’re going, They haven’t a goal, They just wander thru life expecting that everything will turn out all right.”
Proverbs 7:1-27NLT Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. 2 Obey my commands and live!Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. 3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family. 5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous (Immoral) woman. 6 While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. 9 It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell.10 The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. 11 She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. 12 She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner.13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. 15 You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! 16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, 19 for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. 20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month.” 21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. 22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. 24 So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. 26 For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims. 27 Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.
Beginning a new year- 2016, remember Proverbs 29:18KJ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Now look with me at Proverbs 8:1-6NLT Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! 2 On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads. 3 By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud, 4 “I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people. 5 You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. 6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, 7 for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception. 8 My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
Again Proverbs 7 teaches us, The foolish man meanders along in places he doesn’t belong, in places he shouldn’t be, because he has no specific direction in life.
By contrast, the wise man has a specific destination. He doesn’t stumble into the harlot’s bedroom because he is pursuing a different kind of woman. He has destination, He has a direction he wants to go.
There are several wisdom directional paths I want to give you this morning.
1. Have a plan, keep purpose as your main focus and priority. (Get off the seat and let Jesus take over.)
Andy Stanley calls this the “Path Principle” He says: “We know that in driving, the direction you are going determines the destination that you arrive at.”
“Too many people don’t know where they’re going.
They’re like that foolish young man in Proverbs 7.”
“They have no specific destination for their lives, so one day, they’ll end up going someplace they’re going to regret.”
Solomon says: Don’t do that. Don’t live your life aimlessly Have a destination… know where you’re going… and do what it takes to get there.
The Lord spoke this word to me, “Grow where you’re planted; stay focused!” 1. Trade school. 2. College. 3. Bible college. 4. A Job- grow!
Galatians 6:7-8TM Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
2. Trust Him where you are.
In other words, “Don’t wait for something to drop out of heaven, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing; If God has another destiny for you, He’ll call you out and show you new purpose and direction. P.H.
“Many desire destiny without paying any price.” P.H.
Ephesians 2:10NLT For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Listen, “You are His workmanship, You were created in Christ Jesus for good works which have already been prepared for you. God has already planned out the direction your life should take. His plan for your life is tailored to your needs and desires.” P.H.
In the same way, God has planned out good things for your life. He’s planned out a direction that He knows you’ll appreciate, enjoy and really excel and thrive.
Thus, if I want the best destination for my life… I should build that destination around God.
In Proverbs 7, Solomon tells about this young man who wanders down by the home of an adulterous woman. This boy establishes a relationship with this loose woman because she likes him. She compliments him. She wants to do things for him, She makes him feel like a man. She’s attractive to him.
Look again at Proverbs 8, “Does not wisdom call out?” “Does not understanding raise her voice?”
You might say, “When should I begin to seek wisdom? Now!”
3. Follow wisdom’s voice until you die
Proverbs 7 again says, Wisdom cries, “Follow my advice, treasure my commands, obey my commands and live, guard my instructions, as you guard your own eyes. Tie them around your fingers, write them upon your heart. Let insight keep you from the affairs of immoral women or other things.
Solomon tells us the same thing in Proverbs 8, God’s wisdom is like a woman out in the street shouting and waving her arms, You can’t miss her!
James 1:5NLT If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Look to God. Ask Him for His insights into your life, and you will gain the wisdom necessary to plan your life properly.
Rick Warren wrote in his book The Purpose Driven Life: “I once got lost in the mountains. When I stopped to ask directions to the campsite, I was told, ‘You can’t get there from here. You must start from the other side of the mountain!”
Listen, In the same way, you cannot arrive at your life’s purpose by starting with a focus on yourself. You must begin with God, your Creator.
Remember this, “You exist only because God wills that you exist.” P.H.
You were made by God and for God - and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end.”
That’s what Paul believed. He wrote it in Philippians 3:13NLT No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
Paul was convinced that nothing else in this life compared with what God had in store for his life, so he left everything else behind and he strained towards God’s destiny.
4. God fixes mix-ups.
What if I’ve made bad decisions? What if I haven’t included God in my plans? What if I’ve messed things up so badly that there doesn’t seem to be any way of fixing them.
God says to His people- Isaiah 44:21-22NLT “Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you. 22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
“God is the God of beginning again; He’s the God of ‘do overs.’ ‘He takes our failures and faults and removes them – replacing them with a clean slate.’ ‘God takes that clean slate and builds His destiny into our lives.” P.H.
Listen again to Proverbs 8:1-8TM Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice? She’s taken her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square where the traffic is thickest, she shouts, “You—I’m talking to all of you, everyone out here on the streets! Listen, you idiots—learn good sense! You blockheads—shape up! Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well, I’m telling you how to live at your best. My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth— I can’t stand the taste of evil! You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth; not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
Hear the rest of the story about wrong way Riegels. Roy had failed his team. They went into the locker room with an 8 point deficit.
Coach Price looked at the team and said, “Men, the same team that played the 1st half will start the second.”
The players got up and started out… all but Riegels.
He didn’t budge. The coach looked back and called to him. Riegels didn’t move.
Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said,
“Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that played the 1st half will start the 2nd.”
Roy Riegels looked up, his cheeks wet with tears.
“Coach,” he said, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined myself, I can’t face the crowd out there.”
Coach Price reached out, put his hand on Riegel’s shoulder and said,
“Roy, get up and go on back. The game is only half over!”
Made mistakes? Get up, it ain't over! “Inquire wisdom, she’s waiting, go for understanding, you will be richly rewarded both now and in eternity!” P.H.