OFF COURSE!

"For My people have forgotten Me... they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, not on a highway" Jeremiah 18:15.

To be less than half a degree off course can take you down a path of deception. When a surveyor surveys land, he must have his calculations correct. If he is one degree, or even less than a degree off course from the starting point, the line will veer further and further away from course.

Many today are walking down a bypath that is taking them in a wrong direction and they have no idea they are on the wrong course. Many people are traveling the same path with them so they think it is the right one. How did they get there? Not because they were straying off at the beginning at 30 degrees angle, but maybe only less than one degree. They imbibed just a tiny humanistic lie. That was enough. Just a little degree off and it gradually takes them further and further away from the truth.

We read in Amos 7:8, "The Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?' And I said, ‘A plumb line.' The Lord said, ‘Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel.'" A plumb line is a string with a piece of pointed lead or weight on the end to provide an exact measure for a vertical line. It is used by masons and bricklayers to keep their walls straight and without it they could easily make a crooked building. The plumb line is accurate, providing a consistent standard for the walls being constructed.

The Word of God is our plumb line for life. It measures our thoughts, actions and beliefs. It is only from the Word of God that we gain a true world view. God will not judge us according to our opinions, or our circumstances, but only by the plumb line of His Holy Word which abides eternally.  One writer says, "The Bible is the only tangible, visible, readable, understandable and applicable measure for spiritual issues that we have." If a bricklayer finds his wall crooked, will he try and adjust the plumb line to his crooked wall? Impossible. He must rebuild the wall according to the plumb line.

God says in Isaiah 28:17 NIV, "I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line." The plumb line of God's Word judges everything by an exact standard, not our standard. We must keep our minds stayed upon the Lord (Isaiah 26:3-4) and feed our souls constantly on the Word of God.

The more the Word of God fills us,

the easier we will keep on course.

The less the Word of God fills us,

the easier we will stray off course.

If we want our children to stay on the right course, we must daily feed them with God's Word.

I am reminded of Christian and Faithful in Pilgrim's Progress when they turned aside into Bypath Meadow.They would never have dreamed of straying from the King's Highway, but Bypath Meadow was going in the same direction, only it was a much easier path. They decided to have a rest and take the bypath, ready to jump back to the King's Highway if they noticed it veering away. But a storm came and flooded the path. They were enveloped in darkness and could not find the way back to the King's Way.

None of us ever intend to steer from God's path. That's why we must watch diligently, for only one degree, or even half a degree, will take us more and more away from the truth. I wonder why many who say they believe in God laugh at families who open their hearts to having the children God wants them to have? Where did they get this attitude which is totally foreign to the Word of God? They are now 100 degrees opposite to the Word of God and don't even know it! They have joined the unbelievers who have formed their own opinions and laugh at God's absolute truths.

If we can stray so far from the plumb line in this life, what about future generations? We can be guilty of taking our children on a deviant path as they imbibe our values and beliefs. And often they take on more deception as they continue walking away from the plumb line. Someone has said, "One generation is only one generation away from degeneration." I think of a Christian family I know. Their lives were so busy following the material pursuits of this world that they rarely sat down as a family to eat their meals together at home and instead ended up grabbing fast-food or eating in a restaurant. I remember saying to the wife, "If you don't establish the habit of sitting together as a family around the meal table, what will your children do when they are married?"

As this couple gradually moved further away from God's measurement and lived by their own desires, they ended up much farther from the path than they realized. They are now divorced. Their children struggle with drugs and are not walking with the Lord. Just a little straying eventually resulted in destruction.

The Moffat's translation of Jeremiah 18:15 says that they "take to bypaths of their own." Are you going down a bypath of your own reasoning, or sticking to the plumb line? Where are your children heading? Are they building their lives on the plumb line of God's absolute truths or walking down a bypath?

Let's come daily to the plumb line of God's Word to check if we are on the right track.

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIES

 

PRAYER:

 

"I thank you, Father, that you have given me a plumb line. I don't have to guess my way. You have shown it clearly. Please help me to keep a straight course and give me wisdom to keep my children on this course. Please keep us from detouring on bypaths. Amen."

 

AFFIRMATION:

 

I'm building my marriage and family according to the plumb line!

 

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