February 11 I Monday
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.” —Psalm 119:1
When we stray off course from God, it is rarely by leaps and bounds at a time. More often, it is a gradual
shift away from what is right that we hardly notice as it is happening.
If we were sailing and were to chart a course just one compass degree off, after travelling 100 yards, we would be only 5.2 feet off course. This is a small enough difference that we may not even realize we had gone off course, but the further we travel, the more obvious our wrong heading would become. After a mile, we would be off course by 92.2 feet. If we were to travel cross-continent in a straight line from San Francisco to Washington D.C., we would end up 42.6 miles off course. If we were to circumnavigate the globe, we would end up 435 miles off course. And if we were to travel by rocket to the moon but mischarted our course by one degree, we would end up 4,169 miles off course and miss the moon entirely!
We see this danger of gradually moving off course in many areas of life. Politically, we may not recognize the consequences of a judicial decision or new law until years down the road, and by then, we may have become so desensitized to the issue that we no longer notice it is wrong. For example, abortion was once almost universally condemned, but it is now commonplace in many countries.
In our walks with God, it is just as easy to drift off course by going through the motions as it is by too great a concern with the practicalities of life. When we do not keep our minds fixed on Christ, we can quickly lose our way in the Christian life. No one makes the decision to give up on their faith overnight. It is the culmination of little temptations, little doubts and little compromises that build over time. By the time they realize how far off course they are, they might assume God would never accept them back. Rather than seek His help in reorienting their course, some give up.
But thanks be to God, He never gives up on us. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” As believers, when we stray off course, it is the role of the Holy Spirit to prod us back on track. This may involve discipline and will almost certainly take time, but when we hear and obey His voice, He will direct our course.
Prayer: Gracious God, reveal to me anywhere I have gone off course from You and Your will. Thank You that You are always ready to guide us back in the right direction.