I also need to obey warning signs in Scripture.
First the story.
It’s been probably ten years now. I was driving in Las Vegas on HWY 95 and decided to take the Lake Mead East exit. Some of you know the exit. It is pictured above. When I read the speed limit sign posting 35 mph, I thought that they were surely over-exaggerating the degree of the turn. They weren’t. My plan of merging smoothly into eastbound traffic quickly changed to doing whatever was necessary to preserve my life. Once I lost control of the vehicle, it felt as if I were on ice. My winter driving skills from growing up in Wisconsin took over. Instinctively I knew when to grab the wheel and which way to turn it. I missed the concrete barrier on the left, then on the right, finally skidding into the road at about forty mph. Within seconds, I went from exiting the HWY to fighting for my life to pulling into a gas station to calm my nerves. As you can tell, it was a one-minute event I probably won’t ever forget. The lesson learned will always stick: Obey Speed Limit Signs on Exit Ramps!
That story came to mind Saturday morning as Jodi and I meditated upon 2 John. In verse eight, the Apostle John wrote,
“Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”
That’s a warning sign!
If I am not careful, I could allow the enemy to retake the ground I currently possess. In his short letter, John warns his Christian friends to be on guard against false teachers–teachers he describes as those who deny the truths about Jesus Christ. Throughout the New Testament epistles, the Apostles name the world, the flesh and the devil as adversaries as well. In short, there are formidible forces aligned against me. As a result, I need to watch out. I need to be vigilant lest I fall back.
The “How?” is the question I need to answer. Jodi and I discussed the positives and negatives. In other words, we considered that which we could pursue and that which we should avoid. Or–to use sports metaphors–we thought about both our offensive as well as our defensive strategies.
Offense (pursue, positives) includes our private and public worship–our continual pursuit of Christ. I need to remain proactive in my spiritual life. “Working out my salvation” (Phil. 2:12) requires my God-infused effort. I cannot progess too far or too quickly!
Defense (avoid, negatives) includes that which serves to turn our attention from Christ. False teachers are my enemy. The world (our atheistic culture) is my enemy. The flesh–my flesh–is my enemy. The devil–God’s ancient foe–is my enemy. I must be alert. I do not want to be suprised on this spiritual road to glory.
Trust me–I obey speed limit signs on exit ramps! I also need to obey the warnings I find throughout Scripture.
We all do.