Warning: Danger Ahead!
Proverbs 3:5 & 6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (NLT)
One morning I was feeling a sense of urgency to finish writing a talk for a retreat, as the retreat weekend was only about two weeks away. As I sat at my laptop computer the words were flowing and I was feeling a sense of accomplishment.
After about ten minutes of writing, however, I was jolted by an alarm going off in the house. Thinking it had to be the smoke alarm, I raced upstairs ready with a plan of action: I would press the reset button, stop the alarm, and get back to writing.
When I got upstairs, I discovered it wasn’t the smoke alarm. Instead, it was the carbon monoxide detector blaring loudly.
I had forgotten we even had this type of warning device in our house. I only gave thought to the danger of carbon monoxide being in our house for about 30 seconds. To be honest, I was mostly concerned with getting this noise to stop so I could continue my work.
All I could think was I don’t have time to deal with this right now and that thing needs to stop! I climbed on a chair, reached up and fiddled with some buttons but had no luck in stopping the alarm. I didn’t think there was a true carbon monoxide threat, so I did what made perfect sense to me at the moment – I yanked that carbon monoxide detector right out of the ceiling. And sure enough; the alarm stopped, and I went back to my writing.
Later, as I told my husband what I’d done, he reminded me that there really could have been carbon monoxide in the house, and wasn’t I at all concerned about that? Well, no… but later when I thought about this whole event, I realized that ignoring the alarm paints a picture of our spiritual lives.
One of the benefits of being a child of God is that He will warn us when we’re entering dangerous territory. Just like the carbon monoxide detector warned me of possible danger in my house, God will warn us of danger in our lives.
God’s warnings come in various forms: a challenging word from a friend; a story from a pastor’s sermon; a still, small voice inside letting you know it’s not right; and the unavoidable truth of God’s Word.
We have a choice to listen to God’s warning or to ignore the warning, just like I did when I yanked the carbon monoxide detector out of the ceiling.
God’s warnings – like the carbon monoxide alarm – are for our good and protection. Despite this, we don’t always want to hear what God says, do we? What are some reasons we might choose to ignore God’s warning? First, we might be set on our own agenda. We have a plan and we’re sticking with it, even if it’s not necessarily God’s plan. Second, the situation might appear to be good. In our own understanding we can’t possibly see how anything bad could result. Third, we might just want to do what we want to do, not what God wants us to do, especially if deep down inside we know what we’re doing is sinful.
Is God warning you of a danger in your life? Are you listening? I’ve heard a saying, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Let’s not be foolish. Let’s listen to God’s warnings. Let’s trust Him and not ourselves.
Dear Lord, I want to be in step with You. I don’t want to be behind Your will or ahead; just right in the center of Your plans. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, give me ears to hear Your warnings and then give me the desire and the power to obey You. Thank You, Lord, that I can count on Your love and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Sometimes we ask God to bless the plans we’ve made, instead of first asking God to show us His plans. Ask God to show you if you’ve moved ahead with your own plans instead of His. Are there any changes you need to make?
If we’re walking with God, we can be assured that He will warn us when we’re nearing the dangerous territory of sin. We have to make sure, however, that we don’t harden our hearts and ignore God’s warnings. What are you doing to keep your heart soft and open toward God?
Isaiah 30: 21, “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.’” (NAS)
Isaiah 30: 1, “Woe to the rebellious children”, declares the Lord, ‘Who execute a plan, but not Mine…’” (NAS)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 28 March 2007.