Stay in Your Lane
… this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.1 Peter 5:12
As frequent Wal-Mart shoppers know, choosing the right checkout lane can be tough – and, important! The checkout lines are always long and no one wants to be in the wrong one: You know, the lane with the price check, the new checker, and the grumpy customer. We can all think of times when it seemed like we were in the wrong checkout lane. Frustration builds as we watch the other checkout lanes move right along while our lane seems to be frozen in time. I’ll bet your first thought in that situation is like mine – I picked the wrong one!
Do you ever feel this way about your choice to follow Jesus? Choosing to follow Jesus begins happily for most. In the beginning, most are certain that this choice was the right one; but persecutions and daily pressures can undermine those happy feelings, and before long, Jesus’ words concerning the reality of following him become all too real.… For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it (Matthew 7:13). Satan tempts us to switch lanes to the wide road because it looks easier and more inviting.
Fight the urge to switch lanes! Begin by checking your expectations. The true grace of God sustains believers as they experience persecutions and pressures. When we seek a grace that removes these difficulties from our lives, we seek a counterfeit grace. Stand fast in the grace that is true.
Continue by shifting your focus. The more I compare my lane to other lanes, the less I like my lane. The same principle is true in life: Constantly comparing your own life to the lives of others feeds your dissatisfaction. Focus instead on God’s work in your life. Shifting your focus in this way helps us to find both the strength and the perspective necessary to stay the course.… seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).
Finally, be patient. Trust that God is working for good in your life. God may not change your circumstances, but he promises his presence through every challenge. God’s vindication will come and at the proper time. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (La 3:25-26).
Let’s Pray: Father, your grace saves and sustains us, far beyond what we deserve. I admit there are times when I seek a counterfeit grace. Thank you for your presence in my life. Grant me the strength to stand fast in your grace, today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.