Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.
Three young men from Tampa, Florida were driving home one evening after finishing a night of bowling. Kevin was driving his white Camaro, his friend Brian was riding in the front passenger seat, and Randall was sitting in the back. They drove through a familiar intersection, unaware of the danger that awaited them. Kevin didn't notice that the stop sign was missing from this busy intersection. He never even slowed down.
He assumed the other car would stop... it didn't (that stop sign was missing, too). The two cars collided; Kevin, Brian, and Randall were instantly killed.
An investigation eventually led to discovering the young men who were responsible for this tragic accident. They confessed to stealing the stop sign. It was just a prank. In fact, they admitted to stealing other stop signs in the area and dumping them into the river on the outskirts of town.
Who would be reckless enough to steal a stop sign?
Apparently, stealing road signs is a fairly popular prank these days. In the state of Texas alone, 50,000 road signs are vandalized every year—costing the state more than $2,000,000! But two million dollars can't compare to the lives of three men. The cost of those lives is priceless.
I can't help but think of the analogy to our culture today. It seems that wherever God puts up a stop sign, someone comes along and takes it down. It's just fun to do. Besides, stop signs mean rules—laws—and no one likes either... they slow you down.
What a dangerous game to play. Pulling down God-ordained stop signs is a setup for disaster.
Christians are not immune to tragic collisions. Even believers ignore the fact that God has given us stop signs to help us rather than harm us. They are for our spiritual protection, safety, and security.
God isn't interested in creating a bunch of rules because He's some kind of cosmic killjoy, but our society would have us think that.
God actually sees the headlights of an oncoming car; He's fully aware of dangerous intersections; He protects us by clearly revealing His wisely ordained stop signs along the road of life.
Are you surrendered to the Lord's direction for your life? This includes both steps and stops!
What are some of the signs that you might be tempted to ignore today... or to remove?
Perhaps a friend is warning you to slow down or stop; Scripture jumps out at you, highlighting the verses on the danger of dating an unbeliever; the Holy Spirit persistently whispers a warning regarding dangerous activities: online surfing... boardroom compromising... expense account fudging.
Whatever form God's stop signs take, learn to obey them... stop signs are there to save your life!
Would you let the Lord examine your heart today and convict you of any hidden sins you might be holding on to? Ask Him to give you eyes to see beyond the here-and-now—eyes that look into the future to see where your decisions might be leading you. Then pray for wisdom to make courageous decisions, knowing that God has promised to give you the strength to slow down—or maybe even stop—at just the right time.
Proverbs 4, where Solomon tells his son to watch out for some very important stop signs.
Original publication date: September 27, 2010
Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey.
In an age where many are expounding on life and illustrating with Scripture, Stephen is committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life. Dr. Davey's Wisdom Retreat devotional is available through Crosswalk.com.