Put Your Seatbelt On!
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I look at my phone and it is one of my best friends asking me to come over- she lets me know she is going through a tough situation and just needs to talk it out. Over the years, we have had these moments with one another, not often, so when they happen, we step up to the plate for one another. I am so grateful for the times she has dropped everything and been there for me! She lives about 5 minutes down the road, so of course I would have time to stop by and chat with her a while. I hop in my van and pull out onto the road.
Oh, I forgot to put my seatbelt on… that’s ok, it’s just down the road, I can handle the dinging for a few minutes. Afterall, it’s just me in the van.
I turn on the music and turn up the volume to my favorite Christian radio station.
I start singing along to cover up the dinging in the background… it’s working, and I am almost there!
All of a sudden God begins to minister to my heart. In the 5 minutes it took me to drive to my friend’s house I had tolerated the seatbelt dinging the entire ride. Why?
- I knew it was wrong to drive without a seatbelt- I mean… it’s against the law!
- The chances of me being hurt if I were in an accident with my seatbelt off is higher. I have a husband and two small kids! What was I thinking?
- If anyone else had been in the van I would have put on my seatbelt, so the noise wouldn’t annoy them.
- If someone had been a passenger in my van and didn’t put on their seatbelt I would have asked them to put it on and would have been highly annoyed if they hadn’t done it on their own, and even more annoyed if they took their sweet time to put it on after I asked! (AKA- if I had to hear the dinging even one more time! … rolling eyes)
- I used the Christian radio station and my own voice to cover up the dinging, so I wouldn’t be as annoyed by it.
God began to show me my own sinful nature.
The truth is- I can’t stand seeing another person living in sin. It drives me nuts, and I want them to fix it immediately so that I don’t have to see or deal with their mess any longer than I absolutely have to. I can get frustrated easily with people I know that continue to live in the same sin day after day… not making any effort to correct their mistakes. I remove and distance myself from people who live in sin without any hopes of changing because I have a hard time not judging, and I know judging is a sin!
The truth is- I CAN stand living in my OWN sin. Most times, I know when I am doing something wrong. It might be a little convicting at first… but when I turn up the distractions of life, my sin fades into the background and becomes tolerable. I can go a while without even acknowledging it. I can even get so caught up in the music of life and my own singing for the Lord, that I don’t hear it anymore!
Are you seeing my hypocrisy yet? It was literally convicting me to the core! God had shown me that my own sin, like many of us, is easy to ignore, while the sins of others are so easy to focus on, we get angry, and we want to tell them how to fix it right now because we cannot stand it for one more minute!
I know a guy in the Bible who struggled with the same thing. His name was David. He was the king of Israel and had recently been in an adulteress relationship with one of his loyal soldier’s wife. He got the woman pregnant, and then sent the loyal soldier to the front lines of battle so he would be killed at the hand of their enemy, and he was. David married the woman and went on with life as if nothing was wrong, not convicted and unrepentant. David had committed adultery and murder and was unphased by his sin.
In the times of the kings- there were prophets of the Lord whose job was to encourage the king to keep the commandments and to rebuke him in God’s name if he didn’t. Nathan happened to be the prophet during this time, and knew he had a daunting task ahead of him… rebuking the king!
Nathan had to be careful how he brought this rebuke upon the king- because sometimes it would not end well. The king could reject the rebuke, and there would be consequences. So, Nathan decides to bring a “case study” which could have easily been a true story, that was often brought before the king. What the king didn’t know is that this “case study” was actually a parable to teach the king a lesson indirectly.
Nathan tells the story of a rich man who had many flocks and was wanting for nothing, there was also a poor man, who had nothing but a little lamb, it grew up with him and his children, and would eat from his plate and drink from his cup. He loved the lamb and treated it like his own child. The rich man, unwilling to take from his own flocks to feed a guest, takes from the poor man the one sheep he owned and serves it to his guest for dinner.
When David heard this, he became angry, and says to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, because he had no pity.”
2 Samuel 12: 7-15
7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus, says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house. 
David deserved death. Yet, God spared his life. He was prideful, arrogant, and unrepentant. He was able to ignore huge sins in his own life and was quick to place judgement on the sin of another man’s life. God may have let David live, but there were still consequences to the sin he committed. David knew he had sinned. David repented, and still there were consequences. Just like in our own lives. We sin- we pay the price. God still forgives us- but sometimes we still have to endure the consequences of our sin, whether that be guilt, blame, shame, or loss.
Isn’t this what we do all the time? Isn’t that just like the dinging we put up with- we cover it up with the distractions of life and go about our daily lives as if nothing were wrong. We begin to justify our sins just as I am sure David did. Afterall, he DID marry her after he had an adulterous relationship with her and killed her husband. Afterall, we WAS king! After-all, what was ONE more wife when you had hundreds? We believe we are innocent of sins we commit when we are able to come up with enough justifications to damper the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
I can see myself doing this in my own sin- making excuses- justifying the sin to the point that I begin to believe I am sinless. I begin to believe am above the commandments; as if they don’t apply to me. I say to myself, “I am a good person. I try so hard to be a good Christian. My sin is nothing compared to “fill in blank.”
Meanwhile, I can see my neighbor committing a sin- and I am so quick to judge even harsher than the sin that is left undealt with in my own life. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
You know, David was blessed to have Nathan in his life. Not everyone has a Nathan (mentor) that will bring truth to them in a way that is loving. Nathan confronted David in a way that was indirect- a way that David would see his own sin for what it truly was. God was able to use Nathan to redirect David’s heart.
Some of you may have a Nathan in your life, but some of you may not. I would highly suggest finding a Nathan. The thing about mentors is that you have to give them permission to speak truth into your life, they are not just a family member who already does that… or a friend who is always on your case about something or another that you do wrong. A mentor should be a devout Christian, one that knows the Lord and has wisdom and knowledge in the Word. It should be someone older and more seasoned in life than you. If you do not have a mentor in your life, pray that God would send you one soon, and I hope that He will!
If you never find that perfect mentor, it’s ok! God gave us a helper, the Holy Spirit! He will nudge you and guide you and move your thoughts in a way that you cannot deny it is from God! Just like when I was driving, and the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about my own sin. The Holy Spirit did it in such a loving and indirect way- using the seatbelt ding! The key is to listen, to invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your sin, and to correct your sinful nature.
In the world as we know it today, we are so quick to point the finger, to become angry and hold bitterness in our hearts- we forget to check our own hearts because we are so busy getting upset about the world around us. I am guilty of this. I am recognizing this sin in my life and putting boundaries in place that will allow me space from the world to delve into God’s Word. I hope you will consider your life today.
Are you wearing your seatbelt? Do you have a ding.. a sin you have been ignoring? Are you upset with someone else for not dealing with their sin? Or could it be all of the above? Take some time today and pray, I will be praying the Lord will reveal to you some things about yourself that will inspire a heart change, just like David’s!
Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you were as blessed by the Word today as I was!