What really matters is what happens in us, not to us.
-James W. Kennedy
Scientists now say that a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic. The opulent, 900-foot cruise ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the worst maritime disaster of the time.
Like the tragedy that happened to the behemoth liner, it’s those small compromises to our protective armor that threaten to sink us on our journey to find and live in integrity. In fact, it’s their insidious nature that makes them so dangerous. If we had one huge assault on our faith with which to contend, we would be alarmed and rise to the challenge. But the small blows go largely unnoticed, barely blips on our spiritual radar, until they have weakened us and breached our defenses.
This is why it’s so important to be accountable to God and trusted people around us to help us see the danger signs that we’re going down. The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit will be our guide if we’ll just listen to Him. To ignore His voice is like turning off the radio broadcast of icebergs ahead because we don’t want to change course. We can ignore the warnings, but we’ll hit the ice just the same.
A simple acronym can help us stay tuned into the leading of God:
L Listen for the excuses you tell yourself.
What reasons do you make up to give yourself permission to do something you know is wrong?
I Identify the weak spots in your faith, the ones that make you vulnerable to temptation.
What do you fear? What makes you angry? What causes you to feel out of control?
E Examine your temptations.
Discover why you give in over and over to a particular temptation. Identify ways that have been successful in the past to help you successfully navigate around that danger zone.
S Seek the truth.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23 NASB
It’s no good to attempt to navigate in the dark. Light reveals our path. It also reveals the obstacles in our way. But that’s good, because it’s better to deal with changing course than to live in ignorance. Ignorance leads to destruction; truth brings us to safety. God wants us to take an honest look at our lives under the light of His purity. God’s Word is the source of the light for our journey and the best way to open our hearts to the work of the Spirit.
Never underestimate the power of the Scriptures to cleanse, guide, and strengthen. God is the best Captain ever. He’s been this way before, and we can trust Him with our lives.
Your word is lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Next week: Rooted in Reality: Building Character – Part 3