Editor’s note: Are you planning a men’s retreat this spring? Are you looking for a way to bring men together for Christian service and Bible study on a Saturday morning? CTA offers a FREE, downloadable event outline for the theme God’s Direction Is Always Best®. The event features this devotion along with a guided Bible study and participant handout. Check it out today!
It would be the motorcycle road trip to end all road trips! For months, Jack and his buddies planned their trip of a lifetime. Jack led the effort as the friends worked together to develop their route, including as many scenic vistas as possible. They negotiated food and lodging plans and everyone eagerly contributed ideas for predetermined stops along the way. With great anticipation and enthusiasm, the men began their road-trip countdown!
On the very first day of the trip, a pounding rain threatened to dampen the motorcycle riders’ spirits. Refusing to let that happen, Jack grabbed his rain suit, and soon the group was geared up - they wouldn’t let a little shower sabotage their plans.
Then, just an hour into their trip of a lifetime, a massive traffic jam forced the bikers to revise their original route. It just so happened that their chosen detour led the guys onto a side road, gleaming with fresh oil. “And this is just the first day,” Jack sighed.
What a trip! Memorable? Yes! Filled with unforeseen challenges? Definitely!
Have your carefully designed plans ever gone haywire? It happens! Expensive car repairs. Hurtful family conflicts. An unanticipated company downsize. Failing health.
How, then, do we successfully navigate this road trip called life? God gave us the directions in 1 Peter 2:21. (Read the verse.)
This verse urges us to follow Jesus’ lead, but how is that even possible? Whenever we attempt to love our heavenly Father as Jesus did - with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength - we fail. Miserably. When life takes an unexpected, negative turn, we question God’s kindness. We chafe under our Lord’s guidance, and we often question his direction.
Follow in Jesus’ steps? How is that even possible? Christ was forever thinking about and tending to the needs of others, while we are detoured by selfishness. Instead of following Christ’s lead, we choose to travel down a road pockmarked by self-centeredness, self-indulgence, and self-promotion.
Follow Jesus’ example? How is that even possible? He rejected bigotry, injustice, and violence, while we are too easily swayed by the pressures of our culture, looking for revenge rather than seeking forgiveness and peace.
God gives us all the direction we need, but our sinful nature knocks us off track. Following Jesus’ lead, walking in his steps, how is any of this possible?!
On our own, it’s simply not. But, God has made it possible in the cross of our Savior. Our heavenly Father has set into motion the ultimate plan to overcome all the hurt, the disappointment, and the mistakes we make in this world - it’s the plan of salvation.
From the very moment Jesus was born, he was on his way to the cross. And when he got there, he made the ultimate sacrifice for us. His resurrection three days later sealed our salvation. Now, when God looks at us, he can’t see the stain of our sins. Instead, God sees Jesus’ steady footsteps, Jesus’ selfless actions, and Jesus’ perfect love for the Father. (Read Romans 6:6–11.)
Because of all Jesus did for us, we can live for God’s glory! We can follow God’s path and walk in God’s ways, resting in the forgiveness and peace Jesus has won for us. As Psalm 48:14 (KJV) explains, “He will be our guide.” We can follow Christ’s example because God is with us on life’s journey. And Jesus isn’t just along for the ride, sleeping in the backseat as we drive. He’s out ahead of us, behind us, and beside us. In fact, he lives in us! (Read John 16:33 and Galatians 2:20.)
Relying on Christ, we can find joy even as we encounter life’s potholes, detours, and breakdowns. Regardless of life’s circumstances, we will arrive safely at the heavenly home Jesus is even now preparing for us.
Until then, our heavenly Father freely provides strength for life’s journey - the strength of Christ within us! With his protection and power, we go forward confidently, no matter what may happen on the road ahead.
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