This weekend we broke open the tragic story of Rehoboam, a man who listened to the wrong advice (1 Kings 12). We talked about the reality that we all face choices, forks in the road of life, and it really helps to ask for advice and know who to listen to.
We talked about asking God to help us understand our own motivations. Are we seeking to build our own kingdoms, or God’s Kingdom? We talked about seeking the advice of others, those who will tell us the truth we need to hear and not just what we want to hear. And we talked about slowing down enough to listen to the still, small voice of God. Because the Spirit of God dwells in us the answers we seek are already within, but most of us don’t take the time to slow down, breath, and listen. Listening to the right advice can bless our lives. And as the story of Rehoboam teaches us, listening to the wrong advice can have tragic consequences.
But what happens when we make the wrong choices? Not “if” but “when”! What happens when we listen to the wrong advice? What happens when we take the wrong road? Sin has consequences. There are often natural consequences to our actions and decisions. But God is still on the journey with us. God never leaves our side. When we come to a fork in the road of life and take the wrong path God doesn’t stand at the fork, arms crossed, brow knitted, toe impatiently tapping and waiting for us to come to our senses. God goes with us. God’s Spirit nudges us toward the right path again through our conscience, circumstances and other faithful travelers. God forgives us for our failures and teaches us through the detours of life. In fact much like driving, some of the best lessons of life are discovered on detours we didn’t expect.
I like to think of God like my GPS. When I make a wrong turn my GPS doesn’t blurt out, “What an idiot. When you figure it out and get back on the right road we’ll pick up where we left off!” My GPS goes with me and gently says, “Rerouting” and nudges me back onto the right path. For someone as directionally challenged as I am, both on the road and on the road of life, that’s really good news!
How might the Spirit of God be rerouting you today? Slow down, breath and listen.
Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN.