When I was younger, my sister and her husband lived on a wilderness preservation property in Central Florida. Her husband being a game warden, he was asked to live there, and reasonably so. However, every time we would go to their house, we had to make a long, 30-minute trip down this very narrow dirt road, that when it got wet from the rain, became SUPER slick. To make it worse, there were two ditches that surrounded that road all the way down, from beginning to end. To make matters even worse than that, it took FOREVER to get to her house! It seemed like an eternity going down that road, while you’re about to have a heart attack at the same time! My dad drove this massive Ford Econoline van, that seated 16 because of the size of our family. And when you have a van as long as that one was, life became precious going down that slick, muddy road…I remember often times sitting in the front seat, gripping that armrest for dear life, hoping we wouldn’t lose control of the van, or end up on my passenger window in the mud. I also learned by watching my dad drive, that you couldn’t drive in the ruts or you would get stuck. You had to blaze your own trail. If you slipped into the ruts, your wheels would easily start to spin, and maybe even shift the entire vehicle off the road in a second…
Too many teenagers today are stuck in the ruts. They feel as if they have no other choice but to be in the rut, because everyone else is. That’s what the world does, that’s what my family does, all my friends are there, etc. Everyone else took that path, why can’t I? But friend, it’s time you get out of the same-old, same-old path that you see everyone else taking. God has a very specific plan for you and it’s not taking the common path being taken by everyone else. The common path that everyone else seems to take, is the path of sin. And sin is a slippery path, that’s hard to maintain your balance on.
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14
We often think that sin is normal, and we do it because everyone else does, but that is not so. In the verses we just read, God tells us that sin is optional! Meaning you can do it, or you could not do it! Because I am saved, sin no longer has dominion over me. Meaning, it no longer has to DOMINATE my life. Why? Because greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! (I John 4:4). If God be for me, WHO can be against me? (Rom. 8:31). With the Holy Ghost as my Teacher, sin no longer has to be a habit! It no longer has to be the normal routine! It no longer has to be the status quo!
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
If I’m going to do anything for God, it’s going to have to be Him doing it through me. In my own efforts, I’ll be really consistent at being inconsistent. Notice in the verse:
1. It is God which worketh in you…
2. To will,
3. To do.
To find God’s will for my life, I’m going to need God to do it for me. He has already promised me His will, His plan for my life, but better than that – He’ll give me the will and the ability to DO it. Teenager, get out of the rut! Be different! Follow God! Follow His will today!
Nathan Pitts | Youth Pastor
Riverland Baptist Church