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Side-Trips

"The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, 'Come, be My disciple.' " John 1:43

 

One of the things I've always heard people say about taking a tour of the Holy Land is the joy and beauty to be found in walking in all the places that Jesus Himself walked in. I can understand that, and I know there is a deep, spiritual and mystical element to all of that. Yet as I dwell upon this there's a thought that comes to mind. We can talk a lot about our walking in all the places that Jesus has walked in. What thought do we give as to whether He can walk in all the places we're walking in?

 

The disciples, with all their faults, were marked by this fact. They went where Jesus went. If they left His physical presence, it was only at His direction. They didn't make "side-trips." They didn't see any separation between what was "His business" and what was theirs. Their "business" was to follow Him, to be His disciples. There was much they didn't understand, but they did understand that they were His to command. Where He was, they were, and in all their questions, there was no question as to where they'd be. As Peter said, where would they go? Christ alone had the words of Life. Contrast this with how so many of we who also call ourselves His, choose to carry out what we call discipleship. How easy we seem to find it to make those side-trips into places He has not sent us and He would not go. We do this both physically and emotionally, even spiritually. We do this in relationship choices, career choices, even ministry choices. We allow our minds, emotions and the desires that they contain to enter into places that He has not led us and He would not go. We allow our eyes to see things that He would not look at, our tongues to say things that He would not say, and our minds to think things that He would not think. We walk in places that He wouldn't walk in. We go where He wouldn't go, and we have some very clever ways of justifying all of it. Somehow we are blind to the fact that the first result of these unauthorized side-trips will be self-deception. We're sure that He doesn't have a problem with it, and even if He does, we begin to think that we're just a little better informed about it all than He is. I think that this is very likely exactly what happened in the heart of Judas. His side-trips away from the path of Christ eventually led him into a full betrayal...and a place of darkness he could never come back from.

 

So the question for you and me is, in our hearts, minds, words, actions, and choices, where are we taking side-trips? Where are we walking that He isn't? And are these side-trips getting more and more frequent and of longer duration each time? Where do we walk today that He can't? Where have we been deceived into thinking that He has no problem with any of it? Where do the side-trips lead, and what will be their end? Alicia Britt Chole asked where might Judas be hiding in our hearts? Where might he? Do we hold the heart attitude of Peter, that there is no place to go but with Him, in Him? Or, do we allow ourselves the little side-trips without Him? If we go, what will be the end of them? Where does Judas hide in you and me?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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