If I got on a plane going to Chicago and the directional instruments on that plane were off by say, 10 degrees, instead of arriving in Chicago I would arrive in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I would be 400 miles off course.
The further we go in life with our radar off, the further we can get away from where God may truly want us to be.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:15 “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man.”
1 Corinthians 11:28-29 “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.”
As Christians we need to constantly examine our lives and make sure it is subject to the leading of the Word of God. We need to have a time when we sit back and review. We need to think about the original vision that God gave us and see how far off we are. What did we do early on that we’re not doing and why aren’t we doing those things anymore?
Professional athletes watch tape before and after the games. Why? Because they get a better perspective. They can see things that they can’t see during the game. Sometimes when we are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of life it’s hard for us to see where we might be missing it.
When we don’t review we can find ourselves falling into slumps.
When a player gets into a hitting slump in baseball more often than not, it is because they have changed something about their swing that they didn’t know they had changed. When they go back and compare the footage from old at-bats, they can see what has changed and then they can correct it.
Some change is good. A growing church is going to go through changes. As we have children, life changes. Jobs change. Schedules change. Change isn’t bad, but we have to continue to make sure in the midst of these changes our fundamental principles of success haven’t changed.
Are there things that are 10 degrees off in your marriage? In your parenting? In your walk with God? What is 10 degrees off to you?
Think back to the beginning of your walk with God. What did you used to do that your not doing anymore? And why aren’t you doing them? Is it for the right reasons?
These 10 degree changes aren’t always noticeable until we reach our destination. I for one don’t want to get to my destination (heaven) and find out that even though my ministry and my marriage was successful by man’s standards, it was off from where God wanted it to be.
It’s easy to tell when you are way off. Churches and people who are turned 180 degrees away from God are easy to spot. It’s a lot harder to spot it when you’re just a little off.
There is one solitary up-side to being turned 180 degrees from God, You are totally backward. Why is this a good thing? Because it is easy to tell when you are going backward.
When you’re sailing in the wrong direction and you know it, the stars tell you. The waves push at you in vain and your sins mock you. It is so incredibly difficult to shake loose of those things, to turn around, but you know in your heart. You know you are going wrong, You know you can’t turn this rudder of the ship by yourself, and that is when you turn to God for forgiveness… because you are not strong enough to turn the thing around alone.
But what about those at 10 degrees?
There is a James Bond movie in which the villains steal a digital encoder, which looks much like a nice pen set box. The trick of this encoder is that it can send a ship slowly off-course… very slowly. In the movie, by slightly shifting the degree reading of the ship, it gradually headed off-course, wound up in the South China Sea and bad stuff ensued.
The ship, mind you, was not sent reeling off-course. It was slow… Gradual. One degree at a time. So insignificant that the crew didn’t even know how far gone they actually were.
This is us at 10 degrees. The problem is that in my experience 10 degrees doesn’t stay 10 degrees. If you keep sailing at 10 it will gradually become 20, or 30. It will be such a slow shift you won’t even notice. It will be in the little things, things that slip by your net.
In your life today I believe God is saying, “Please, just let Me show you the compass,”
Truthfully, we won’t ever be right on path… because we can’t be perfect. But we can’t ever get comfortable with our heading, otherwise we’ll lose our way.
Mind the compass, and keep a weather eye.