From the heavens the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. (Judges 5:20)
If even the stars in heaven have been assigned a cosmic course to follow, then there can be no question that the Christian has too. God has set a course before every Christian, and the closer we hold to that course, the more fruitful, faithful, and fulfilled we shall be.
To journey beyond our course is to journey in our own strength. God has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), but He has not promised to give us His supernatural strength when we launch out on our own and travel a path of our own choosing.
You remember the story of the reluctant prophet Jonah don’t you? Instead of walking in God’s strength, Jonah left the course that had been prescribed by God, and he ended up spending three days and nights in the belly of a great fish. God was with Jonah every step of the way, even when he sank into the depths of the sea (Jonah 2:5-6), but Jonah was operating out of his own strength, satisfying his own will, and fulfilling his own desires. That never ends well for us!
Personal experience has taught me that it is not so difficult to find the course God has set before us. We need only stay close to Christ and our course is clear. What is harder to do is to stay in that course. The old, sinful nature still lives inside every child of God, and that old nature is hard at work. “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17). Pride fights against our Prince. Selfish ambition wars against our Savior. Self-righteousness battles against our Redeemer.
The key to staying on course is staying in close contact with Christ, and staying in close contact with Christ is rooted in love. We must love Jesus more than we love anything else in this world; when we do that, we begin to live out the truth of 1 Corinthians 13:5—“Love does not seek its own way.” The more we love Jesus, the more we will submit and surrender to His will in our lives. We will realize that His course for our lives is better than any other course we could have chosen apart from the leading of His Spirit. When we are living in the course God has set before us, we are living at the deepest level of meaning, significance, and purpose in this life. God knows us intimately—He formed us; He gave us all of our gifts, talents, and abilities; and He knows exactly how we should be using those gifts for His glory and for the good of others.
So, regardless of where this message finds you today—whether you are in the center of the course God has set before you or perhaps you have drifted a bit off course—draw closer to Jesus. He is your true North Star who will guide you every step of the way into glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!