“Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.” – Proverbs 4:25-27 (TPT)
One of the frequent sights after Hurricane Michael was traffic regularly coming to a standstill, utility trucks blocking roads, and spray-painted pieces of plywood standing in for missing street signs. Roads were overloaded with people who were trying to get home to assess the damage. You basically had big city traffic jams. Looking ahead to a line of cars stretching to the horizon was frustrating. There was nothing else to do but slowly make your way toward the horizon because the only way to get to where you want to go is to keep traveling the road immediately in front of you.
That is a metaphor for real change in your spiritual life. Transformation/change happens when we keep our eyes on the road ahead, if we do then we will get to where we want to go. C.S. Lewis said, “A glimpse of the road immediately ahead of you is more useful and important than a view of the horizon.” Sometimes we spend so much time wondering about God’s horizon for us and not paying much attention to the road we are on. Look at it this way: being godly is our ultimate goal for this year and through this decade. But transformation, becoming godly is the road that lies immediately before us.
Transformation rarely happens overnight. It involves training, testing, and time. There are no shortcuts. We hear of people being dramatically delivered from drug or alcohol addiction, so we think to ourselves, “why doesn’t God do that for me? Why do I have to struggle with my negative circumstances?” God does grant instantaneous victory, but more often He leads us through a process that requires us to stay the course that leads to where He wants us to go.
The enemy will do anything he can to keep you from putting one foot in front of the other to climb the mountain of spiritual progress. He’ll try to convince you that the changes that the Lord is asking you to make are too difficult, will not make you happy, and you’ll wind up a failure.
God is committed to winning and developing the hearts of His people. Through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and with support from our small groups, our church would become more mature, more Christlike, and further along in our purpose 10 years from now. My prayer is the same for you: that in the next decade, you would grow in spiritual maturity and Christlikeness and purpose.
- Do you have your eyes more on the horizon or on the road ahead? Why?
- What can focusing on the road ahead help us in our walk with God in both the short- and long-term?