Links Daily Devotional

Proper Alignment

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NLT)

We have all hit the kind of shot that feels really good, but when you look up to see the ball, it’s sailing far right or left of your intended target. You mutter, “I guess it wasn’t as good as I thought.” Then one of your playing partners says, “That’s right where you were aimed.”

Knowing, following, and obeying Jesus is the only way to an abundant life of intimacy with the Father in Heaven.It amazes me the percentage of everyday players I give lessons to who have bad alignment. Most right-handed players aim right of their target (and vice versa with left-handed players); their stance is “closed.” Conversely, if you look at the alignment of the greatest players to play the game, they all either have open stances or are aimed straight on. Rarely are they closed to the target. Having a closed stance causes the player to have to come over the top and pull across the ball in order to hit it online, which rarely has good results. (I guess wise King Solomon knew a little about golf when he said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death,” Proverbs 14:12)

Just as most golf instructors and great players understand the importance of proper alignment for good golf shots, this is the way of God for our eternal success. After being questioned by Thomas about where he said he was going, Jesus responded that he himself was the way. I have come to realize through today’s verse, as well as the theme of much of Jesus’ teaching, that we have a directional God, not a results-oriented, performance-based God. He knows we won’t hit our target every time, but he also knows that the only chance we have of hitting the target he’s laid out for us is to aim for it. He sent Jesus to be our alignment stick to him.

Atlanta-based pastor Andy Stanley calls this the Principle of the Path. This path principle is summed up like this: “Direction, not desire, determines destination.” In other words, we are all going to end up somewhere, so we probably should go down the path that is going to get us to where we want to end up. This is a universal truth for every aspect of life, and it applies to the Kingdom of God as well.

My desire is to know and love God fully and to experience him intimately. God wants this for all his children, but as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Then, a few verses later in Matthew 7 Jesus says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”

Knowing, following, and obeying Jesus is the only way to an abundant life of intimacy with the Father in Heaven. My encouragement today is that you will check your spiritual alignment to make sure it is aimed in the right direction and based on what Jesus actually taught and not just founded on a religious system or doctrine in his name.

Josh Nelson
January 24, 2017
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