I was driving along the road in my noisy ’62 VW Bug with my seatbelt on, calling a friend on my hands-free phone. After a few rings, he picked it up, but as soon as I said “Hello,” I heard a sound like a siren going off.
“Oh, I’m sorry, it’s my car alarm,” explained my friend. “I didn’t put my seatbelt on.”
A few seconds later the alarm stopped—after he had buckled up. When our conversation ended, I reflected on the incident.
This is interesting, I thought to myself. That alarm made my friend realize that he didn’t have his seatbelt on. What about my Bug? It’s so old it doesn’t have an alarm system to warn me.
And then I thought back to long ago when I would drive without a seatbelt—until God finally sounded the alarm. Yes, I knew the law, but I ignored it, because I thought nobody would notice, and after all, what policeman would want to stop a slow–moving old Bug?
But one day, after I had talked at length about a well-known Christian singer who died in a plane crash because he had overloaded his airplane, it dawned on me that I, too, was violating safety regulations. I suddenly realized that I should have obeyed the law. I quickly told the Lord that I was sorry and that from then on I would wear my seatbelt.
I am very sure the Lord must have tried several times to talk to me before, but I was not listening. This time He not only talked to me, but also convicted me that I was wrong to risk being seriously injured or even killed in a car wreck.
A Dangerous Road
My dear friend, perhaps you have a car that sounds an alarm when you drive off without putting on your seatbelt. But what about the other areas of your life—your personal walk with God, marriage, relationships with others, financial dealings, conduct, speech, purity and faithfulness?
There are no audible sirens that will automatically come on when we head in a wrong direction or ignore God’s laws and safety measures that we know from the Bible.
However, even though we know these things, for one reason or another, we choose to ignore them. And we coast along just fine—or so we think. Oh yes, here and there we see a few warning signs, but we conveniently decide to disregard them. We like to feel that we are in control.
It’s a dangerous road to travel on, convincing ourselves that we know better than God, that we are stronger, holier and smarter than anyone else and that therefore we don’t need to heed God’s safety measures.
I can assure you that we are headed toward a sure crash if we keep ignoring the warning signs God sends to us either through Scripture, other believers or the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart.
Giving an Account for Our Generation
Heeding such warning signs applies not only to our personal walk with God, but also to our calling as the Body of Christ in this world. We are called to be salt and light, to set our mind on the things above and not on the things of this world, and to take the Good News to the ends of the earth.
How seriously are you taking your calling? Let’s look at a few questions.
When was the last time you fasted and prayed a few days—not for your own needs, but for those who have never experienced God’s love personally? When was it that you sacrificed your comfort, resources and plans so others could hear the Good News?
What kinds of teaching do you listen to? Is it how to have a more comfortable life and increasing wealth in the here-and-now, or is it how to become a grain of wheat and die so that others may live?
My dear friend, are we waiting for the sirens of war, terrorism and economic crisis to go off before we wake up and get serious about picking up our cross and following Jesus?
If, as members of the Body of Christ, we don’t heed the warning signs, we will one day stand before the throne of God to give an account for why so many in our generation never received the hope they were waiting for.
The history of the people of Israel is given to us as instruction and warning. After crossing the Jordan River, they took possession of their promised land, with God fighting their battles. He told them that this land would be theirs forever if they obeyed His Word. But very soon the people drifted away from God’s instructions and did their own thing.
God in His mercy sent prophet after prophet to warn them and to keep them from losing their lives and land. However, they ignored all His warnings until they finally lost everything and were taken away into captivity.
Dear God, open our eyes, ears and hearts to the warning signs all around us and help us to heed the alarms that are already going off.