We were sitting at the traffic light at Fourth and Limit deeply involved in conversation. I saw the car next to me starting to go, so I began to move forward. Then I noticed it. The light was still red! About the same time, Stacey said, “John, what are you doing?” I responded with something lame like, “I was seeing if my brakes work okay.” The car next to me noticed the light a moment after I did and screeched to a stop. That was close.
If the light was clearly red, why in the world did I start to move forward? Well, the car next to me was moving forward. So, almost without thinking, I began to do what the car next to me was doing. Fortunately, I looked up and saw what really mattered, the red light. Fortunately, my wife snapped me out of it and brought me back to attention.
This is a challenge all of us face. Those around us do not look at the red lights that God puts up for us. They might go on the red light and stop on the green light. There seems to be more and more of that going on these days. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves doing the exact same thing. There is a reason why Paul tells us, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14), and to “Come out from their midst and be separate (2 Cor 6:17).” If we are not careful, the flow of life around us can lead us in the wrong direction
God’s flow of traffic runs a different direction. If we lose sight of the light, we may find ourselves “going with the flow” of the world’s traffic. That is why we have one another. That is why God has placed each of us in the “body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12ff).” We need each other. We need someone next to us to remind us that the light is red.
What does this mean? It means that we need to be wise and discerning concerning the world around us. Because this had been called a “Christian nation,” Satan tries to make us believe that being an American is synonymous with being a Christian. He tries to make us forget that no matter how just the nation we live in is, we are still not of this world (Jno 18:36). Our ultimate citizenship is in Heaven (Phil 3:20).
So must never let our guard down. We should be alert and sober and focus our hope on the author of our salvation and run this race with endurance (Heb 12:1-2). Let us not run without aim (1 Cor 9:26). Let’s be focused on the light of the world (Jno 8:12). He gives us the green light and the red light. Our decisions are to be according to his will. Our actions are to reflect that we declare him as our Lord. Our speech should be filled with righteousness and grace. Our mind and heart should be on him day and night. We should meditate on his word. We should pray without ceasing. Then the opposing traffic will not have the lure on us it once did.