The city of Phoenix Arizona has been having several horrible collisions caused by people who entered the freeway going the wrong direction. Head on collisions have resulted in several losing their lives on Interstate 17. Engineers worked to help alleviate the problem. They finally came up with a wrong way detection system that they just put into operation in the month of August of 2017. It is the first such system in the nation. According to officials the system uses thermal cameras to detect a wrong-way vehicle driving on an off-ramp. That automatically triggers a wrong-way sign that will light up and flash in an effort to grab the attention of the impaired, distracted or confused driver. Authorities are immediately alerted and a notice also will appear on overhead message boards alerting freeway motorists that someone might be coming their way. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is hopeful that the 3.7 million dollar project will save lives.
Did you know that believers in Christ have an internal wrong way detection system? This system is none other than the person of the Holy Spirit. Through His convicting power God’s Holy Spirit warns us when we are heading down a wrong way road. He uses the Word of God and that internal uneasiness to alert us of the danger of our course. Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 3:16: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” When we steer down a wrong way street the Holy Spirit becomes grieved with our actions and sends us a nudge of conviction. This warning should motivate us to turn around and correct our behavior.
God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to encounter a spiritual crash. That is why He gives us His Spirit as that internal wrong way detection system. However we can ignore His gentle nudges and persist in our own stubborn course. If you are God’s child pay attention to the Spirit’s warnings. Turn around and proceed in the safe and godly path God has designed for you.
Hurricane Irma is now history. But during the buildup before the storm arrived I witnessed a massive preparation in the area of southwest Florida where I live. Floridians were evaluating what they were going to do if the storm came their way. Many folks left the state for somewhat safer ground farther north. Others traveled to what they hoped would be less affected areas of the state. It was difficult to find a motel that wasn’t already full. Still others sought shelter in the homes of family member or friends that lived farther from the gulf coast. When our town was issued a mandatory evacuation order people were left with very few options. Thousands chose to go to a designated hurricane shelter at one of the local schools. My wife and I took refuge in a friend’s home further away from the storm surge zone. Then there was some who chose to hunker down and shelter in place. Everyone sought some sort of shelter from Hurricane Irma.
God was so gracious as the storm was not as bad as it could have been, but still Irma’s category 2 winds tore through our area leaving many without power and other services. But we are all thankful for our shelters in the storm. Did you know that our God promises to be our shelter in the storms of life? He tells us in Psalm 46:1-3: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”.
Are you facing a terrifying storm today that seems to be carrying the mountains into the midst of the sea? God promises to be your refuge and strength. He will be that very present help in whatever trouble is shaking your world. Call upon Him today. Flee to the refuge of His protection. He is the safest shelter of all, no matter what the category of your storm.
Finding affordable housing is a main concern for families who are pondering a move into a community. Most of us have made several moves in our lifetime. Perhaps a new job, or financial change, or even a family relocation have caused those moves. Making frequent moves is a lot of work and makes it difficult to put down roots. Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to move again?
In Psalm 23 David speaks with confidence and joy about the Lord as his Shepherd. In verse 6 he boldly says: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. As sheep we enter the door of the sheepfold through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He told us in John 10:7,9: “Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture”. We are the Lord’s sheep and He takes care of us all of our days. We follow Him throughout our lives and we are given a wonderful promise. Jesus said to His followers in John 14:1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. The Father’s house is heaven. It is the same place of which David confidently boasted that he would dwell forever.
Do we have that assurance? When we repent of our sins and place our faith in Christ we are promised a home in the Father’s house. The Lord’s sheep will never receive an eviction notice or a job transfer or find ourselves homeless. We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation