They’re really helpful in telling us where to go and letting us know if we’re on the correct pathway. We drive past signposts when we’re driving; but more than that, we all experience signposts in our daily life.
- Anger expressed towards my six year old for acting like a six year old.
- Frustration expressed to another driver on the road who deeply and personally wronged me (or just happened to not look when they merged into my lane – you decide).
- Anxiety around a situation that’s out of my control.
- Disappointment that God doesn’t seem to be working in the way that I think he should (I don’t think he takes my suggestions nearly enough!)
- Fatigue even thought I’ve had more than enough sleep; it’s more than being tired, it’s a soul exhaustion.
And that was just yesterday!
When we are driving on the freeway and see a sign that tells us we’re going to wrong direction, we (if we’re smart) get off the freeway, reset our iMaps, and start going the correct direction. It would be insanity to keep going the wrong way (for an absolutely hilarious picture of this craziness, click here).
BUT, I think that’s what we often do.
We see the signposts and we keep going. We keep driving. Only, our solution is that we drive faster and harder. Let me give you an example. Anxiety. Many people deal with it; it paralyzes some and it significantly impacts others. Often times the way we deal with anxiety is by trying not to be anxious. The result is that we end up focusing even more on the anxiety that’s crippling us. We do the same thing with anger. When we identify anger in our hearts, we often will attempt (unsuccessfully) to rid our hearts of anger. The only problem with that is that we in turn end up thinking a lot about anger, and often find ourselves more angry than we were in the first place.
Try harder. Drive faster. Keep going.
But we rarely address the reality that the behavior is symptomatic of a deeper problem. Every action flows from the heart. (Luke 6:45, Mt 15:18-20)
The scriptures speak to the solution. Paul addresses the churches in Galatia writing,
 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
“And you will not.” Paul’s words are clear; as you walk by the Spirit, the natural result is that do not gratify the desires of the flesh. Drill a little deeper. The signposts of sin are a signal to the believer that they aren’t walking with Jesus. They aren’t being attentive to His Spirit.
That’s the road we need to get off. We need to find the next exit.
The goal isn’t to try to fight against sin, the goal is to follow Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2) The by-product of following Jesus is freedom from sin. So, when Peter instructs the church, “set your hope fully on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” he’s gives them the exit route. He’s teaching the believers how (both in power and motivation) to live out what he’s about to instruct them; to not cave to their former passions and to live holy lives that reflect their God.
Here are a few suggestions of ways to see the signposts and exit the insanity:
- Read the scriptures. It’s one way of running back to the heart of the Father. The scriptures instruct us to flea from. (1 Cor. 10:12-14)
- Worship. Through music, go on a walk, or however you engage with God. We have a page on our site that has a bunch of ‘fight songs’ on it. Find it here.
- Make a list of things you’r grateful for.
What do you do? I’d love to hear it in the comment section.