Introduction: Life is a Highway
A couple of months ago I was heading somewhere in town and I began thinking of all the road signs we encounter while driving. And as I thought about each sign, it made me realize that life is a lot like a highway when it comes to the things we experience as human beings.
Of course, I couldn’t get out of my thoughts what the great theologian Rascal Flatts says:
Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here, and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There’s a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
Well, I wanna drive it all night long
Okay, so I wouldn’t put that up against the Word of God, but it is a catchy song.
But really, think about the signs we see every day? Don’t they speak to real life?
The Signs of Life
Merge –When you enter onto the freeway you are supposed to allow the person to ease into the traffic, sometimes in front of you. Sometimes God merges people into our lives for very important reasons. And merging is a mutual effort to allow someone to come into your lane/life.
Caution – Sometimes in life we can get ahead of ourselves, or, we want to rush into something without too much thought. But the Lord may say slow down, or, He may slow us down. He may slow us down for a season to get our attention. I certainly felt that was a part of the pandemic.
Slow moving vehicle – For us more seasoned citizens life begins to slow down somewhat naturally. We would ask of our fellow human beings…give us a little grace. Because one day you will be us. And remember we have some wisdom because we have lived much longer.
Pass with Care (Car) – When I was kid we use to go camping a lot and our family had a truck camper. My brother and I would right up in the top above the cab on what was mom and dad’s bed. We had a bird’s eye view of every sign on the highway. For whatever we reason, when I saw the sign, Pass with Care, I thought it said, pass with car. Regardless of my spelling woes at that stage in my life, there are times when we pass by people….do it with care and kindness. They may come right back past you in the future. What comes around goes around.
There are other highway signs that make thing of God’s Word and many characters that He uses to tell us about His love and His mission. Let’s considering these signs starting with…
Stop – Colossians 3: 2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Example: King David…2 Samuel 2: 11
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. And his decision led him to also put Bathsheba’s husband on the frontlines of battle where he would be killed…which is what happened…it was a mess.
If David would have just stopped his thoughts in their tracks and looked away from that rooftop and Bathsheeba? In our spirit, we may sense God telling us to stop something. But will we listen?
Road Work Ahead – Proverbs 3: 5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
The Lord chose Gideon to lead the Israelites against the Midianites (a nation that had it out for the Jewish people). But Gideon had a self-esteem problem and the Lord used various means in which to convince him that he was the right choice for the job. He wanted Gideon to understand that with God all things are possible. God reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 10,000. Then from from 10,000 to 300. He did this because 10,000 were still too many for God’s purpose. God’s plan was to show Gideon and His chosen people that when He was for them, no one could be against them. This was spiritual road work in Gideon’s life.
And sure enough, with just 300 men, and God’s power, the Midianites were defeated.
When we grow through what God does in and through us, He is doing spiritual road work on our hearts.
Detour – Proverbs 16: 9
9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
You ever made plans, but God had different ideas?
Example: Jonah…God asked this prophet to go to Nineveh and share the goodness of God to them. Jonah didn’t think they were with the effort. So, He did the opposite of what God told him to do. And do you remember the results? He ended up being tossed over the side of a boat and ended up in the belly of a large fish. Eventually, the fish vomited him up (that’s a pleasant thought) and Job completed the task God called him to and preached to Nineveh. What happened? The Ninevites believed in God. We can do all the planning in the world, but God may have a different course charted for us.
We are wise to listen to His voice and to be obedient. It’s amazing to think how our lives could be different if we just trusted in God’s Word.
Speed Limit – Isaiah 40: 31
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I couldn’t help thinking about this as it relates to us wishing things would go much faster in life. Except for vacations, of course.
Example: Abraham – Abraham had to wait on God for a son, an heir that would make him into a great nation. He had to believe with faith and have hope when there was no hope. Eventually, when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, their first child, Isaac, was born to them. For this reason, he is considered the Father of the Faith. His story can be found starting in Genesis 12 through the birth of Isaac in Genesis 21.
God fulfilled His promise to Abraham. His wife Sarah laughed at the notion, the first time she heard it. I’ve never given birth to a child, but I’ve been there when it happens. I kind of get why Sarah, at her age, laughed at the idea of God’s plan. And yet, it happened as God said it would it. They/we just have to trust in God’s speed, not our own.
U-Turn – Psalm 34: 18
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I thought of this verse because sometimes in life things happen and we want to turn away from God instead of toward Him. We are brokenhearted and our spirits are crushed.
Example: On April 27, 2020, I said goodbye to my dear wife of almost 25 years…
Yield – Romans 12: 1-2
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Example: His name was Saul and he hated Christians and everything they stood for. But one day that all changed. Listen to the story of a man that yielded to Jesus and it changed his life and the world.
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Green Light – Jeremiah 29: 11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
These words remind us that when we totally trust God, we go. We go, knowing we are not alone and He has a plan for our lives.
Example: The Prophet Isaiah
Isaiah 6: 8
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
And Isaiah was willing to go and be a mouthpiece for God, even when God said the people would not be receptive to him. When God gives us a green light He is leading the way and we don’t have to be afraid.
So, if life is a highway, what should our ultimate destination be? When you head out onto the highway, you typically have a destination in mind. Well, our Creator, God has a plan for that. That’s what we celebrate today: Our Risen Savior. The One who died on the cross for our sins and then rose again, defeating death and providing humanity with the hope of salvation…of eternal life…of heaven.
When that grave was found empty more than 2000 years ago, our highway in this life became a highway filled with hope and possibility.
So, if you are looking for directions on the highway of life, I would encourage you to…
Let Jesus be your GPS
What does GPS do? The Global Positioning System (GPS) tells you where you are on Earth.
GPS satellites carry atomic clocks that provide extremely accurate time. The time information is placed in the codes broadcast by the satellite so that a receiver can continuously determine the time the signal was broadcast. … Thus, the receiver uses four satellites to compute latitude, longitude, altitude, and time.
As of May 2020, GPS.gov confirms there are 29 operational satellites. The satellites circle the Earth two times a day at 20,200 km (12,550 miles) up. The U.S. Air Force monitors and manages the system, and has committed to having at least 24 satellites available for 95% of the time.
So, there are 29 satellites designed to show you where you are on earth.
Most scholars estimate that there are around 4200 active religions in the world. 4200! And yet, Jesus made this one thing very clear:
John 14: 6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
And when Jesus had an encounter with a religious leader Nicodemus, He confirmed again that He is the only way to reconcile with our Father in Heaven:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Did you know Christianity is the only faith where God came down to us? In every other religion you have find your way to God (or whatever higher being). You have to earn some type of eternal reward. You have to be good enough, smart enough, whatever enough, to get to other gods.
But our One true God, came to earth with love and mercy. Not to condemn us…but to save us from our sin.
GPS will tell you where you are in relationship to earth. But Jesus will tell you where you are in relationship to heaven.
Application: Are you on the highway to Heaven? The directions are as simple as:
A, B, C.
Admit your need for a Savior. That you cannot save yourself. This is where pride kicks in for many people.
Believe that Jesus died for your sins. Believe He is the way to Heaven. Believe that He loves you and cares about you. Both now and forever!
Confess your sins. Ask Jesus to forgive you and accept Him into your heart and life.