How Did We Get So Lost?

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HOW DID I GET HERE?

I’ve asked this question a time or two in my life. How did I get here? Why am I so lost?

One time, we were on a country drive when Melinda and I were in college; we had very little spending money, but a lot of time. We filled up the 79 Chevy Blazer and headed into the mountains. A day’s worth of adventuring was to be had, and as the sun was setting so was the gas gauge.

Problem was, I was lost. Not the kind of lost where we just turn around and get back to the paved road, but the kind of lost where there are no paved roads in sight. It was before the GPS and Smartphone days, so I was pretty sure we were going to run out of petro.

It happens, this getting lost conundrum, and not just on fun adventures either. It happens in life. No one plans it. But here are some thoughts on why it happens, and how we can get back on course.

Drifting

We just drift. We get really busy doing what we do. We don’t mean to have things get away, but they do. Sometimes the drifting isn’t our doing, someone led us astray, but awry we are.

A Bad Experience

What you thought about a situation wasn’t what it actually was. It didn’t go well on a career path or a school situation. Circumstances have made you mad. And you’re also mad at God. I am certain, distasteful experiences are leveraged by the enemy to take your freedom … and leave you lost.

Bad Choices

I admit I made a bad choice that day in the woods. I didn’t take a map and I didn’t know the way home. We do that now and then. Bad choices. Recklessness, wasting valuable resources like time and energy. Choices make us miserable or satisfied.

LOST PEOPLE ARE NEVER ALONE.

I find courage knowing that others are lost, also. It’s not just me. I am usually surrounded by others who are taking the trip with me, like that day with my wife Melinda. It’s often friends, maybe family, but the truth is we seldom go alone into the wandering wilderness.  In many ways, this is what happened to God’s people in the Bible, and they ended up in Egypt, enslaved. You’ve probably seen The Ten Commandments movie or read the story in Exodus. Truth be told though, they drifted far from their center. They betrayed their love of the Lord. These bad choices enslaved them first in their unseen world—thoughts, words, deeds—and then in the seen world—physical slavery. I bet they never thought it would turn out the way it did. But they were never alone.

God promised them he would “bring them out.” He’s was there to bring them out.  He is there to bring us out.

HOW DO WE GET OUT?

God promises to bring us out of this lost state. It’s His first promise to us. He promises Exodus 6, “I will bring you out of slavery!” What steps do we take, and how do we do it?

Make the Move

The key word here is change. Another way to say it is repent. You’ve got to make a decision that because you are tired of where you are it’s time to make a move. You’ve known it for along time, but now is the time to make the decision.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul motivates us by saying, “Come out from them and be separate.” He speaks of God being a Father to you, you being His son or daughter. But the hinge for you is making the move to come out!

You can’t be in two places at the same time. That day in the Blazer, we could not be lost and found at the same time. We needed to make the move to head for the pavement. To stop going into the woods deeper was the first choice. It’s the same for you and I. It’s time to change direction. Make the move.

Let It Go

Getting out of where you’ve been first requires the decision to make a move, but it’s immediately followed by letting it go! Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to follow me has to let me lead! Get out of the driver’s seat. Follow me and I will show you how.” For you and I, letting it go is surrendering; finally putting down the things that endanger us.

Commit Your Life

It’s not enough to just come out and let go. Yes, in decisions you will experience a turning point, but you’ve got to commit at a high level to never go back. You are no longer slave to whatever becomes of being lost. Instead, turn and start living for the One who sets you free from this slavery.

Paul motivates us, “Just as you used to be slaves to impurity and an ever-increasing wickedness now offer yourselves as slaves of righteousness, leading to holiness.” What’s he saying? He’s saying to commit your life as passionately to freedom in Christ as you did to being enslaved to the world.

RELATIONSHIP

That day in the mountains, when Melinda and I made the move from heading deeper into the forest and started heading to what I thought was the paved road, we came upon a forest service truck. Man, were we glad to see him! He told me we were 60 miles from any exit that didn’t have a locked gate. I was like, “WHAT!” He said, “Follow me, I will unlock the gate for you, and we will get you right to the road.” We were thankful that day, because, when we finally made it to the gas station, we were rolling in on fumes. Had we not built that relationship, we may have stayed a few nights lost in the outback!

In the same way a relationship with Christ offers the same solution.  Jesus says, “Follow me.”

I’d like to know about a difficult situation where you had to make a course correction. Maybe you’re going through one right now … please share your comments below and let’s continue to grow together …