Driving Hard On a Dead-End Road
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We'd stopped for gas next to an Interstate that takes you at 75 MPH across long miles of desert. I love the west. That's where I saw the sign: "Dead End - 3 Miles Ahead." I thought, "I wonder if anyone ever said, 'I'm not sure that's true of that old dirt road. I think I'll drive that way and check it out for myself.'" We got back on the Interstate, and of course, I had to see where that other road went. Sure enough, that bumpy road ended three miles later in the middle of nothing in the desert...right next to a road that speeds you to a lot of great destinations.
Why would anyone drive down a road that goes nowhere, especially when there's another road nearby that takes you to some wonderful places? Sadly, people are doing it all the time. Not with their vehicle, but with their life! Maybe because they missed the dead-end sign or they didn't believe it. Someone who's listening right now may be making that very mistake and not even realizing it.
God has put up a sign that warns us to avoid the dead-end streets. In fact, He's written in some big, bold letters. It's posted in our word for today from the Word of God in James 1:14-15. It says: "Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
That's pretty clear. Every sinful choice is a dead-end street. It leaves you dead at the end. Of course, temptation never announces where it's taking you; only the "goodies" that it seems to be offering you. Sin says, "This may be wrong but it will give you love." You go for it, and you end up more lonely or used than loved. Sin says, "Don't worry. This will give your life some excitement!" You go for it, and you end up hating yourself for what you've done. Sin says, "Come on, you'll feel better about yourself." You drive down the road and you end up feeling worse about yourself.
Sin always kills. Always. It kills your self-respect, it kills people's trust in you, it kills your reputation, people you love, your future, your closeness to God. First, sin fascinates you, then it assassinates you. But the road looks so promising that you blow by God's "Dead End" sign.
Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13). What's important is not how nice the road looks but where it's going to take you, and God has made that ironclad clear!
Don't waste any more time on a road that's ultimately going to leave you in the middle of nowhere, even if you can't see that now. God's Word will prove true. When we don't find what we hoped to find on a road we should never be on, we sometimes make a choice that only makes it worse. We decide we need to do more of what already hasn't worked! God says to you, as recorded in Isaiah 48, "I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you...If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea."
Now that sounds like where you'd like to be, doesn't it? Then it's time to turn back from a road you never should have been on in the first place. What's ahead is only disappointment, despair and death. Within your reach is the Jesus-road; the one that leads to life! He's waiting to welcome you, forgive you and then lead you onto the road you were made to be on! Here's the choice you have in God's own words:
"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)