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June 9, 2008

Back on Track with God

If you stop and think about the Thessalonians, they were mentally busy people. They became very discouraged over the words of false teachers, and on top of this, many of them stopped working. They had bought into a pack of lies. In essence, the began to live the opposite of the way God had called them to live; and just as importantly, in opposition to the truth the apostle Paul had taught them.

These believers started out believing that Christ’s return was imminent. They took Paul’s teaching about the second coming literally as they should have done, but they forgot one thing: God had a plan. They became discontented and self-centered in their thinking. They drifted in their faith, which gave the enemy easy access to their lives. It takes real faith to stay the course, especially when little changes over a long period of time. If you are not careful, you can be tempted to think that God has forgotten you or worse, that He does not care how you live your life. Nothing is farther from the truth, as these New Testament believers learned.

How do you avoid detours? You begin by

• Setting a goal to keep the focus of your heart and mind firmly on Christ and His plan for your life. Remember, God is always at work. You may not see what He is doing, but He is never stagnate. His timing will probably be different than yours and certainly different than what He has for someone else.

• Avoid listening to gossip and chatter because it clutters your life with evil, doubt, and envy. The enemy loves to talk endlessly about things that lead to discouragement, discontentment, and destruction. He knows exactly what to whisper to your mind in an attempt to draw you aside and away from the course God has given you to travel. Don’t fall for His advances. When God sounds the alarm or instructs you to turn a certain way, heed His warning and flee the enemy’s entrapment.

• Keep your heart tuned to the Lord’s instruction by reading His Word every morning. Evelyn Forrest began her days with an open Bible and a journal. God was the One who directed her days and her future. There were many occasions for discouragement, but she did not take Satan’s bait because she knew who was leading her. And she knew He had a marvelous plan for her life—one that would outlast anything she valued at the moment.

• Make a commitment to do the work that you have been given to do. The apostle Paul admonished the Thessalonians to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11). When you do what God has called you to do—fully focused on His work and not on your own desires—then you will be amazed at all you accomplish. Plus, you will stand in wonder over the simple peace and joy that fill your heart.

• Never forget His personal promise to you. Paul writes, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). What is the “it” in your life? One thing is for sure; whatever “it” is, God will do it in His timing and according to His will for your life. Trust Him, and you will be overwhelmed at what He does in your life.

(Taken from the on-line devotional book Grace in The Wilderness © 2008