“The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.” Proverbs 14:16 NLT
On a road trip, how many road signs does one follow to ensure they reach their arrival safely? Some road signs caution people of icy bridges. Others warn them to “stop”, “yield”, “merge”, “pass with care” and set speed limits according to the type of road one is traveling on. There are very obvious road signs like “Do Not Enter”, “Road Closed” or even “Detour” that when followed definitely ensure our safety.
What happens when we don’t obey these road signs? What happens when we fail to stop, yield, merge, pass with care or obey the speed limits? What happens if we go the wrong way or travel down a road that’s under construction? What happens when we drive recklessly? We get into a wreck injuring/killing ourselves and possibly others. We damage our vehicles and inanimate objects all because we chose to ignore the signs that would ensure our safety and the safety of others.
There are road signs in life too. They’re not as obvious or apparent though. There are no neon blink signs navigating our decision making process but just like on a road trip, if we obey the warning signs, we make wise decisions and reach our life destination unscathed. If we ignore them, we become reckless like the fool in Proverbs 14.
If life’s road signs aren’t visible, how do we know what they are? We need to crack open God’s word and study it. It’s filled with wisdom and warning signs that are created to protect us from all harm. Those warning signs include protecting our bodies (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), protecting our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), and protecting our minds (2 Corinthians 10:5). We can also seek out godly advice from spiritual leaders and to always pray for God’s direction and discernment.
But what if we choose to ignore God’s warning signs? Our lives end up in a wreck. Some reckless choices to our bodies include being overweight and having serious life threatening health issues. They can also include unwanted pregnancies, STD’s and soul ties from premarital sex. Addictions arise from failure to make wise choices and protect our bodies. Reckless damage to our hearts can include brokenness and a hardening because we pursued an abusive or dead-end relationship that God would never have chosen for us or from being unequally yoked to a unbeliever. Failure to protect our minds can result in wrong thinking, believing the enemy’s lies, and creating fantasies of how life and relationships should be. Whatever the reckless choice is, you can be sure you will experience a reckless consequence.
Thank God we have a Savior who can turn our recklessness into a life that is “wreck-less” IF we heed to His word. God promises us time and again that we are to fear nothing because He is with us and He goes before us. He also promises that if we need wisdom we should ask and He will give it. (James 1:5) He used many examples through the lives of the Israelites that if they obeyed His “road signs” they would inherit an abundant life and dwell in the promise land. He repeatedly gives examples in His word of how He redeemed some of the Bible Greats from recklessness and made them wreck-less instead.
When Adam and Eve made a reckless choice in paradise, one their consequences was banishment from the Garden of Eden. But God didn’t destroy them. He even made clothing for them since eating the fruit of knowledge revealed to them they were naked. When Cain killed Abel, God punished Cain but protected him from being destroyed by anyone else. When David wrecked his life with an affair and murder, God redeemed him and still made him King. The Old Testament is filled with stories of recklessness, severe consequences, repentance and redemption. Repentance and obedience are the keys to being redeemed and living a wreck-less life.
What decision are you facing today that with God’s wisdom you can avoid being reckless and severe consequences? Are you facing a dating relationship and ignoring the nudges of the Holy Spirit telling you they’re the wrong one? Are you facing peer pressure to try a drug or give up your virginity? Are you married and being tempted to cheat on your spouse? Do you struggle financially and dealing with overspending? Are you diabetic and craving a sugary donut? Whatever you’re facing-know this, the devil leads us into recklessness through temptation!
The devil is very subtle and crafty with his schemes (Genesis 3:1) and he uses temptation to turn us away from the warning signs God has given us. He can even distort God’s word to fool us (like Adam and Eve) into wrecking our lives. God warns us to not be wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 3:7.) The Bible also tells us to stay alert for the devil prowls around like a hungry lion (1 Peter 5:8). When we are steady in God’s word and seek His wisdom and discernment we can readily detect the devil’s schemes and avoid his traps before we end up in a wreck. But we also have to resist temptation. Jesus, Himself, on the night he was arrested, told His disciples to stay awake and be alert so they would not give into temptation (Luke 22). And Jesus knew temptation. The enemy tempted Him three times in the wilderness. Each time, Jesus resisted the devil and the devil finally fled from Jesus (Luke 4). That’s what God calls us to do-resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7.) We must also be aware of how he tempts us. We must recognize the desires of the flesh in order to resist him. And if we fall, we get back up, repent and become more dependent on Christ to keep us from falling again. We must also STOP falling into his same traps and expecting God to redeem us from a pit we keep jumping in.
“Resisting temptation is so hard” you say? Tell me about it! You’re preaching to the choir! I suffer from retail therapy and overeating. When I’m stressed out I want to go shopping and buy something that will make me feel better. I want to overload on chocolate and junk food because it tastes so good while I’m eating it. But I suffer grave consequences from both choices. I struggle with both debt and weight issues. I even struggled with serious health issues until I disciplined myself to cut out foods (including chocolate and caffeine) that I knew were making me sick.
I also know because I’m a single parent-I chased after the wrong relationship. I failed to listen to the Holy Spirit nudging me to wait, nudging me I was unequally yoked and I suffered severe consequences because of it. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my children for anything-they are the best thing that came from the relationship. But I suffered tremendous heartache and emotional injury because I did not listen to the warning signs. And my children suffered from my reckless choice also.
I know recklessness with my body, heart and mind all too well and if my mistake can prevent someone from wrecking his/her life, it’s worth sharing. I also know His redemption and want you to know it too.
The point of today’s blog is this: If you don’t want to end up in a wreck, obey God’s word, heed His warnings and don’t live recklessly. But if you, like me, have already wrecked your life, don’t count your life as over. We have a God who can and will redeem you and turn your reckless choices into a wreck-less testimony. I know because He has done it for me every day I surrender my ways to His ways and allow Him to transform my body, heart and mind back into what he made them all to be. He started redeeming me the day I repented. He’s calling you to repent too. Repent and forgive and allow Him to redeem you and make you wreck-less too!