Seriously? Just Stop

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He had no idea that he was moving in a dangerous direction. The cute, little box turtle was just trying to get where he was going. Doing what turtles do. Thinking what turtles think. The fact that he was crossing a busy road that is paved for fast moving cars, not slow crawling reptiles, wouldn’t have even entered his tiny turtle brain.

I’m a fan of turtles. Always have been.

Maybe it’s because they look tough on the outside, but are really softies on the inside.

Maybe it’s because they seem shy and vulnerable when they retreat into their shells and pretend that nobody’s home.

Maybe it’s because for a brief time as a kid I had a pet turtle named Raspberry… because I found him when I was picking raspberries. {I’m a clever pet-namer.} Not sure that there’s one reason in particular, but I do like turtles.

And I had to do something.

If I didn’t help him out, there was a high chance that his field trip to the people pavement would’ve ended disastrously. I cared about his cute, little shelled-self so I quickly, and safely, pulled over to the side of the road and intervened. He wasn’t able to see the danger of his actions, so I picked him up and moved him to a safe place… to the grass near the swampy area.

In the days of the early church a man named Saul was full of murderous threats and was moving in the wrong direction. Like my turtle friend, he had no idea. Saul, a Pharisee, sincerely thought he was doing the right things, acting the right ways, and following the right rules. But he wasn’t. His behaviors and convictions were actually opposed to the very God he believed that he was representing and defending.

So the Lord intervened one day as Saul walked along a road in Damascus.

He on his way to arrest some people who didn’t believe as he believed (Acts 9:2), and Saul couldn’t see the danger of what he was doing. So Jesus paid him an illuminating visit that struck him blind to help him know and see the truth.

To save him.

To reroute his wrong ways and point him in the direction of life.

Saul’s personal encounter with Jesus changed him.

All of him.

Even his name! (Which was eventually changed from Saul to Paul.)

From the time of his rerouting, Saul humbled himself before the Lord and worked hard to go where God wanted him to go. From that day one, he helped reroute other wandering hearts toward the salvation and hope of Jesus Christ.

One of the evidences that someone has a genuine relationship with the Lord is the willingness to search their heart and ask God to show them what needs changed. (Brace yourself. It’s about to get personal here.) Sometimes in life we can move in the wrong direction, away from the will of God, and not even realize it.

You might be blinded by an anger that you feel justified hanging onto.

Perhaps you think that flirting with that guy on social media isn’t hurting anyone.

Maybe you need rerouted from unhealthy eating patterns, addictions, insecurities, or maxed out anxieties.

In any case, Jesus wants to reroute every wrong way and move you to the safest place, the BEST place: the center of God’s will.

Dear Lord,
Please show me the ways that my heart needs rerouted and give me the courage, desire, and determination to move in the direction that you lead.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

READ the story of Paul’s conversion: Acts 9:1-19. Might there be a way that God wants to reroute your heart today? Spend some time in prayer and ask Him to help you see His will clearly. Then move in that direction.

NEED PRAYER? Visit my blog community and share your prayer needs in the comments section. Then pause to pray for the needs of others that have posted.

Hugs and love to you, friend!

GWEN


PS. If you want to read and study the Bible this summer, but at your own pace, then this is for you! I have several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.

These inductive studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.


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Comments 8

  1. I need prayer for strength, courage, determination to become humble at the Lord’s feet and have God change all the emotional hurt that I have dealt with for so long. I pray for healing of my brokenness and especially the grief over losing my Mom recently.

  2. Hi Gwen!

    This morning I was careful to avoid a sweet little turtle crossing the road. When my children were littler, we would stop and relocate turtles all the time. 🙂 Happy memories.

    What really caught my attention was your comment on Paul rescuing many. I want to be a helper, to rescue. I realized, as I was asking God to help me be more of a rescuer that the reason I am not as much of a rescuer as I want to be is because I’m confusing a humble and contrite spirit with feelings of inadequacy. Humble really means to have a realistic view of who you are, not to be puffed up in your own importance. Believing yourself to be more important than you are would be pride. Or, a different type of pride would be to judge what God has made and declared acceptable as not acceptable. Feelings of inadequacy could have been placed upon a person by someone else, but unless that person internalizes them, and believes them to be true, they can’t have an impact on that person. Or, a person can believe they are inadequate just because they don’t think they are. Regardless of the reason why a person believes they are inadequate, the solution is to recognize God’s value of you. Then, that person recognize’s because of Jesus, and with God’s help, I am adequate. God is good! May He be glorified in my life today.

  3. Prayers for immediate family, meeting next week and my heart is asking for all involved to have kind words, forgiving hearts and agreement to put past behind. This will be a miracle Lord, but I come to you with deep faith.

  4. HI,

    Lately I think I’m becoming a monster mom. I don’t like if my child.is going very close to my sis or her hubby. I feel insecure that he would love me less.

    I start shouting at him and hitting him. I don’t know what happens to me. Can u help me pls

    1. Post
      Author

      Holy Father, You are good, faithful, compassionate and loving. Thank you for grace that meets us in our failures and fears. Please cover Mohini with the courage to move forward in forgiveness and adjust her ways according to your will. Guide her to freedom and joy and help her to choose a better way with her family as your Spirit works within her. In Jesus’ name, amen.

      Take a step of faith in a new direction toward His heart today, Mohini. Talk with a friend who will pray with you.

      Love to you, friend.

    2. Praying so much. You are not a a terrible mother. God sees you through grace and love. God bless. Fear is a liar. Listen to this song.

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