Standing Firm Men's Devotional

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Thank you for reading Standing Firm, a weekly men's devotional written by men for Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.

This Week's Standing Firm Men's Devotional

Saturday, September 24, 2016

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LEAN ON HIM
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

I have a motorcycle. Before you ask, it is a Harley Davidson Night Train; maroon, with black powder coated trim. My daughter told me it looks like Texas A&M (by the way, I am stationed in Virginia, but I am from Texas). As you ride a motorcycle, in order to turn the bike, instead of turning the front wheel, you press on the side you want to turn. If you want to turn right you press right. If you want to turn left, you press left. The harder you press and lean, the harder you turn. In essence you lean into the turns. For a motorcycle rider, the lane is divided into three – right, middle, left. You have to constantly pick your position to ride depending on the road conditions, traffic and obstacles in the road. As you approach a turn, you pick a position, lean into the turn, and look ahead to where you are going. In a turn, you cannot concentrate on where you have traveled or where you are, because it will throw you off and may cause you to lose control. Especially in turns, know your position, press and lean into the turn, and look ahead.

Over Labor Day weekend, I went with my brother and a few Marines to camp and ride on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. We traveled there to ride the Tail of the Dragon (318 curves in 11 miles) and the Cherohala Skyway Drive in the Smokey Mountain National Park. Wow! This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (if you actually slow down enough to see it). There are mountains so high, at one point a plane was flying beneath us. A peak so high you can see seven states in one location. These roads go over and around mountains, through tunnels, and over rivers and lakes. It is amazing to see God’s creation, and what a beautiful creation it is!

Traveling these roads on four wheels could be dangerous if you get distracted, but on two wheels, there is even less room for error. The bad thing on a motorcycle, everything is a distraction. As you lean into a curve, a vehicle traveling the opposite direction is a huge distraction, but you can’t focus on that. On the outside of the mountain going around a curve, the drop off below you is a major distraction, heart stopping, but you cannot focus on that either. You have to pick a position, lean into the curve and trust that the bike will do what it was made to do. When I get distracted or if I do not trust my bike, my turns are uncontrolled.

At one point, we were traveling the Cherohala Skyway. All I wanted to do was look and take in where we were, but the next curve was coming up fast. Riding a motorcycle, there was no time to look at anything but the road ahead. If you lose focus, get distracted or don’t trust your bike in this location, you could easily fly off the side of a mountain top. I had to make myself stay focused, constantly looking ahead; thinking position, press, lean, look ahead; almost developing tunnel vision. I have always considered myself a good rider, but this weekend taught me a lot. The ride taught me to focus better, to ignore the distractions around me, and to trust my bike. It was when the roads and the turns became more challenging that distractions increased. If I rode the way I was taught – concentrate, focus, lean and trust – the ride was smooth and fun. I feel that I have grown as a rider because of what we learned this weekend.

In our walk, in our stand for God’s best, this is the way we need to think. God has created so many beautiful things in this world, but we cannot get distracted from our walk with Him. Satan uses circumstances in our lives to pull us down or distract us, to take us away from God. The roads we travel are not straight, but filled with curves. We can easily get bogged down by where we have been, or where we are. We can get distracted by the beautiful creations around us. Satan is the great deceiver. This is his plan, to take our eyes off of God, who He is, and what He will do in our lives and circumstances.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Jesus said He has overcome the world, He has overcome our circumstances. We have to take our eyes off our circumstances, off His creations and place our eyes, our hope, and our trust on our Creator. As the curves hit us in life, we need to lean into Jesus, our Savior, our Redeemer, to get us through. If we allow ourselves to get bogged down in distractions or circumstances, we can crash and fall off a ledge. When we cease to grow, we cease to be a branch that produces good fruit and we may end up in a position where we cannot be used by God.

As the circumstances hit you, press and lean harder into God. Know your position as a Child of God. Look ahead at the promises He has given you for a hope and a future. Trust that God will do what He has said He will do. When I doubt in my circumstances, when I doubt in my marriage, what I really do is doubt who God is. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and submit to Him.

Standing in Faith that our Marriage is healed!

David in Virginia

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